Community shrine to the deities Udo and Ogwugwu (with the shrine’s priest) of Udo,
Successful, powerful shrines, like this one, often contain numerous carved figures that represent the extended family of the main deities, plus one or more ikenga (the most evident of which is to the far left) and other protective, offensive, and defensive ritual materials. The wood images were carved by men, painted (and repainted annually) by women. They symbolize tutelary deities responsible for the general welfare and health of the community. Prayers and small sacrifices are offered on one of the four days of the week, with major sacrifices and a festival annually. Most such shrines were originally housed in fine, decorated buildings (like that in page eight) or in even more elaborate compounds that resemble those of titled men.
Most of these shrines, by the 1990s, had fallen into disuse, as the vast majority of Igbo people are now Christians. Indeed, most figures such as these have been purchased (occasionally stolen) from their originating communities, and are in private or public art collections in the United States or Europe, so their “function” has changed radically.
Many thousands of Igbo art objects left Nigeria during and in the immediate aftermath of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) during which the secession of Igbo-dominated Biafra, which declared itself an independent nation, was put down by Federal Nigerian military force.The most monumental Igbo figural sculptures are found in the mens’ houses that double as shrines to the founding ancestors (and most important deities) of Eastern Igbo, Cross River, communities (Abam, Ohafia, Abiriba). This impressive structure, named a Nigerian national monument in the 1950s, houses twenty-two life size (or larger) figures. The founding ancestor is at the center of the hierarchical group to the left, with his massive first wife standing on his shoulders. The supporting cast of characters extends the notion of family to include several warriors, an old man, a girl carrying a water pot, a handcuffed criminal, a hunter, masquerader, court messenger, several women, and a white man. As a whole, the group forms a kind of microcosm of community life. Most figures line the walls of the large room, which is used as a meeting place for male elders and mens’ society members who were the legislators, governors, and judges in pre-colonial times. The building was destroyed and the carvings looted, then exported, sometime during the 1970s.
The Okoroshi water spirit masquerade still (as of the mid-1980s) performs for six weeks at the height of the rainy season, even though it has become more secular and less powerful than it was earlier in the twentieth century. Maskers bless the ripening yam crop and prepare the community for the New Yam Festival, which occurs the day after these spirits have departed the village to return to their homes in the clouds.
An extensive and locally explicit dualism marks this masquerade. White or light colored masks are female, benign, and represent the order of the village, whereas dark ones are male, more or less dangerous, and associated with the mystery of the bush or forest. White masks are said to come down from cumulus clouds; dark, ugly masculine masks from gray rain clouds.
The five to seven light Okoroshioma masks that emerge each season dance prettily, to lyrical music, before large crowds; they are essentially entertaining, and fine dancers are chosen to embody these spirits. In some cases, as here, they will be accompanied by contingents of male Okoroshi members dressed up as women.Umu Udo Integration have come to rebuild it all,and restore it all back again,because many Igbo Children from all over the World are now crying saying that Igbo culture and tradition is dying,esspecially Igbo Language,and that is truth,Christians are killing Indeginous peoples ways of life,Traditional Leaders are Christians,while in Traditional sit,many problems are facing Igbo people today,painful exit everywhere in Igbo Land,and only solution to all these is to support Umu Udo Integration to rebuild everything back,
For a very long time, the heavens were peaceful and glorious as all the Gods and Goddesses lived together in one part of heaven. However, each was individualistic, and therefore very independent. This then became the cause of a big problem in the heavens as jealousy and greed came upon the attitudes of the Gods and Goddesses.
And so the Gods and Goddesses began to want all of the powers of the other Gods/Goddesses, as it then became a question of who had more authority. The Gods became greedy. Things got worse and worse. Finally, it got so bad that the affairs of the universe began to suffer and became a threat to CHINEKE’s existence. CHINEKE, who was the benevolent creator of the universe, began thinking of how to solve the problem, and so came up with a Master Plan. Heaven was divided into equal parts, and each God and…
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This is the world famous Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture USA 🇺🇸. The design was inspired by an African sculpture from Nigeria 🇳🇬. This artefact was stolen from Nigeria over 400yrs ago, and I’m grateful they did.
When foreigners see these sculptures and artefacts, what do they see?
They study them
They research them
They Carbon date them.
They see inspiration
They see ideas
They see craft
They see skill, intelligence and design.
They will borrow a leaf from the knowledge acquired to go on and do better things, world class and state of the art designs and innovations that will fetch them millions of dollars, which will lift them off their misery and poverty.
But when most Africans and Igbo, see these sculptures and artefacts, what do they see?
They see idol
They see Devil
They see witchcraft
They see Evil
They see Ancestral abomination and curse
They see diabolic and fetish objects
They see the cause of their family misfortunes, poverty, and untimely death
They see the cause of the lack of their community development and progress.
Therefore the sculptures and artefacts must be destroyed, burnt to ashes because the bible said this and an ignorant pastor said that.
On this particular issue, I’m unapologetically grateful and thankful to the British, Portuguese, French, German Etc for looting and stealing the millions of African artefacts, sculptures and totems they took hundreds of years ago, because I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see and learn some part of my history if they were left with us back home. So many ignorant pastors deceiving desperate and vulnerable families and communities.
Until we as a people start making economic decisions to address our economic problems,
Until we start adopting social principles in tackling our social challenges,
Until we start seeking medical solutions for our health challenges,
Until we stop looking for whom to blame but ourselves, blame the devil, blame the ancestors, blame ofo but never took responsibility. #The_Rat_race_continues.
Copied from Uba Acho
will Nigeria brake up in 2019?Many Igbo Children are in Nigerian prisons all over Nigeria,and Nigerian Governments do not care,many Nigerians are in Prison all over the World,Nigerian Governments do not care for Her Citizens,Mnay Nigerian girls have been used for sex slave in Lybia and Italy,across Europe and other Countries of the World,no jobs ,no nothing ,Nigeria is 58 years old,how about Her Citizens,?Africa should care for Her Citizens,Citizens of Africa make una care for una self,many African Brothers and Sisters are in critical Situation all over the World,many are in Prisons,Many African Countries looked upon Nigeria as Giant of Africa ,hope of all Africa,but Right inside Nigeria there are no peace.when you listen to Nigerians,you will think that Nigeria is hell fire,but Nigerian people are beautiful people with their Culture and Tradition,but green white green is colonization to Africa.give them Biafran Flag,with rising Sun.
Kramermarktumzug 2018 in Oldenburg ,Igbo King ,Ghana King,Southern Cameroon King with all African people in Oldenburg, Kramermarktumzug 2018 Kramermarktumzug 2018 Kramermarktumzug 2018 Kramermarktumzug 2018 Kramermarktumzug Kramermarktumzug 2018It was nice and lovely,in Kramermarktumzug in Oldenburg 2018,,2019 will be greater,Igbo culture,Ghana Culture,Camerron culture,African Culture,European culture,World Culture,together We will move on together,
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As Dr. Nina Nwodo, others, fought back tears.
According to Princess Naja Chinyere Njoku, the founder, DNA Tested African Descendants, a total of 27000 black families in the Caribbeans have through DNA traced their roots to Africa, a good number of them to Nigeria and a greater number to Igbo ancestry.
At this year’s Council of Igbo States in Americas (CISA) event held at Igbo village, Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton of Virginia, a total of 21 Caribbean families were able to reconnect with their Igbo root and were admitted into their Igbo ancestry in emotional but dream fulfilling ceremony.
On ground to receive these brave Igbo sons and daughters were His Majesty, Eze Chukwuemeka Eri (Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo, Ezeora 34th), Dr. Nwachukwu Anikwenze (Onowu Abagana) and Dr. Nina Nwodo (Ike Ukeh, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo) among others.
One after the other, their citations were read out by the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Nnia Nwodo, while His Majesty, Eze Chukwuemeka Eri, blessed them and admitted them into the Igbo family. The exercise which was deeply emotional saw ancestral naming certificate issued to everyone of them reflecting their new identity as many fought back tears while others rejoiced that a 400 year old shackles have been broken.
In attendance were people of Igbo ancestry from around the world that include; Prof. Akuma Kalu Njoku, (popularly called Ticha, meaning: Teaching Igbo Cultural Heritage in the Americas. He is the man behind the establishment of Igbo village in Virginia); Prof. Anthony Ejiofor, President of World Igbo Congress (WIC); Dr. Ignatius Ukpabi, the People’s Mayor; Rev. Dr. Stanislaus Maduabrochukwu Ogbonna (a Rev. Fr. with traditional building expertise that assisted with the construction of the Igbo village in Virginia); Chief Chude Asidianya (Agbanwodikeizu na Abagana, the planning committee chairman); Comrade Arinzechukwu Awogu, (guest of CISA and the Chairman of Ogbaru local government, Anambra state, Nigeria); Dr. Ruben Okorie ; Chief Ogbuehi Nwachukwu Okafor (President of Ohaneze Ndigbo North Carolina chapter); Barr. Jeff Azubuike (Ohaneze Ndigbo, South Africa), representatives of Yoruba diaspora and many others.
unities in Haiti, St Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela were all in attendance with exhibitions depicting their Igbo origin.
Miss Nnedi, formally known as Tiffany Green, from Trinidad, one of those whose Igbo ancestry was established by DNA said she will be visiting Anambra state as she strongly believes that she will find her family in areas around Onitsha and Ogbaru/Abor. She showed pictures of her great-great grand-parents and believed they were taken away around the lower belt of the river Niger. Hon. Awogu, who was on ground, and the closest person in the gathering from the area she mentioned offered to help in making her search a lot easier.
The Igbo village in Staunton, Virginia, the venue of the historical event is a tangible recognition of the contribution of the Igbo victims of the Atlantic slave trade to the development of Virginia and the greater American frontier culture. Enslaved Igbo men, women, and children who traveled by force from many specific locations in the hinterland of Igboland to North America, helped to build what is now known as the United States. A great majority of those who came to Virginia boarded slave ships in the coastal towns, of Calabar, Bonny and Brass. Evidently, one of the starting points of Igbo slave journeys is the ancient Cave Temple Complex in Arochukwu. Arochukwu traders supplied slaves to the market in Bende (later Uzuakoli) which became the source of slaves traveling directly from Bonny to Virginia and were mostly Igbos.
EFFORTS AT ESTABLISHING IGBO VILLAGE IN VIRGINIA, MANY THANKS TO PROF. AKUMA KALU NJOKU
In 2002, after retracing the hinterland routes of Igbo slave journeys in Abia State, Prof. Akuma Kalu Njoku, established a direct link between major markets and the points of embarkation. He realized the tourism potential of his research and approached the government of Abia State. The governor at the time provided some financial support and he worked with the staff of the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism. The research team documented the cave in Arochukwu and other sites and monuments in Abia State. In 2007 a team of cavers from the Hoffman Institute from Western Kentucky University and Prof. Akuma Kalu Njoku went to explore how to protect the cave and nominated it for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Working with the Nigerian National Commission on Museums and Monuments, the Arochukwu Cave is now on the preliminary list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
John Vlach, after hearing Prof. Akuma Kalu Njoku’s paper at an annual conference of the American Folklore Association in 2003, recommended him to American Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia. At that time, the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton of Virginia was planning a West African exhibit to complement the English Farm, Irish Farm, German Farm, and American Farm already in existence. Prof. Akuma Kalu Njoku became a member of the advisory board and later as the principal consultant for the Igbo Farm Village project.
WHY WAS IGBO CHOSEN INSTEAD OF ANY OTHER RACE IN AFRICA?
Let me quote from the Frontier Culture website:
“An Igbo Farmstead will represent the architectural patterns representing the areas from which the most number of slaves came to Virginia”. The Igbo were greater in number than all the other enslaved Africans put together in Virginia in the 1700s when tobacco was the mainstay of the colony’s economy. Some estimates put the number of Igbo imported from the Bight of Biafra at 40% of all the import to Virginia by 1775. “Their number continued to increase to the point that tobacco planters on the valley west of the Blue Ridge replaced their white indentured servants with Igbo slave workers”. The Igbo were among the first settlers, they were among those to cross the Cumberland Gap and open the gateway to the west.
In addition to making the tobacco the mainstay of the Virginian economy, they also provided the labor in the Black Belt that made cotton king. They have continued to contribute to nation building and culture in the United States. The Igbo Farmstead (Uno Ubi Igbo) in Staunton is, like the English, German, and Irish Farmsteads, “a tangible tribute to the Igbo settlers who helped to develop the frontier culture in America as well as in the territorial expansion of the United States.”
In March 2006, Museum staff and Prof. Akuma Kalu Njoku traveled to Nigeria to document examples of Igbo architecture. While in Nigeria, the staff of the National Commission of Museum and Monuments joined the research team and they traveled to many villages, compounds, and remote farm villages documenting house-types and building traditions. Mrs. Umebe Onyejekwe of the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments became their primary contact and consultant in Nigeria for the collection of building materials. By June 2008, the building materials, along with objects for furnishing the completed exhibit were on site.
Prof. Akuma Kalu Njoku opened discussions in the Igbo community in the United States and recruited Reverend Dr. Stanislaus Maduawuchi Ogbonna, a man with traditional building expertise to assist with the construction of the buildings and Dr. Kanayo Odeluga to mobilize and coordinate volunteers. The response was tremendous. Volunteers came from the greater Washington, D.C. area, Florida, Texas, Atlanta, Chicago, the Carolinas, Nashville, Bowling Green, Kentucky, California, and New Jersey. Today, the Igbo village stands tall with rich history as the white museum volunteer guide that takes people round the village will joyfully tell you the Igbo story as though he is one. In the final analysis, when all is taken away from Ndigbo, their place in the making of the new America is embedded in the history of the United States of America as demonstrated in Virginia where America of today began.