Precolonial igbo village setting

According to GT Basden, who lived among the igbos for many years before publishing his book in 1921,He wrote:
“the towns are divided up into villages or wards,and are spread over a wide area, a town often extending over three or four miles of country. There was no overcrowding in the interior towns.There is abundance of space for each family to have its own house,compound and farms, each household can be entirely independent of any other for all its needs.Each village or ward has its own chiefs who enjoys the dignity of a patriarch. He takes the lead in all public, religious and social affairs “
Each house stood in a compound surrounded by a high mud wall. There were small loop holes in the walls at equal distances, through which a gun could be fired in the event of an enemy attacking the town. In each compound also there was generally at least one high tree with a platform in its branches, from which a good lookout could be obtained. There were also two large, square watch-towers, three times the height of ordinary houses.
Photo :”An [Igbo] chief’s compound, with war-tower and inner wall; natives listening to phonograph; Azia, Onitsha district.” A. E. Kitson, published 1913.

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