Abi people of Nigeria

Abi people of Nigeria

 


Abi is a village located far away in the heart of a valley in the middle belt of Nigeria in Delta state.Basically ,my people are regarded as Ukwanis because they speak  the ukwani language . Before Nigeria got her independence sometimes Sixty years ago,Abi people live in a complete homogeneous cultural society.They shared same beliefs and norms.They lived in a relative peace and harmonious atmosphere devoid of animosity,hatred or even acrimony whatsoever.     

  I can remember with great nostalgy how we children use to move from house to house  to fraternize and Identify with our friends.During Xmas or special festival periods like the omerimo  festival,we would troup out to visit each other's home eating and dinning.Infact it was the most memorable times of our youthful days.           

 Abi village is now growing and gradually assuming a township or urban  dimension ,now we have electricity and expanded dual- carriage roads.          


  The omerimo festive period used to take place annually every sixth of febuary.It used to be a well celebrated festival with sons and daughters of the village living outside , coming home in high spirit to celebrate the festival.                                           

 Our old men ,chiefs and well respected elders will dance round the town with drums and songs of sacred gods.Women or girls are not allowed to go out of their homes whenever the omerimo priests and followers are on the street usually early in the morning.     

  On the appointed day, all females and non indigene are not permitted to come out . Violators of the sacred laws are usually met with mysterious punishment like death or madness.     

 During the omerimo festival in my town ,farmers harvest the best of their farm produce like yam to make ofe in(yam soup).Elders will surround a bowl of  yam soup like a river with kegs of palm wine.

They would eat with feeling of sacred Satisfaction  as they scoup the soup down their throats and drink palm wine with great relish.It was always a moment of  blissful and complete fulfillment ,a time to express self - satisfaction to praise the gods of the land for life we'll spent and accomplished season.      

   The Abi people are friendly people whose origin according to history can be traced to the Obiaruku dynasty of the pre 18th Century.According to History ,okpai was displaced from his original abode as a result of wars and terrorism on his empire  from neighboring  town or villages He decided to to abandon his Kingdom in search of peace.     Eventually his Three children left him to look for their individual places of abode ,Difte,one of the children ,a hunter and a warrior go to the present day obiaruku and settled there.He later went back to bring wife from his father's home town and start having children.   


   Apart from Omerimo festival,other minor traditional festivals in Obiaruku are the ogu festival and the omenani festival.            The omenani festival is celebrated mainly by women of old status who are believed to be spiritually and sacredly attained to the gods of the land.They are believed to possess spiritual power and could change the destiny or cause untimely death for people who challenges their authority .Today Today Abt town has metamorphosed into highly urban town.

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