Blessing & memorial of enslaved Africans by the Eze Nri of Agukwu Nri, Eze Nri Ènweleána II.
Location: Igbo farm village at @FrontierCultureMuseum in Staunton, Virginia, U.S.A.
Photo Credit: Newsleader staff.
Note: Nri Kingdom is noted for being the oldest existing kingdom in what is now known as #Nigeria. The kingdom also never had a standing army or slaves.
During the slave trade era, slaves became free as soon as they entered Nri territory.
The Eze Nri sent out priests known as ọ̀zọ̀ whose job were to settle disputes (judges) & perform earth cleansing rituals when an abomination was committed.
To understand it in a modern day context, think of the Vatican City. The Pope is both a monarch & Priest, the Vatican has no standing army but control 1.2 billion people. Only difference is that our ancient holy kingdom abhorred slavery while the Vatican benefitted from slavery.
Note on Igbo religion (Odinani): The rope around his red cap represents Eke Idemmili, in my part of Igboland (Anambra), we don’t kill the Python (Atleast when I was growing up in the 90s) because Idemili is a water deity.
As I’ve noted elsewhere, duality is a central philosophy in Odinani. The supreme God known as Chi has 2 forces within it, one is a creative force called Chineke (God the Creator), the other force within God is chi (small letter). This lesser force manifests itself on earth through Chineke’s creations (Trees, animals, sun, sea etc). That’s how our ancestors understood & interacted with God.
For Christian’s who disagree. Let’s talk of Christ; a Jewish man who claimed that you can get to God through him, the Jewish elites accused him of blasphemy & the Roman rulers of Judea hated him for empowering the poor. They killed his followers & killed him too. His killing gained him a cult following & the Romans decided to take over Christianity. They used it to rule Europe (Britain was a Roman colony), the British in-turn used it to rule us. My point here is, no religion is sacrosanct. So, If some of our people prefer the old religion, let them be, stop burning down their places of worship. Dalu nu.