Chapter VIII. THE LAW IN BREACH (1) WE have seen that there are many reasons why, on the whole, the rules of the group are kept, but there are none the less occasions, as in any other society, when they are broken. When we enquire how such breaches are dealt with we find that there are certain rules the breaking of which will or may call forth action, ultimately backed by force, on the part of, or endorsed by, the community. These rules may therefore for practical purposes be regarded as laws, and may be distinguished as such from other customary rules.1 Judicial methods may at times appear informal, but they follow recognised if diverse lines. This distinction between law and custom would certainly seem to correspond to a distinction of principle among the Ibo themselves. Talking one day of the return a man would make to a neighbour in whose yam barn he stored his yams, A. explained that at harvest time he might give some yams to the owner of the barn, and he added: "D we omEnala, ~ weghe iWII "-" it is

custom, not law." On another occasion he explained that in his own village-group of Mbieri a man who has leased land, but not for money, will give the owner some yams at harvest time though it is not a legal obligation, and the more yams he gives the more kudos, apparently, he will get. People will say that he has" aka ikE" [- - - -]-" strong hand."