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Re: ORAIFITE CULTURE LESSON 101 -Re: New Yam Festival

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  • KENNETH NDUKA
    I am so happy that this issue is throwing up positive contribution from all. That is the idea. We need to commence the essential journey of mopping up every
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 19 3:14 PM
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      I am so happy that this issue is throwing up positive contribution from all. That is the idea.

      We need to commence the essential journey of mopping up every relevant, veritable and valuable information on those issues that combine to confirm our common heritage as a people from one indivisible community. Better late than never!

      While conveying my heartfelt condolence to the Ejiofor family over the loss of their  patriarch, I passionately plead with Ifeanyi not to allow the stress of preparing a befitting burial to distract his attention from the voluntary commitment of documenting the rituals/processes of "ighebi elili"/"itopu elili" of an "Ozo Dala" that passes on.

      Everything about divination("Iju ase", "Ije n'afa") processes prior to making a choice on the type of Ozo or the name to answer, rightly fits as posted. The exception, however, is that Ogbuefi is an appendage to uniquely glorify  those Ozo title initiates who could kill more than a Cow, it is even more pronounced when the initiate could allocate/kill a cow (and above) each for the respective four quarters(ozo fraternity cells) of Oraifite.

      On the other hand, I will be quick to correct that the Ulaga Anthem does not specify/model Ede Oyibo(Cocoyam) for any "honour" rather it equates/compares the cosmological mystery behind ima mmanwu(initiation into masquerade cult) and the wisdom rating it conveys on the initiated, to the Western Civilization and the associated invading authority that prevailed by the time(izaba eze oyibo/ikalia eze oyibo)

      The look ahead for the next round of this Lesson 101 should border on
      • What is the difference(s) between NZE and OZO?
      • What are the processes for indicating intention/nomination for Ozo title initiation?
      • Who is qualified to be initiated into the Ozo fraternity in Oraifite?
      • What are the essential ingredients/qualities of Ozo titled men?
      • What values does the Ozo fraternity add to the sociocultural, economic development, and peaceful co-existence expectations of Oraifite people?
      • How best could the activities of the Ozo fraternity be harvested/reviewed/enhanced positively to sync with the denominating expectations of ALL Oraifite people? 
      Let us all go to town and scout for well informed inputs for the next round. 
      Ufodu jee ora uche, ka ndi ozo jee ora ajuju!

      Once again thank you all for all you quality submissions. 
      Barka De Sallah to all of us.

      Bldr. Kenneth Nnabuife Nduka,FNIOB, MNIM, Registered Builder
      +Through wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established+


      From: "iclawfirm@..." <iclawfirm@...>
      To: oraifiteindigenes@...; iclawfirm@...; charles-momah@...
      Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:48 AM
      Subject: Fw: ORAIFITE CULTURE LESSON 101 -Re: New Yam Festival

      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

      From: iclawfirm@...
      Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 05:43:03 +0000
      To: <ken.igbokwe@...>
      ReplyTo: iclawfirm@...
      Subject: Re: ORAIFITE CULTURE LESSON 101 -Re: New Yam Festival

      It is becoming more interesting and educating too. I am now adding to the wealth of my experience gathered from the much I learnt from my late father( Ogbuefi Ezeakubuenyi) who was until his death a prominent member of this Ozo elili fraternity and my practical experience too on the day the said elili was loosened at the point he was committed to mother earth. Enough tradition incidental to untying the elili was also performed. Uncle Ken has given an accurate account of what I learnt from my late dad and what he told me too. It is indeed an experience and history I cannot forget in a haste. Until after his burial on Nov. 2012, I will have much to write that will aid in practical understanding of this topics more, maka na ndi igbo na atu ilu ,si na onye ma nna ya ma ndi ichie. Otua ka oga aram n'onu kitaa. Daalu nooo..... Bar Ejiofor (Onowu)
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

      From: <ken.igbokwe@...>
      Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 02:37:01 +0100
      To: charles Momah<momahlaw@...>
      Cc: NDUBEZE IG. MUOMA<igmuoma@...>; KENNETH NDUKA<ken8nduka@...>; Momah, Charles<Charles.Momah@...>; aanameje@...<aanameje@...>; oraifiteindigenes@...<oraifiteindigenes@...>
      Subject: Re: ORAIFITE CULTURE LESSON 101 -Re: New Yam Festival

      My people, my people! Unu emekaam onya!

      Ogbodu nesi!

      The full text and lyrics of the Ulaga Anthem - yes anthem for that was the first and last Ulaga rendition in every Ulaga outing and in every one of the four quarters of Oraifite, are as follows:

      Anaa mo ugo ugo ngo ugo
      Anaa mo ugo ugo ngo ugo
      Anaa mo ugo ugo ngo ugo ugo ngo
      Imalife dina muo kalia ede oyibo
      Ugo ugo ngo ugo

      Please note that it is not Eze Oyibo, rather Ede oyibo.

      For those who might want to dispute this, please note that Amalumu muo in 1960. And, my memory is pretty good. Although I will admit that the curse of the absence of the written word tradition may have created distortions before I received the anthem.

      On the issue of Ozo titles, there is/was a difference between the types of ozo title one could take and the honorific preceding the chosen Ozo name.

      There is the ozo elili fraternity whose members were expected to wear strings around their ankle 100% of the time (only loosened at death), and the other ozo fraternity where nothing is worn. My understanding is that when a candidate was ready to take a title, the type of fraternity was chosen for one through the afa (oracle consultation) process. If you were chosen for the string fraternity, your honorific would then be Eze xxxxxx or Dala xxxxx. If you were chosen for the other fraternity then you were Ogbuefi xxxxx.

      I knew people who wore the strings and they were called Ogbuefi. On  enquiry I was told that they were doing what they were not supposed to do, ie were the strings, and that they would ultimately pay for it. I never found out.

      The xxxxx was also chosen for the candidate, with the candidate's consent.

      The selection process was rigorous and needless to say that the basis of selection and consultation process was based on ACHIEVEMENT, pedigree, faith (ie religion) and politics. Politics ultimately got into the process in a very heavy manner especially with the advent of Christianity and government interference in the 1950s and 1960s.

      Achievement was

      The Nze and Ichie honorifics were a function of wisdom and age. In modern times different Igbo communities have used many of these honorifics to mean different things, and created different "traditions". 

      We have corrupted and compromised our traditions, mostly negatively, over the last 40/50 years. More on this in the future!

      Odogwu Muoma, ichili ozo? We should address you by the right honorific!

      With kind regards
      Ken (Onwelunmadu)


      Sent from my iPad

      On Aug 18, 2012, at 19:57, "charles Momah" <momahlaw@...> wrote:

      It is noteworthy to mention that "eze" is not the only prefix that ozo titled men use. The one that quickly came to my mind is "dala". My grandfather's titled name was Dala-Nwenyi. Perharps, there are other prefixes that other people might remember.
       
      Cheers,
      Chinyelugo ( or is it "Nate Dala Okoli" )

      From: NDUBEZE IG. MUOMA <igmuoma@...>
      To: KENNETH NDUKA <ken8nduka@...>; "Momah, Charles" <Charles.Momah@...>; "aanameje@..." <aanameje@...>; "momahlaw@..." <momahlaw@...>; "ken.igbokwe@..." <ken.igbokwe@...>; "oraifiteindigenes@..." <oraifiteindigenes@...>
      Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2012 6:21 PM
      Subject: Re: ORAIFITE CULTURE LESSON 101 -Re: New Yam Festival
      Bro Ken,
      Your analysis are to a great extent correct. People like me who also grew up at home and participated immensely in the cultural activities of our land will surely agree with you.
       
      Those songs and their choruses you presented are the OPIAKA MKPALA cultural songs. The ULAGA having been modelled from the head of UGO (the EAGLE) starts its song like this:
       
      Ugo ugo, ugo!
      Ugo, ugoooo, ugo!!
      Imaa mmuo, 'imalu ife di na muo, Kalia eze oyibo,
      Ugo, ugo ugoooo, ugo!!!
       
      Some villages may sing some of these songs with little variations, however having participated actively and very extensively in most of our cultural activities, I know them very well.
       
      You are right about the Ayaka and Ogbasu-ayaka sayings. You also right about the 'EZE' prefix and the 'OZO' tittle. Eze Ndubeze Muoma simply means that Ndubeze Muoma is an ozo tittle holder.
       
      Having said this, it is also noteworthy that in the Igwe-in-coucil and the Obi level of leadership hierachies, after the recognition of the Ndi-Ichies, the next level of recognition falls on the Ozo tittle holders. Based on this, in the good old days, before the advent of the Money-bags influence in Igbo cultures, there were very strict criteria and social standards that must be met before one can be inducted into the Ozo society. In those days, only achievers, well-behaved, clean-record and very responsible members of town were allowed to take the Ozo tittle. Mischiefs, criminals, miscreants and charlatans were not allowed to hold the Ozo tittle. I doubt if these high standards are still observed nowadays.
       
      I like contributing to educative topics such as this. I will look out for more contributions on this and other progressive topics from our knowledgeable beloved people.
      Thanks.  
       
      NDUBEZE IG. MUOMA
      HI-TECH GENIUS INTERNATIONAL LLC,
      COMPUTERS AND GENERAL ELECTRONICS, CLOSED CIRCUIT AND SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS: * INSTALLATION, * REPAIRS
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      From: KENNETH NDUKA <ken8nduka@...>
      To: "Momah, Charles" <Charles.Momah@...>; "aanameje@..." <aanameje@...>; "momahlaw@..." <momahlaw@...>; "ken.igbokwe@..." <ken.igbokwe@...>; "oraifiteindigenes@..." <oraifiteindigenes@...>
      Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:23 PM
      Subject: ORAIFITE CULTURE LESSON 101 -Re: New Yam Festival
      Onye enena anya na azu o! 
      Mmanwu anyi na agba n'ilo ooo!
      I piam utali, apiagwalum gu, 
      mmanwu anyi na agba n'ilo ooo!

      Ogbodu gbapu!

      Okeke meghelum uzo ka mbia o!
      Meghelum uzo.
      Okwu  aka m meghelum uzo ka bia o!
      Meghelum uzo.
      Mme mme meghelu m uzo kam bia o!
      Meghelum uzo.
      Hmm!

      Was it not "ulaga" masquerade's position that 'imalu ife di na muo, izaba eze oyibo'?
      Ogbasu ayaka will always yell Oku o! in the thick of darkness and solitude to pass some obvious message.
       
      Chei, Ogbodu esigbuom o o!

      Well, it is sufficient for now,to inform that the prefix -"Eze" before the names of our respective forefathers does not imply that the person is  a king. No, no, no!  It(Eze) simply implies that the person is an Ozo titled man, which status qualifies him for membership into the elite nze-na-ozo sociocultural society. For example, if some body's name is Eze Obiukwu Okonkwo, it means that Obiukwu the son of Okonkwo has performed the 'Ozo' title rites and is accordingly a member of the Ozo society. 
      It needs be emphasised that the membership of Ozo society does not even automatically qualify him for a distant standing space in the court of Obi Oraifite palace.
       
      Let this serve as Oraifite Culture lesson101.

      Different learning curves and doors have unique ways of opening up. And in styles too!
      May be,  the clearing of the choked throats, and the availing of the sought-after data/facts after akpachaalu n'ana, kpaa n'ofo will serve as further lessons worth learning. 

      I rather join others to wait with bated breath.
      Ekene kenelum ndi nile na-agbalu Oraifite mbo.
      Udo Chukwu dili anyi nile o.
      Bldr. Kenneth Nnabuife Nduka,FNIOB, MNIM, Registered Builder
      +Through wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established+
      From: "Momah, Charles" <Charles.Momah@...>
      To: aanameje@...; momahlaw@...; ken.igbokwe@...; oraifiteindigenes@...
      Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:23 AM
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      Thank you.

      Thanks,
      Charles Momah
      RBC Capital Markets
      (212) 858-7023
      From: aanameje@... <aanameje@...>
      To: CharlesMomah Mail <momahlaw@...>; Momah, Charles; ken.igbokwe@... <ken.igbokwe@...>; oraifiteindigenes <oraifiteindigenes@...>
      Sent: Thu Aug 16 03:09:29 2012
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      That is interesting but I will need some time to put my facts together. Thanks. ~Chinechendo
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
      From: charles Momah <momahlaw@...>
      Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 22:55:16 -0700
      ReplyTo: charles Momah <momahlaw@...>
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival

      Many thanks Chinechendo nke nbu.
       
      I do agree with your suggestions, and I hope bitterness and acrimony do not creap in. I do however, will still like you to give a brotherly smack to my questions. It will help us to clear our throats before the nkwu.
       
      Cheers,
      Charles Momah (Chinyelugo)

      From: "aanameje@..." <aanameje@...>
      To: "Momah, Charles" <Charles.Momah@...>; ken.igbokwe@...; oraifiteindigenes <oraifiteindigenes@...>
      Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:37 AM
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      Thank you Chinyelugo gburugburu. I believe the comprehensive history of Oraifite, (rather oral tradition) which you are about to release will address the issues you highlighted. I may really not need to reinvent the wheel. May be by the time you release it, people may react and that may spur further research. But we have to keep our head cool and not allow discussions to precipitate bitterness and acrimony so as to attract many discussants. The discussion needs to be scholarly to elicit the interest of people who have done private studies in that area. We are waiting for your comprehensive release. We have already kept aside our "ngwo" waiting for the "nkwu" you promised us will be coming. ~Alex Anameje (Chinechendo)
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
      From: "Momah, Charles" <Charles.Momah@...>
      Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 18:19:05 -0400
      To: <ken.igbokwe@...>; oraifiteindigenes<oraifiteindigenes@...>
      Subject: RE: New Yam Festival

      Dear brother Ken,
       
      I am glad to hear from you again and I am equally glad that you find Oraifte history interesting/important. So much so that you will await with bated breath. I promise you, all questions shall be answered as soon as Chinechendo obliges us with answers to a few of my questions. Anakpa n'ani wolu kpaba n'ofor.
       
      Thanks,
      Charles Momah
       
      From: ken.igbokwe@... [mailto:ken.igbokwe@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:08 PM
      To: Momah, Charles; oraifiteindigenes
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      Dear Charles I am eagerly awaiting your promised "history lesson". I am glad that your appetite was whetted and that there are keen historians in Oraifite, for Oraifite. A comment though about "oral traditions", they are prone to distortions, whether intentional or otherwise. That said, I await with bated breath! Again, the tragedy of the black race strikes - an absence of the technology of the written word! Kind regards Ken
        From: "Momah, Charles" [Charles.Momah@...]  Sent: 08/15/2012 05:26 PM AST  To: <oraifiteindigenes@...>  Subject: FW: New Yam Festival
      My dear Chinechendo 1 of Oraifite,

      You have a good recount of some historical facts and I promise to accurately answer all your questions. You managed to wet my appetite when you asked about the chief priest of edo shrine and the reality about Ogwugwu Ezeani. I will be happy to answer all  of  your questions as soon as I have time to put pen to paper, but, allow me to drop some tantalizers for you. (1) What is alu-edo? (2) Who fastens and uproots ab'ogwe? Hint: the answer will explain why Ikwu aru festival ceased to date. (3) where is Ofo Oraifite? In whose custody is it till date and why?
      My brother chew on these and answer my questions. I will get back to you with accurate historical facts. Mind you, our history is not lost. You shall have your fill. 

       Chinyelugo 
      From: oraifiteindegenes@... <oraifiteindegenes@...>
      To: OraifiteMail <oraifiteindegenes@...>
      Sent: Wed Aug 15 12:34:53 2012
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      Dear Chinyelugo, I am impressed by the memories of our people even in diaspora. The discussion really reminds me of most of the things I have forgotten. I however do not remember Oraifite ever having any joint masquerade display at Nkwo-edo. I remember that what used to happen was that Opiaka Mkpala from Awor gathered at Obom Awor, Irefi and Umuafa met at Nkwo-edo while Opiaka mkpala from Umuezopi gathered at Ilo nne nkisi, those of Isingwu gathered at mbala obodo Isingwu, those of Ifite ofe-mmili gathered at afia uzor and Ibolo gathered at the Obi Udoji square. There was never a central point. I remember that vividly because I grew up at Oraifite and I found fun in going about to watch them. On Ikwu aru, can anybody educate me on why Ogwugwu Ezeani, a community in Ibolo was always the first community to parade with their cows before any quarter in Oraifite eventhough the community is not a quarter itself? In like manner, why was the priest of edo shrine always from Umu-Ulum in Okpuno Ibolo? Perhaps somebody can research on that too. ~Alex Anameje
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
      From: charles Momah <momahlaw@...>
      Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 04:35:52 -0700
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival

      Hello brother Mike,
       
      Your statements about afia-olu and ili-ji celebrations are fairly accurate except that new yam festivals(afia olu and ili-ji) are celebrated first at Ezumeri. And to conclude these traditions, Oraifite gathers at Nkwo edo with masquerade celebrations. It is no mystery why they converge at nkwo edo. Why do you think that they converge at nkwo edo? Hint: Nkwo edo is not at the center of the town. No Oraifite celebration starts at Ogwugwu-amagha my learned gentleman. Stay tuned as I pour libetion and visit antiquities and my archives, I will return with more accurate information.
       
      Ndewo,
      Chinyelugo.

      From: Chuka Anekwe <lacan00@...>
      To: "oraifiteindegenes@..." <oraifiteindegenes@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 4:28 AM
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      Afiaolu is a festival of celebration of farming used to celebrate the end of planting season. Prior to Ude-Ubaka, it was celebrated separately by the four quarters of Oraifite at their specific market day. It is primarily used to entertain those that helped during the planting season. 
      Iri-ji marks the beginning of harvesting season. In the days of old, it is the gods that first eat the yam and the first god celebrates the new yam festival after about 4days that the last village celebrated theri Afiaolu. Thus, new yam festivals are celebrated by the different gods starting with Ogwugwu-Amagha near Nkwo Ozulogu market. I do not remember which other god follows but each of the other 4 gods in Oraifite celebrate in rotation (Mkpuloba in Ifite, Nkisi or Anumanu in Unodu- do not remember which, Ugwulegbe in Irefi, I do not remember Ezumeri's god). It is only after these big village gods have celebrated that the smaller gods celebrate new yam festival.
       
      Ikwu aru and Igu aro are totally different celebrations. Whereas Igu-aro is a yearly event that marks the beginning of the traditional year, Ikwu-aru is a festival for the display of wealth held every 20years the last of which was held in the 60s.
       
      Wish you all well.
       
      Dr Chuka Anekwe

      From: "edubrown22@..." <edubrown22@...>
      To: oraifiteindegenes@...
      Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2012 4:28 PM
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      Onye jele agha Nne na Umu oo Ooh agha nne na umu He ey agha he ey Ooh agha nne na umuUboch mu jele agha nne na umu oo Ooh agha nne na umuKa odiba ubochi nta ka anyi chuo n' owerri nchi.
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
      Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 15:17:05 +0000
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival

      Oh, how beautiful d wording of d chorus. How I wish U posted d tune
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
      From: Nnoruka Udechukwu <nnotheeagle@...>
      Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 08:01:08 -0700
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival

      Di ayi deme! Ka ayi totou ngiga! I was a kid when the last ikwu aru took place. It was said then that one was lucky to see it twice . In those good old serene days before wickedness and greed overtook our traditions, each of our forefathers was a king. Mine was Eze Onuigbo. There was Eze Obianumba. There was Eze Akunekwu , EZe ikedinwa , Eze Amaukwu, EZe Anagbaogu, Eze Din Onyeagolu. Each head of a household was an Eze! Each Eze took a cow to Nkwo Edo for Ikwu aru. Those who really wanted to show class too a horse or a donkey . The song was : O ennene o ennene!Onye Jelu choo efi ya afughu? O Jelu cho ife na eke ogwugwu? O ennene o ennene! We ate dried cow meat for three years in our house after ikwu aru! Oh! When next!
      From: edubrown22@... <edubrown22@...>;
      To: <oraifiteindegenes@...>;
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      Sent: Sat, Aug 11, 2012 2:25:25 PM
      That is the proper way of doing it. As a matter a fact u just reminded me Ikwu aro and igu aro is one and same thing. It is done every twenty years and for any adult that witness the last Ikwu Aro and is capable or the one their children are well to do dances to Agbo edo with cow or cows but like I said it has not been done for a long time. So may be it will be reinvented again.
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
      Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 14:01:28 +0000
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival
      I grew up in Oraifite. While I have very vivid memory of how Ikwu Aru, Igu Aro, and Afia Olu festivals are celebrated, I do not remember any specific ceremonies which mark Ili ji festival. Except that the head of the household eats roasted yam or pounded yam or igbugbu at his obi and does libation to his chi, I really do not remember the usual elaborate festivities which go with Afia Olu or ikwu aru taking place during ili ji. Can some one please make me wise!
      I know that afia olu is not marked by wearing native attire and fining those who chose to wear suits. I know it is not Oraitite cultural day. I know that cooking and bringing food to be collectively eaten at Nkwo Edo is not a feature of Afia Olu. So I do not know where the Sanhedrin, Saducees and Pharisees of OIU got the decree which they had circulated lately concerning afia olu.
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
      From: charles Momah <momahlaw@...>
      Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 06:17:17 -0700
      Subject: Re: New Yam Festival

      Good day brother Chunedu,
       
      Thank you for your response. For your information, the Afia olu and Ili ji celeberations are as old as the Igbo kingdom itself. The traditional Oraifite New yam festival is much older than the late Igwe Greg Udeh-Ubaka of blessed memories. It was not instituted by the Late Igwe. It is a tradition that is more than 200 years old.The traditional four-day new yam festival is celeberated in Oraifite according to age. It starts with the oldest quarter and ends with the youngest. I am sure that you know where it starts and ends in Oraifite. If you know any living elder of Oraifite origin, please verify these facts. Another information that I will like you to find out, is the Ikwu Aru celeberation. What is it and how is it celeberated in Oraifite?
       
      When truth stands as an evidence, it speaks for itself. Let us therefore seek out truth, no matter how bitter, no matter where it may hide herself, and stand by it, even if haven fall.
       
      Thank you,

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