Kindred Group as the Prototype of Modern Co-Operative Societies: A Study of Igbo Proverbs
International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences
In 1833, a group of twenty-eight poor but intelligent weavers of Rochdale, England were said to have joined together to source for funds that enabled them to buy goods in bulk, thereby benefiting by cutting off the gain which the retailers would have made from them. This move is said to be the origin of co-operative societies. From their activities, the International Co-operative Alliance coined the seven principles which guide the activities of cooperative societies the world over. However, if
... these principles are studied and are made t o be used in analyzing the activities of some formations even in the prehistoric era, it can be seen that the Rochdale society is not the first organization that utilized the seven principles. In order to prove this fact, the present researchers had to collect some Igbo proverbs that have as part of their content, the umunna (kindred) formation. The content of these proverbs when matched with personal interviews, Internet and hard copy studies of the umunna formation show that indeed, the Rochdale pioneers cannot be said to be the first group that articulated the principles on which cooperative societies are based. As it is in this formation of the Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria, so it is in many primitive formations.