All you need to know about Umuele village, Ehime Mbano, Imo State.

All you need to know about Umuele village, Ehime Mbano, Imo State.





In the list of the top prominent cities and towns in Imo State, Nigeria, Mbano isknown to be made up of both smaller settlements and larger communities, sharing boundaries with Onuimo,  Ahiazu Mbaise, Ihitte and Isiala Mbano.

Mbano originated from Mbasaa which comprised seven clans namely, Ehime, Osu, Ugiri, Mbama, Isu, Ugboma and Obowo.

Mbano is made up of two major local government areas, Ehime Mbano and Isiala Mbano, with a population of 179,800 and 198,736.

Ehime Mbano  was created in 1989. It consists of three distinct clans namely, Ehime people, Umunumu, Nsu and Nzerem people.

The Ehime people are led by the Umueze clan, who are joined by their siblings Umuezeala, Umunakanu, Agbaja, and Umukabia.


Umunakanu, just as the name implies are offsprings of Akanu.  He had four sons from his first wife (Umuola, the first son of Akanu and his brothers Umuele, Amazi and Umugolo) and also five sons from his second wife (Umuerim the first son of the second wife and his brothers Umuja, Umueli, Umuezealaihu and Umudire.



As it is traditional in Igbo culture, the first Son is head, as such Umuola is head of Umunakanu and they produce the traditional head, Eze. The title of the Eze Umunakanu is Ogwugwu and the occupier of the seat today is His Royal Highness, Eze Ebere Ignatius Onyeji, Ogwugwu 1 of Umunakanu.

There are now four autonomous communities in Umunakanu.  Umunakanu, Ibeama Ukwu Umunakanu,  Umuele, Umunakanu Owere.


Umuele Village, which has just been upgraded to the status of a Community now, was made up of 7 kindreds, (Umuduruoha, Umuduruuha, Umuduruewechi, Umuduruebika, Umuonakwu, Umuele-Owere and Umuezealazuruike now christened Umueze-Chukwu). 



Some of the big traditional ceremonies, festivals and carnivals are Igbu Ichi,  Mbom Ama, Awa (Iri ji),


The Igbu Ichi ceremony is the traditional celebration of manhood in Umunakanu and Ehime in the olden days.  When a young man grows into adulthood, he will be initiated into the traditional cult during the Igbu Ichi ceremony. The worthy men are given an Ichi mark on their forehead which will remain on their fore heads till the end of their lives. Those who are adjudged not worthy will have their forehead marked with a lookalike of the Ichi mark but it will disappear as they wash their face.

This traditional celebration of manhood is no longer being practiced in Ehime with the advent of Christianity.


Mbom Ama

This is an annual ceremony held in the last quarter of the year.  Just like the Awa, the Ikoro man will beat the Ikoro to announce the date for the ceremony and it holds on Eke Umunakanu market day as well.

Mbom Ama signifies clearing and cleaning of roads and tracks, the ceremony is preceded by the clearing of all communal, village, clan, kindred and family roads. 

During the ceremony/carnival masquerades and female dancing troupes dance round the communities and villages to solicit gifts from the people in their homes.

Just like the Igbu Ichi and Awa festivals, the advent of Christianity has rendered this ceremony redundant.  Only a few people celebrate it today.



This is the traditional New Yam Festival in Ehime.  It is usually celebrated between late July and early September when new yams are harvested.  This ceremony is hosted by individual communities that make up Ehime on their market day. Indigenes  are not expected to eat new yams before the ceremony

This ceremony in Umuele holds on Eke Umunakanu market day and as a prelude, the Traditional Ikoro drummer (Chief James Onuoha of blessed memory), sounds the Ikoro to  announce the coming Awa ceremony and the date.

On that day, rituals are performed and prayers are offered to Ogwugwu, thennew yam is served. It is served with chicken pepper soup.

The advent of Christianity has rendered this ceremony redundant.  Only a few people celebrate Awa these days.



These ceremonies help in the socioeconomic development of the society and help in bring about harmony and coordination therein. Some of the positive implications of these festivals include:

1. The Awa festival reminds every man that he has to work hard at the right time to fending for his family and other less privileged persons.

The new yam festival also reminds us to always give thanks to the Almighty for always keeping us alive and providing for our daily needs and pray for his continued mercy in the coming years.

2. Mbom Ama ensures cleanliness in the communities and home. It teaches every woman that she has a role to play to keep the community and society clean.

3.   Igbu Ichi underscores the need for men to fortify themselves to be able to shoulder their responsibilities in both their families and community.

Igbu Ichi also teaches us that there is time for everything in life. A time to be born, a time to grow into manhood and a time to become a man with the attached responsibilities.


4.  With regard to Igbu Ichi, parents and siblings are prepared to rise up to the challenges of ensuring that their maturing male children and siblings are assisted to take up their responsibilities in the family and community.


5.  Most importantly, these ceremonies teaches leadership and followership.  It tells the youth and people from other tribes that the Igbo people that there is no jumping of queues.  One needs to be a good leader or follower and the orderliness must be observed in society, in our lives, and in living.

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