The history and culture of Abiriba

The history and culture of Abiriba

The history and culture of Abiriba

Abiriba is located in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.A rich kingdom endowed with both human and natural resources.The kingdom ruled by a Paramount Ruler known as the Enachoken of Abiriba who is chosen through a linage of royal family. The current ruler is  Eze Kalu Kalu Ogbu the Enachoken of Abiriba who ascended the throne in 2009.

Apart from the Enachoken there are two other rulers that complete the tripod compressing two other villages Amake and Amaogudu.This is because three village s make up Abiriba community.
Each of these villages have its own rulers the Ogbari and Efa three of them make up the Enachoken in council .The three  sit in council with Enachoken presiding

Abiriba is a unique kingdom because unlike other communities around it they are matrilineal while others are patrilineal. This means they inherit from the mother instead of the father which is not popular amongst the Igbo tribe which they belong to

They are also warriors and hunters engaging in mercenary activities way beyond their borders before the advent of colonialism.
In simple parlance they fought for money and fame which affected their way of life and tradition.
To be able to live the way of the warrior the community is arranged in age grades beginning from the smallest uke igbanunu to the uke ime uche
The age grade system of the Abiriba kingdom is a very serious tradition that forms the bedrock of the society which guides and regulate both the male and female.
This is to say both male and female stock belong to  age grade all having there own functions and roles.
Its only in Abiriba that women have there own ruler that is not the wife of the king.A female ruler who represents the women in council.
The uniqueness of Abiriba can be seen in various other traditional practices from masquerades to delicacies.Even the dressing of the Abiba man is different from other clans bothering it.
It can only be equated to the Riverain villages of Calabar and others in Rivers State
The culture of the Abiriba man is very similar only to the Efficks in Cross River

For instance the Ekpe is an Abiriba tradition that is also performed by the Efficks.
So many other traditional masquerade s like the ukonkor is similar to the two distant communities even the food the eat is the same.
The edikaikong is a rich vegetable soup cooked by both communities.
There are others
Apart from the similarities between Abiriba and the Efficks the culture of Abiriba is patterned to that of the Portuguese because they traded with them during the early slave trade and borrowed a lot of lifestyle from which can be seen in the kind of house s built in the village 
The first President of Nigeria Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe who visited the Village in the early thirties nicknamed the village Small London seeing the kind of European facilities that existed at the time in the village like story buildings and water system kind of toilet.
Till today Abiriba is known as the Small London

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