The Eleme live in ten village-clusters situated in Eleme Local Government Area (ELGA), Rivers State, around 20 km east of Port Harcourt. The total territory occupied by the Eleme people expands across approximately 140 square kilometres. Eleme is bounded in the north by Obio akpor and Oyigbo, in the South by Okrika and Ogu bolo, in the east by Tai and the West by Okrika and Port Harcourt.
Linguistically and ethnographically the Eleme Kingdom is a separate entity from the Ogonis, their neighbours.
Eleme has a future rule to play in the development of the Niger Delta Area of Nigeria,Before now,the Eleme people were behind in the educational sector,but now they are one of the educated Local government of the state. Again, they are the center of trade in that region because Eleme market is the most popular market in the region. The Elemes are traditionally an agricultural society, with workers travelling out to farms situated around the villages.
Crops include yams, cassava, oil palm fruit, fluted pumpkin, and bitter-leaf. Crops are primarily used to sustain each family (a system of agriculture known as subsistence farming), but each family also typically trades their excess crops at one of the town markets. Even where family members are employed outside of agriculture, they still farm their own land as a supplementary income. Farm workers are usually women and hired labourers. The men sometimes help their wives and the women folks out.
Eleme has two clans, the Odido and the Nchia, with same dialect, but with the western education and civilization pronunciations are changing. Those from the odido still speak the correct dialect. The eleme language means, Eleame(which means who wins)
Christianity is the dominant major-religion in South-Eastern Nigeria and is widespread in Eleme. Traditional animist beliefs are also upheld by the majority of the population, including those who identify themselves as Christians. Marriages are traditionally polygamous and commonly exogamous with both other Ogoni and non-Ogoni groups across the Niger Delta. While the introduction of Christianity has undoubtedly led to a greater number of monogamous marriages in the region, polygamy and Christianity do not appear to be mutually exclusive in some families.
The Eleme language is potentially endangered. The eleme is the language they speak. There Name is Mboli which is not meantioned. The complete History of Eleme can Explain this more. Written By Chief Obo Ngofa.
Eleme area is heavily concentrated with heavy industries. Two major refineries, A foremost fertiliser plant in west Africa, A sea port, with so many other companies located in Onne like, Panalpina, Intels, Dangote Cement, P&O, Federal lighter terminal, Federal Ocean. Terminal, WACT, etc. Most of this companies have exploited the land, roads and resources and they care less about the affairs of the Eleme people.
Social Political System
Eleme is not a Kingdom, but rather a territory occupied by related clans in a cofederal relationship. The head of the tribe is known as Oneh Eh Eleme (Chief of Eleme). Beneath him are the paramount rulers of each of the two major clans Oneh Eh Nchia (Chief of Nchia) and Oneh Eh Odido (Chief of Odido). Each clan is further divided into small communties (and then further into areas of the community). The traditional ruler of each community is known as Oneh Eh Eta (Town Chief).
The Eleme are traditionally an agricultural society, with workers travelling out to farms situated around the villages. Crops include yams, cassava, palm-oil fruit, fluted pumpkin and bitter-leaf. Crops are primarily used to sustain each family, but each family also typically trades their excess crops at one of the town markets. Even where family members are employed outside of agriculture, they still farm their own land as a supplement income. Farm workers are usually women.
With the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta in the 1958, the Eleme territory has become home to both Oil Refineries and Fertilizer industries, increasing the role of a more industrial economy. The nearest oil refinery is within a mile of an Eleme village, and around 100 wells are thought to be in use throughout the Ogoni territory. The mining of oil has had notable political and environmental effects on the status of the Niger Delta, with pollution from national industries based on Ogoni-land increasing acid rain and reducing soil, water and air qualities.
Ogoni-land has become an area of much political interest over the last 40 years since oil exploration is estimated to account for around 65% of Nigerian Government budgetary revenue and 95% of all foreign exchange earnings (www.odci.gov). Consequent high levels of migration into Eleme territory by other ethnic groups in Nigeria have made a sizeable impact on Eleme society. The presence of non-Elemes hoping to find work within the chemical industries has affected the social importance of Eleme cultural identity, raising concerns over the retention of Eleme cultural practices and language use.
- Bond, Oliver (2004) "Eleme Ethnography - Eleme Society"
- Living Tongues Institute For Endangered Languages