MEET THE IGBOS : IWA AKWA CEREMONY

Being a blogger comes with responsibility nobody
prepares you for. That desire to capture and
report everything – Yes, the one. You see, I’m
not much of a picture person but pictures
sometimes convey the messages words aren’t
just enough to describe. Hello, it’s 1nigeriangirl
and welcome to my blog.

In Nigeria, Christmas is the season for owambe
and every other orisirisi . Amongst the igbos
especially, exists a seasonal migration to
basically shut the village down . You see all the
hustling that goes on in Alaba international
market, Onitsha main market and it’s ilk all year
long, is to turn up at the hometowns and like
future said in mask off

“…Represent, gotta represent..”

Christmas is the time to represent and do the
igbos do it well or do they do it well? Yesterday,
I witnessed a ceremony in my village, called iwa
akwa (wearing of cloth) . It represents the
coming of age of a man and intitation to
adulthood of same. Amongst other communities,
it bears different names, like some communities
in Anambra state refer to it as ichi ofo (to take
the ofo title) . They all mean the same thing,
man is sha coming of age.

The ceremony starts with the young man in
question heading to the village market with his
machete, sword or big knife, followed by an
entourage singing and dancing. It is an age old
tradition that young men be initiated into manhood
at the village market in honour of whatever god
of the market. This has sparked a lot of religious
debate and for this reason, after converging at
the market, they head to their various churches
for blessings, skipping all the traditional rituals
and libations that should have been done.

After this, the entourage leads the gentleman
home with cheers and dancing, while the rest of
the village community emerge from their homes
to celebrate with them and eat rice.

Most of the pictures were taken from the back
seat of my uncle’s car, so they aren’t going to
be all that – I mean, I got enough stares and
why are you snapping ?” questions . A girl
cannot begin to explain that she has a blog and
blog needs update ,too much info… too much.
So, ladies and gentlemen, join me on this tour of
Avutu, Obowo LGA in imo state and let the
pictures do the talking.


The wrapper hung in front of any house
symbolizes that there’s a male member therein,
coming of age. It is also a wrapper of same cloth
he would wear at the village market during the
main ceremony. The make, quality and length of
the cloth represents a person’s social status, as
you can see from the photos above. Richer
people also have longer yards of material which
is usually uncut.

The village market popularly called eke Avutu
where everything goes down.

This is the large crowd heading home to eat rice
and Orisirisi after the ceremony. This trek is done
on foot as your friends and well wishers dance
around you, dragging your wrapper along. As
seen in the photo above, the ceremony can be
done in absentia, where a family member holds
up the photograph of the absent one.

Everyone heads home after this for the owambe
proper.

Oh, and dancing. ..and dancing. ..and spraying of
money.

I have never seen jollof rice this good. ..and I
don’t eat jollof which makes this weird ,but yum.Bloggers have to eat ,fam.

Random photo of my village.

Random photo of the blogger. lol

4 thoughts on “MEET THE IGBOS : IWA AKWA CEREMONY

  1. it is really weird that u don’t eat jollof rice and anyway u said random photo of the blogger but I am only seeing one photo so keep going baby. Lool

    Like

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