UMUAKA PEOPLE IN NJABA LGA, ORLU, IMO STATE NIGERIA.

UMUAKA PEOPLE IN NJABA LGA, ORLU, IMO STATE NIGERIA.

 

UMUAKA PEOPLE IN NJABA LGA, ORLU, IMO STATE NIGERIA.


History is the part of knowledge that studies the past and assesses notable events that are some times facts, faction, myths and non fictions of the existence of great men, a people, race, events and  individuals; History educates people or race about their beginning and how activities were done in the past either for the sake of improvement abolishment, appraisal or uphold to avoid making mistakes should such incedents reoccur or is about to occur. Thus, It is important to emphatically say that history can be written or  orally transmitted from one generation to another in order for them to understand their ancestry and bloodlines and as to understand the advent of their cultural beliefs  and its or their  significance to their land. However, history as a set of narrative event(s) describing the past is meant to educate individuals and tell the rise and fall of great men, events, the beginning of race or people, their culture, language and tone as well as their beliefs, trades and arts and many more.

 Culture on its path is any knowledge  transmitted or passed from one generation to another, not necessarily with respect to human beings. It is also the arts, customs, lifestyles, background, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation, this is to say that history brings about culture because culture is transferred from one generation to the other. As a man or a people without the knowledge of where his race began is like a lost or doomed man thus, there is actually no culture or a people without history as there is no history of a people without a culture or cultural trace.

 Akah is said to be a brother to Orlu who are settlers from the Nri ancestry in Anambra state, having their other brothers as Atta, Nkume, Amaigbo, Ekwe, Ndugba etc and that's  why their descendants  are found within themselves or almost  in the same settlement having Akah in the very middle. The descendants of Akah took after their Fathers' name and the land became Umuaka (descedant's of Akah).
The Umuaka people speak a deep form of the central Igbo with a deep pronunciation of the letter H and R as often found amongst their brothers in the same settlements.

Akah gave birth to Isiozi, Uba, Ugbele, Ibele, Achara, Amakor, Elem(now Umuele),  Obeakpu,  Amafor(now Obinwanne). Akah their father, was known as a very strong, fierce, tall and resilient farmer, warrior and naturist who planted a lot of herbs and fruits mostly at the river banks of the land of his settlement. The biggest river in the land of his settlement he called Njaba River which is at the boundary of the land of his relative Okwudor whose father is  'Ekwe'(the people of Ekwe).
Njaba River has mineral resources sorrounding it which some are sharp sands, hill of sands for building, cashews trees and many more as the land is known to blossom and produce good fruits from things planted on it. That side of the land he gave to his first son Isiozi to settle and build a family.

In the great Njaba river lived a great snake which Akah never disturbed and it never disturbed Akah as they both gave ways to themselves. Akah and his brothers  that were also close to the great Njaba river started reverencing the river and deifying the big Eke (python). They brought few of their beautiful maidens who came often to dance in the Iyi Njaba (Njaba River) in reverence to Eke Njaba(Njaba Snake or python). They said the name "Eke Njaba" means the protector of the land and made it a law that any man or woman who kills the python (Eke) shall burry it like a human and undergo cleansing of themselves and of the land. On the other hand, the Eke didn't and up till now doesn't harm or bite any descendants of Akah even as the Eke( python) goes to the house of an Akalite (a person from Umuaka) and stay days without harming anyone until the owner(s) of the house sees it and takes it to the bush with a stick as the brave ones took it by the hand.

When the great Akah died, the first son Isiozi wasn't financially buoyant to bury the father as they all came to agreement, when that didn't happen, Uba the second son buried their father and ever since became the First Child of Akah in performance because he buried their father and did all necessary rites as agreed by them.

Years later about 1907 in the advent of christianity, the people of Akah agreed to stop their maidens from dancing in the Njaba river and converted or adopted the 'Ogho'  dance the maidens used to dance in the river to a two months cultural dance festival which begins by June and ends by July in the land. The festival begins with rituals done by the Ama'la ( the traditionalist/ initiated men), some of the initiated became the okorosha (the dancers) as they are known to dress in white-net-overall with much decorated fancy wool on their waist, they wore bell rings on their foots which followed the sound of the beat as they danced and also wore fancy foul feathers held together with particles of  dry rafia tree which distinguishes them and makes them watchable and unique.

 In as much as these traditions, customs and beliefs have been in existence for centuries; these days, Akalites in general has removed all aspect of fetishism in her customs and traditions, although some people up till today still see the custom and tradition of Umuaka as being fetish while so many people even clergys has Initiated themselves into the formal ogho dance that even people from other lands,  far and wide come to enjoy the beats, rhythm, dancing steps, merriments and the swag and mood of the the Ogho Festival.

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