The History and Culture of Ogugu People of Kogi State

The History and Culture of Ogugu People of Kogi State

 

The History and Culture of Ogugu People  of Kogi State


By Onoja Johnson


As a continent with diverse cultural beliefs, Africa has remained a home of fantastic traditions and some ways of life which bazaar is bizarre.


Ogugu community in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State, an Igala enclave, rose to prominence with its unique cultural system. Especially, the Agarama practice in the land.


Ogugu people of Igala land are said to have migrated from Idah, the ancestral home of the Igalas. Her early men which were hunters came to settle with birds in a forest bordering Benue and Enugu. Because the birds were the occupants of the place before the coming of the people, the community was named after the birds. Hence the name Ogugu.


As part of the people's cultural practice, Agarama which literally means 'gum,' is a part of traditional marriage rituals that is performed to prevent wives from having extra marital affairs.


The rituals which is a key part of every marriage ceremony in the land must not be skipped when getting married to an Ogugu man.


The administering of Agrama starts from an elder in the family of the groom presenting a newly married wife with some sets of Kola nuts and asking her to eat the Kolas in the presence of elders. 


When the lady accepts and eat the Kola nuts, she automatically comes under the watch of the ancestors called Ibegwu. By that, she can no longer cheat on her husband and whenever she does, she dies.


While tongues continue to wag about the Agarama practice in Ogugu, especially for being against the women only,  the people of the land seem to be fine with their  culture while it appears alien to the outsiders and scares many away for having marital affairs with the Ogugu people.


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