Onitsha History, Kingship and Changing Cultures

M.D.W. Jeffreys 1934, The Divine Umundri Kings

Jeffreys, M.D.W., The Divine Umudri Kings of Igbo land.  1934

[He acknowledges the guidance of Perry’s “Children of the Sun”.]

[Ch. 2] Divisions of Igbo:

1) Those who occupy the high ground between the Niger and the Imo River are called “Igbo Ana Otsha”.  All Igbo Ana Otsha use ichi marks on the face.
a) Enu-Ora or “hill people”
(appear to have slid off the ridge east of the Niger into the Anambra and Niger valeys. Some have rich soil.)
b) Agbenu or “upland people”
(in low hills; the term is descriptive, not sub-tribal or dialectical.  Includes Oreri (Umunri) and Ajalli (of Aro origin)
Agbaja: poor soil:  between the Oji river and eastern escarpment.  Many earn living by being itinerant artisans and craftsmen.  Native courts of Oji, Eke,  Udi.

2) Isu otshi:  broken country, plains or lowlands
Awgu and Okigwi divisions:  good farming, cattle.

3) Igbo adegbe or Olu — people of the waterside.
Native courts Achalla, Aguleri, Ogidi and low-lying Anambra and Ezu, who live in mosquito-proof houses. These people supply the Enu-Ora, Agbenu and Amokabam peoples with food.  They lease out land to these latter groups.  And they fish also.

4) Ngkanu — people living in the Cross River plains.

Amakwam Confederacy, formed to combat the Aros, defeated them at Awka.  This included: Awka, Agukwu, Abagana, Ukpo, Amobia, Nigo, et al.

“Nri tribe”:
first distinguished in 1917 by D.O. Mr. Lawton: “Nris are of Igara stock, extended themselves southwards from Idah.”  “Practically all the towns north of the Onitsha-Awka road are Nris — including Nteje, Umuleri and Aguleri.  In the Awka Division Awkuzu, Igbariam, Amanuke, Orumebo, Enugu and Oreri are Nris.” [p. 16]
Lawton:  This tribe was very hostile to the Europeans, because before the British Obalike was Eze Nri, and crowned the Kings of Benin and presided ritually over the surrounding people.  But Ibos, unlike Nri and the Aros, welcomed white men. [16]
Actually, there are two Nri towns, which split:  1) Aguku, 2) (junior) Oreri.
Agukwu first mentioned by  Crowther in 1854:  “Akuku” one of the towns attending Onitsha market. [18]
In Leonard, Major G: The Lower Niger and its Tribes:  The street of Nri is the street of the gods, thru which all who die elsewhere in Iboland pass to the land of spirits. [18]
Nri are the originators of Igbo culture; were required for ozo and alu or nso.  Nri say, contemptuously, “Igbo enwegh Eze” — Igbo have no king.  Igbos say this also.  [20]
Leonard:  Nri are King-makers — ie they have the sole right to confer the title of royalty:  pineapple fibre ankelet. [20]
Divine kings among the Igbo:  one at Aguku, one at Oreri, and formerly one at Aguleri.  One at Onitsha.  These come from outside Igboland. [21]

Igala origin evidence:
1) People of Aguku, Oreri, Igbariam, Aguleri say they and the Igara are one. [22]
2) Obuga, a part of Aguleri, is surrounded by trenches “dug by Igala as protection against Igbo.” [23]
3) Eze-Nri must wear, at and after his coronation, white Igara clothes.  At his burial an Igala cloth called Okwechi and Aka beads from Idah must be provided by his family. [24]
4) Umundri legend:  They and Igara are half-brothers, each having Eri as father.  An Igala King, Onojo Ibori, a giant who uprooted trees with his hands; this same man is mentioned by the Igara. [24]
Umundri and Idah legends:  founder of Idah crossed the River from West of the Niger. [24]  Umundri then may have arisen as an Igala outpost.  [26]
5)  The name Adama for the priestly family in attendance on the Eze Nri occurs among the Igala in similar circumstances.  Meek, in his 1931 Etnographic Report on Nsukka says that “Atama” priests derived their names and possibly also their cults from Igala.  Atama is the Igala term for priest. [27]

An Igbo who took Ozo title went before the Eze Ndri to obtain his ofo.  In Awka, Onitsha, and southern Nsukka Divisions, there are Ndri settlements in Igbo towns.
“Igwe” is the salutation of the Eze Ndri. [28]

[Ch. 3] Dual Groupings:  Ezi, Ifite:
For example, Awka:  4 square miles; Ezi and Ifite are divided by a low wall.  In wrestling season, the champion wrestler of one challenges that of the other.  But no cross-marrying between the two. [3-4]
46 of 69 towns have Ezi-ifite divisions. [11]
Some towns have the term “nato”:  ebunato etc.  These towns show signs of being the result of amalgamations. [11]
Umundri say:  Ezi is always senior, ifite the junior grouping.  Ezi takes first share. [19]
At Onitsha, the large river-side settlement, the definition is as follows:  Ezi means “real, true, genuine”; ifite:  strangers, foreigners.  [21]
In Awka, in the old days, only the ifite side farmed; (exception:  the obwe [ogbe] or “ward” called Umuzotcha).  The Ezi side did not farm, but produced the traveling guilds of blacksmiths who lived off the surrounding towns for food.  Only interference by the Aro caused the Ezi to organize an attack and defeat the Aro, leaving Awka country free of the Aro.  [22]

[Ch. 4] The Gods:
Pantheon of the Umundri:  4 categories:
1) Chuku, Anyangwu, and Agbala
2) Ndichi
3) Alusi
4) Mmo  [1]

3) Alusi or Arose:  are innumerable; have been introduced  from other towns:  are always represented by carved wooden human figures male or female.  Alusi may take a title, just as a human; may own slaves, possess ofos and animals, have children. [2]
Cult of Alusi:  conducted by hereditary priest, chosen by divination. [3]
Nzu:  clay spindles — are the staple food of Alusi. [4]  Not phallic objects.  Onyeisi Alusi must wash every morning and offer prayers to Alusi; uses white chalk, kola nuts, palm wine.
Ama alusi:  clearing of Alusi
Nku alusi:  the idol of the Alusi, is brought for oaths and sworn over [5,6].  If a person is killed by the alusi, the property of the person goes to the alusi; the body is cast into the bush.
A man can start his own alusi — from his mother’s people in another village.
Shrine of alusi:  oghu:  a cleared, brushed area. [9]
Temple:  Obu of alusi.  This is placed within an ngulu or courtyard.
[10] Object which are not alusi, because they have no oghu nor nku:  ofo, ikenga, Ibenne, Okpensi (but in most Igbo villages, Ofo and ikenga are alusi.) [10]
Important Alusi have idolo, a large wooden gong, to call people to the ama.  Such drums are decorated with the skulls of enemies killed during a war successfully prosecuted under the auspices of the alusi. [10]
In Awka, one female alusi was allowed to take title in recognition of the alusi’s services to Awka town. [11] One umunna has the right to the priesthood, but a dibia chooses which person within this umunna. [12]

1) Chukwu, Anyangwu and Agbala [12]  no nku, no oghu to represent them.  But mounds of earth are used as altars, and only ofo holder, i.e. a titled man, can use these words as the preamble to prayer.  Any titled man has in his yard at least one mound of earth dedicated to either Anyanwu or agbala but not Chukwu.  Anyanwu and Agbala are identified. [15] And these two are the same as Chukwu.
But in one umunna it was said that the sun is under Chukwu, worshipped because it has heat and power. [19]
Chi spoken of in everyday parlance as the sun — ka chi fo — let dawn return; and as life, and as the supreme being.
[I don’t copy some speculations about these words; not clear if tone is taken into account.]
Northcote Thomas:  Agbala is a messenger of the sun.
4) Mmo:  ghosts of the dead.
A man also “worships” his chi, because the chi of an ancestor has returned from Anyanwu where Chukwu dwells and vivified his body.  Thus he makes sacrifices on a special altar called an Okpensi to the memory of the titled ancestor whose chi has returned.  [35]
But the mmo — the attenuated ego or personality of the dead never becomes re-clad in flesh.   If this deceased returns, be comes as mmaung; otherwise he stays in ebe mmuo while his chi may animate the newborn of the umunna. [35]
A person may be thought to have an ancestor’s chi, however, if the child shows any of the special features of the dead ancestor. [36]

Ch. 5  “The Four Quarter Gods”
Early seen:  Ibo markets every fourth day, 4 markets in rotation divide towns into four parts
Jeffreys’ synthesis of legend:
Chuku sent out from the sky four men and one woman:
1,2:  Eri and his wife Namaku:  these two started kingship;
3) Adama:  served the king; founder of that priestly family which still serves the king;
4) Oka, a metalworker; founded Awka with its guilds of blacksmiths (ozo) and spirit-seekers (dibia)
5) Dioka:  a tatooist; founded this town, whose members do ichi.

Four strangers, Eke, Oye, Afo, Nkwo started markets; sent by Chukwu, these started days.  These days are endowed with human attributes:
1) Eke:  is nna (father)
2) Oye: is diokpala (first son}
3) Afo: is osusu Okpala (next to senior)
4) Nkwo:  odudu ngwa (the tail; youngest) ndi aka:  gets the riches.

Kingship:  in conformity with practice prevailing in Nigeria, the King should come from one of 4 royal families and is usually a younger, or youngest son. (see talbot vol 3, p. 599.)
The sacred regalia handed over to the Eze Ndri on his coronation are four:
1) the skull of the preceding Eze Ndri
2) the brass mask (ikpotu)
3) the ofo
4) the alo (sacred spear) [8]
Each divine king on taking up his post imitates Chukwu, and re-establishes the four markets.  Four stakes of an ogilisi tree are driven into the ground, in line, in front of the Obu (reception house) of the Eze, and each stake is planted in a cylindrical mound of earth 10” high.  Each stake is tied to the next by strands of Omu (the young white leaves of the spathe of the oil palm [spathe = Bot. A large bract or sheathing-leaf enveloping the inflorescence (usually a spadix) of certain plants, as arums, palms, etc., in such a way as completely to enclose it before expansion. OED]  A fowl is sacrificed at each stake, and that stake receives one of the four names, and the Igbo week is re-established.
[20] Prayer by a titled man as he drew his 8 lines (four twice) at the shrine of an Alusi:
Anyanwu na agbala ta oji
Chukwu Okike kelu madu ta oji
Eke ta oji
Oye ta oji
Afo ta oji
Nkwo ta Oji
Ani ndichie [land of the dead) ta oji
Nna anyi ta oji
Ogwugwu ta oji
Ochichi nne eze
Ndichie ndi melu madu
Ibenne melu ibenne, iru kpudo ya n’ani
(Mother’s sons who harmed mother’s sons, hid your faces in the ground.) [30]

Ch 6:  Legend

[5] Eri and his wife Namaku came from the sky, sent by Chukwu.  Gave birth to Ndri (and then Aguleri, Agbarian, Amanuke).  Eri had another wife and she produced Idah.  Idah’s mother feared the half-brothers and so he went across the Niger.  And he founded the town of Idah. [6] Onojo Oboro was the eldest son of Idah, born at Idah. [7]
Aguleri remained home, but Ndri, Omegu, and part of Amanuke left and founded their own settlements.
Ndri went to a great unsettled place:  Agukwu = “open field, plain” + “great”. Other towns later came and settled around. [9]
All “first things” happened at Aguleri. There land was made dry, food given to the world.  Ndri and Eri’s children were born there.  Ndri was ancestor of the present Aguleri family of Odanulu [9]; Eze Nri of Agukwu goes to Aguleri to get Odudu (sacred lump of clay), and makes sacrifice at Oguba in one Umunna there.
Eri came from the sky and found he had to stand on a mud-heap, as the land was then all morass.  He complained bitterly to Chukwu, who thereupon sent him an Awka man with fire, bellows, charcoal to drly up the land, and he did.  [See Thomas, NW, Report on Ibo, part 1 p. 138] [9-10]
When Eri died there was no food, and Ndri at Aguleri asked for food of Chukwu.  Chukwu said he will get food if Nri kills and buries his eldest son and daughter.  Ndri refused.  So Chukwu mentioned Dioka, the founder of the guild which cuts ichi for titled men.  Chukwu said he would send Dioka from the sky to give Ichi marks on the faces of the two children.  Then Ndri was to cut their throats and buy theeir bodies in separate graves.  This was done.  [10-11]
Three weeks later, shoots appeared out of the graves; from the son, Ndri dug a yam and ate it, found it so delicious that he fell asleep and his family thought him dead.  When he awoke his family were atonished and said they thought he had died. He told them what he had done; they also ate the yam and also fell asleep.  Then Ndri dug up Kokoyams from the grave of his daughter, ate and again slept.
For this reason, “yam is the son of Ndri”; cocoyam is the daughter of Ndri” [11-12]
When a man takes up the post of Eze Nri, he soes not now have to kill his first-born son and daughter, but he still marks them with ichi in remembrance of the time of the first Eze Ndri who thus brought food to men. [12]
Nri also killed and buried a male and female slave; from the male’s grave sprung oil palm, from the female, breadfruit. Then Ndri told Chukwu about the new food supply and he liked it.  Then Chuku said, distribute this to all people; Ndri refused because it was obtained by the death of his own children. [13] (see Thomas, N, part 1, p. 137) [14] Chuku insisted that he end the killing of first-born; as a reward for distributing foods to other towns, Nri would have the right of cleansing every town of abomination (nso), of crowning the Eze at Aguleri, and tying the ngwulu (ankle-cords) when a man took Ozo.  Also, he and his successors would have the right to make Oguji, or yam-medicine, each year to ensure a plentiful supply of yams in all surrounding towns, or towns subjecting themselves to the Eze Ndri.  For this the surrounding towns would come in and pay tribute, and Umundri could then travel unarmed through the world, and unharmed. [14] So he did.  But Aguleri only once came to Aguku for Oguji, and Idah never.
Claim:  [15] When an Eze of Idah is crowned, an Ndri man had to be there to put the crown on his head.  (Three living Ndri men claim have done this, but doubt if Attah would agree..  Claim also:  crowned Aguleri; present king is not valid.  [p15]
Nri was the first man to take title; he introduced the idea.  He became Eze Nri, and the others after him became Eze Ozo.  He was the first to tie Ngwulu and this right belongs to his descendants.  [16]
Only the king can be addressed, Nri.

There was, then, no day because the sun always shone.  Then four strangers arrived in Aguleri with baskets, and founded the four markets.  They were sent by Chuku; had fish in their baskets and traded in them.  [17-18]

[Eunuchs are described at Idah.]

Prayer at Nri:  “Ofo ainyi ji eli igbo” — Ofo with which we eat (subdue) Igbo. [25]  Jeffreys concludes Nri originally not Igbo.
Igbo [he notes] means “forest” in Yoruba; may originally have meant “bush people”.
Note:  The Igbo themselves do not tell this story of sky-beings appearing among them and giving yams.  Only the royal Umunri families in Aguku tell it. [27]

[Another version of the legend: Chuku told nri to kill his eldest son and daughter and bury their skulls separately.  In three native weeks the graves should be dug and yam and cocoyam would be found. [33]

Use of Ofo:  in towns away from Nri direct influence, the ofo appears to become confused with ancestral stakes and at times identified with ancestors.  But never among Nri.  [36]  [Note: compare Horton’s view of the Northern area as distinct.]
Yoruba and Igala have much in common; Yoruba derive their culture from the east; Jukun associated.

Ch. 7:  The Succession and the Election of the Divine King

“Succession to kingship is by ultimogeniture.” [1] (Compares with Kororofa and Meek.)
“In the Umundri legend the kingship is said to begin with Ndrinamoke, the youngest son of Ududu, who was the youngest son of Eri, the first sky-being” [1]
(He compares Yoruba: Johnson, O, pp 8-9, 1921.)
It was stated that: today, when a youngest son is elected to the post of Eze Ndri, his elder brother took the title of Okpala. [2] The head of the Abadama ward said, “If an eze were called by the mmuo from our group, then the man’s elder brother would assume the title of Eze Okpala.  The eldest son can never become an Eze.” [2]
But the Adama group could not become eze; why?  Because they were the most senior.  (Jeffreys:  this is post hoc; actually, “As Adama does not supply a king, it must therefore, be the senior family.” [2] Also of course it was stated that the Adama were servants or slaves to the eze Nri.
“The tail [or youngest] child gets the riches”.  “Handing over regalia”:  ochichi = “ordain” or “consecrate.”
Names of Eze Ndri given [are listed in Thomas pt. 1, p. 49.]
Selection: guiding principles:  (1) Eldest son is debarred; (2) section is by the mmuo. [9]
three royal groups are eligible; the gods alone decide.  The eze must be selected by the Mmo (ghost) of the predeceased eze, who was, while alive, a ghostly being. [10]  Right to this is limited to those families whose origins are directly connected with sky-beings —  Eri.
The man must show himself possessed; then he ritually perishes, is buried, then rises up as mmo, or god.  Signs and wonders must first be manifested by him, and he must have power of prophesy. [11]  He must also declare he has been specially  chosen by the mmo of all deceased ezes.  If the people are convinced, they tell him he is accepted..  He then sets about taking up the post. [12]
(Description in an old intelligence Report:  abalike, the last Eze Nri, said: “In the night something came down from the sky, like a vulture, and put something into my hands.  I found ofo and alo in my hands.”  [Ofo is a piece of stick used by Ndi-Ndri men when clearing abominations.  Alo is a piece of iron, pointed at each end.]  “I heard a voice saying, you will be Eze Ndri.  I do not know why this was.  There were many bigger and richer men in Ndri at the time.  I called the people of all the neighboring towns and told them.  The towns are:  Agulu, Adazi, Ukpo, Umuokpu, Nimo, Nogu, Nangka, Abagana, Enugu, Amobia, Osumagidi, Nise, Nibo, Abaja, Nsoku-Abaja, Obu, and Awka.” [13-14]
“They all agreed.  Others had tried but failed; had visisted dibias, but I did not.  I said I had no money, they said those with money should give me.  Agulu people gave me 11 pounds [sterling], as my mother was Agulu.  Then I did the ceremonies:
1) At Aguleri sacrificed a white hen, white cock, white ram, black and white cow, and offered them to river Omabala (Anambra) and Osi mili (Niger).  Fowls I threw into the river; cows, goats, and sheep killed at the Obi when I was not present — could not be.
2) I bought piece of cast brass known as oru ogboso (“slave not run away”) and left it at the Obi.  That means the Nri are not deserting the old Obi.  [14]

Then all towns from far and wide brought me tribute. [15]

If there were several men obsessed with the idea, then determination was slow:  signs of the times determine; twenty years may elapse. At the moment there are two men in Aguku who say the mmuo of the Eze-ndri are troubling them to take up the post when the customary 7-year interval for Abalike, who died in 1927, is over. [15]
Signs set forth by one candidate:   dreams; sign of the falling of a wall, brought about by Eze-Ndri.  (see Talbot vol 3 p 596) [16]  Man dreaded this, because there is no benefit to the position.  “I found three locusts and prophesied the coming of locusts.”  (But he had not convinced the town.) [18]
One important sign:  the falling of walls; this is prophetic because the eze-ndri has no protecting wall round his houses, his council-hall or temple.
One aspirant succeeds by securing a unanimous verdict from the remaining descendants of the royal line. [18]
But both his parents must be dead — he is a mmuo, must not have earthly parents.

Ch. 8:  Coronation and Creation Ceremony
1) Eze-ship is on the Agukwu side, but a man taking the eze title will make obeisance to Obu-mmo, the present head of the diodo group, whence the first Eze arose:  brings fowl, goat, etc to Obu-mmo and says he wishes to be Eze.
Sacrifice then made to the original Obu of Ndri na moke, to the mmo of Ndri na moke. [1]
2) Then candidate must visit the Obu of every departed eze Ndri and there sacrifice a she-goat and a hen.  (Obu = temple)
3) He visits and sacrifices to all the alusi (important ones) in the town.
4) He is given a special private ofo by the ishi-nze of Aguku, who picks this from the ground and consecrates it, then hands it to the candidate as he is about to depart for Aguleri.  This will be handed on to his son. [2] [I note this is the natural stick, and thus the patrilineal mode.]
5) Transformation of the man into a mmo:  Ozo men of Aguku assemble (Ozo, as king’s men, cannot bury a corpse); young men are present to dig the grave.  No women present.
The candidate is prepared for burial just as if he were a corpse: washed, then rubbed with camwood, dressed, wrapped in the mat ute miri (used for ordinary persons). Others dig a knee-deep grave.  The Ishi nze then addresses the candidate in prayer: [4]
You will enter the grave and rise up again with a vivid and shining body (aru uke [“shining, vivid, white”] body,  (aru-onwu).
May no sickness befall you; you must rule well, with truth and justice.  Go to Aguleri and obtain your Odud and return safely to rule your people. [4]
The grave is lined with planks of Iroko.  Man laid out flat into it.  Plank of iroko placed on top of him; a little earth on top.  Then men then go off.
His family now go into mounting as for death; his wives go into the restrictions of widowhood for 7 weeks.
6) the candidate’s “obu chi”, or “tree of life” [a species of fig], is cut down and  burned, after a goat is sacrificed at its foot.  Thus the person is dead. [5]
Some hours later: at sunset, all ceremonies finished; the men of Adama exhume the body.  The body is then carried out of its compound, and the man may never return thither.  A plantain is felled and placed in the grave, which is now filled up. [6]
The candidate is now a mmo; henceforth he is completely in the hands and charge of the Adama, or priestly group.  Only these may approach and tend him. [6]
7) Then the candidate is stood on a cowhide, stripped, washed, then the body including hair is rubbed all over with a wash of white clay so that he shall have “a shining and vivid body”.  He is now clade in white Igala clothes and ifuoko (white, igala).  For the rest of his life he must wear white, or else blue cloths.  Copper ankelets:  he alone.  [7-8]
By the senior Adama man, he is crowned with a cowhide crown stuck with 8 white Ugo feathers,  made by the Adamas, and the candidate pays for it.  The Adamas keep the sacred ofo and the alo of the preceding Eze Nri.  The Eze Nri provides himself with his own ofo, and alo, and  a special sacrificial knife, a double-edged stabbing sword, mma eze. [8]

His trip to Aguleri:  still whitened, robed, and crowned he goes forth.
When he was being rubbed with white clay, so also was his anasi — first wife, and clad in Igala cloth.
[9] Now both set off for Aguleri, accompanied by a great crowd dncing and singing.  This journey takes some months; ceremonial acts:
1) First: they proceed to Ngkpu eze (the eze’s white-ant hill) near the town of Ukpo.  There, in front of all, he climbs with his ofo up the anthill and offers a prayer to the sky-gods and sits there. [9] This sitting is an act of fertility, for if the mound were then broken open swarms of locusts would fly out and give man food.  It is said that all the preceding Eze Nri did this.  (This is why all ezes are called Igwe:  they ascend to the sky.  See Talbot vol. 3, p 773)
2)  [14] The Eze continues on a clockwise trip:  Enugu, Nimo, Abagana, Ukpo, Okuzu, Nteje, Umueri, Aguleri.  At Enugu, he is received with feasting and rejoicing, as with all the others.
Whenever he wants food, a palm-leaf booth is erected and therein, screened from the public gaze, he takes his meals alone and in silence. [14]
The object of going to Aguleri is to test his divine powers.  If he is a real Eze, he will be able to dry up the waters of the Anambra and permit an Aguleri man to get at the sacred odudu eze or lump of white clay, which looks like a stone. [14-15]  An Adama boy carried along an Okwa — a carved wooden platter or bowl — whose surface had beened whitened with clay obtained at Agukwu. [15] (Note the similarity to Onitsha Okwachi. RNH]  The Eze must secure this odudu — unless he gets it, “he cannot sit upon the throne and skull of the preceding dead Eze Nri, nor be crowned ceremonially on his return. “[16]
Power to dry up the waters resides in the sacred Ofo, handed by the Adama from the Eze Nri to his successor. [Contradictory to preceding statement about the Adama retaining the Ofo? RNH]
On reaching the Anambra, the Eze drives his alo into the ground, throws a white cock into the river, then, with his ofo in his right hand, points it first over the water and then at the sun.  He prays for the waters to dry and to get the odudu without difficulty.
Then the young braves of Aguleri assemble at the bank and when the waters dry up, they dash in; the first to bring out an odudu to the Eze Nri receives a cow and a ram [16], and in the old days a piece of brass shaped like a manilla (value 5 slaves) to be kept in the Obu of Obuga. [17] Today a cow is given.  The man must go to the bed of the river for this.
Another man’s version [17]:  Eze Nri took up residence at Aguleri in Odandulu Umunna, where the Nri started, thence to Obu-aga, where the old family obu was, and sacrifice to it.  Pay cow to ishi nze of obuaga, sacrifice to mmo and ani.  This ishi nze will suggest a number of town alusi to which sacrifices must be made, and Eze Nri arranges. [17-18]
But today the Eze Nri cannot dry the waters:  he forces away the dangerous animals instead.  It may take several weeks to find an odudu; it is then placed on the Okwa. [18]

Aguleri description:  agrees with the above account, but deny the dividing of waters, miraculous odudu; however, odudu was brought out of the water.
Eze Nri comes with Aka-ndri (any dwarf from Agukwu); this dwarf terrorizes the people.
Each Aguleri man accommodates 3 or 4 Agukwu visitors; sacrifices are offered to all the alusi in the town. [20]
Eze Nri waits in Ama obuga; cannot eat food, but only white clay [RNH: note, thus he is like an Alusi]; he remains washed with whit clay; he goes to ama obuga, where he sits on stones (the others are on their titled stools), beside a strange pottery object called ududu.  Here he eats white clay.  [21-22]
Eze Nri brings his ofo and alo with him; this ofo has brass on it.  He also brings two pieces of brass, leaves one to show he still retains ties with Obuga.
Eze Nri then consulted dibia as to time to sacrifice to riverside Alusi Otunzu [24] which presides over the Anambra.  This will make obtaining the odudu easy.
Then the men of Umu Ogama, who are to bring up the Odudu, paddle to Aba nabo ise, where the Ezu and Anambra meet, a turbulent and dangerous place. [25]
Now, getting the Odudu, Eze goes on through Afo Ndri, where he makes sacrifices before two alusi.
After this he may never leave Aguku, nor ever cross water. [26]

[27] When he returns to Aguku, the Eze Ndri does not take up residence in his predecessor’s palace, which is instead allowed to fall to pieces; nor does he return to his old ngulu or compound, for he has died and been buried there.  Hence, [27]
he resides in a bush-camp (abo nwaro) in a palm-leaf both, along with his first wife; this booth is called unonga — “prison”, for a year. [28]  (Thomas:  year spent in Adama quarter.  Others deny this.)
But five days after his return from Aguleri [28-9] he goes toward Adazi Enu; at Obiledu he performs the miracle of putting fruit on a fruitless palm tree (and makes sacrifices until he succeeds). [30]
His display of miraculous power is a general feature.

The Divine king has his own temple and palace built (as in Bini, Yoruba, Jukun) [31-2]  This is being built while he stays at his bush-camp:  a long, large Obu = hall or temple, placed in an open place.  Nearby his private quarters are built, but unprotected by a wall — because as a man-god he does not need walls.  Roof is thatched not with grass but with uma stems and leaves.  Uma is a plant with a long, cylindrical stem the thickness of a lead pencil.  No other house has this. [32]
At one end of the Obu is a raied-earth platform.  A cowhide is placed on it and the Eze sits on this.
[33] Typical in this part of Africa:  the Eze is associated with some part of the dead remains of previous kings.  One old man told:  Eze sits on the skull of the previous king — this skull in the keeping of the Adama family as their special function.  [RNH: cf. Ogboli Olosi in Onitsha.] When the leader of Adama considers the flesh is well worn off, he directs that the men of his group exhume the grave and take out the Eze’s skull.  This is then tied up with cloth and kept with ofo and alo of Eze Nri.  When a new king is to be crowned, the leader of the Adama group hands him the Ofo and Alo, and “makes him sit down on the skull of the lst Eze Nri.” [33]
At the end of this ceremony: the Adamas return this skull to the grave. (Probably, says Jeffreys, a lie.]
[24] One Umundri said:  the skull was put under the legs of the living Eze Nri and must be in view, so the Eze can ask its advice. [34] [RNH: but see below: brass face mask]
[36] Adama People:  said they dug up the skull after the new Eze Nri was appointed; the last king had the skull buried in the throne on which he sat. [37] He had to pay money to the sons of the former king to get it; they sent for the Adama people to get it.  The Adama dig out and bring the skull, while the Eze pays them for handing it over.  The Adama place the skull in the earthen throne of the Eze; there it remains. [37]

[38] Bronze face mask: at Oreri:  the living Eze was asked and told this:  Eze Ndri Regalia:
1) bronze face mask:  ikputu eze
2) skull of deceased Eze ndri, buried in the throne;
3) sacred alo
4) ofo
— 3 and 4 kept by Adama people;  Ikputu is buried with Eze and, when required, is dug up with his skull.
(Jeffreys: The Yoruba also have association with the deceased predecessor king:  eat his heart, retain and worship the head. [37])

[40] At the end of the year in the bush camp:  great feast at the Eze’s expense; Eze in white will mount his throne for the first time.  But first:
1) He has to fight with and overcome his wife; then she downs him.  This cleanses any nso.
2) Then he, armed with a cutlass and a cap gun, must fight a mimic battle, first with a young man and then with an old one.  He must vanquish both.  [40] Then he proceeds to the throne.
Now:  the senior titled man in the Adama group places on the ground before the new Eze Ndri:  the Ikputu, the special alo and ofo of the preceding Eze Nri, plus Odudu from Aguleri, and the Eze’s own Mpama; he prays for long life and prosperity to the new Eze Ndri, asks the mmo to guide him, and warns him to rule [41] the surrounding towns also peacefully and quietly. [42]  The Eze agrees; then the Adama man places ikputu, Alo, ofo and odudu in the Eze’s hands, and crowns him with a rawhide crown (okpu eze) ringed with eagle feathers (8, ugo).  This will be buried with him.  He has, when he mounts the throne, announced his own name. all else is done by the Adama people. [42]
[43] His salutation:  Igwe, or Obu evi (cow killer).
[44] Now:  when the Eze is crowned the remaining townspeople clear a wide straight road from his temple entrance to the main road of the town; the entrance to his temple is through an “arch of triumph” composed of wooden stakes with protective charms tied on.  [RNH: this must be an Oda.]  Below this arch:  a slave is sacrificed by the ishi nze of Adama.  Then feasting, wrestling, games and plays. [44]
The Eze occupies his throne daily for three weeks while delegates from surrounding towns come and rejoice. [44]

[45] Now the Eze must do the ceremonial fixing of the markets:  4 ogilisi stakes are driven into the ground in front of the Obu of Eze; each stake is surrounded by a disc-shaped or cylindrical mound of earth, about 10 inches high.  Each stake is tied to the next by omu.  A fowl is sacrificed at each and each then receives the name of a day of the week.
The Eze is now a god; [45-6] this identification with god is more close in Iddah;  [47] at Nri he is not bound by the laws of the land; can do no wrong:
Ikpe ada ama Eze
“court does not condemn a king”
[48] The Eze Ndri receives no worship while alive, but when dead, he is worshipped, sacrificed to, they are called out in prayer.

Ch. 9 Coronation continued:
Jeffreys compares this kingship with Hocart’s list for Fiji, finds that most of Hocart’s “universals” are present while “others have dropped out, e.g. anointing with oil”; also missing:  Running, Prostration, Humiliation [RNH note: present in Onitsha].
Jeffreys additions to Hocart:  1) building new domicile; 2) new arch; 3)sacrifice human at arch; 4) mounting a mound of sand; 5) ceremonial control of water, 6) creation of world — orb of earth brought out of water; 7) magical increase of food supply; 8) ceremonial use of white clay; 9)running along the Royal or sacred Road; 10 Prostration; 11 humiliation.
Stages:  1) Discovery by divination of king-designate, his appearance and acceptance by royal families;
2) Transformation and consecration: the changing of a man into a god.
3) Creation ceremony:  raising of earth out of water; magical control of crops;
4) Coronation and installation.
[22]  Ceremony for taking the Ozo title is almost an exact rehearsal of the Eze Nri’s coronation ceremony:  except:  no creation ceremony, no magical ripening; the titled man is not a creation god.
In Ozo, a man dies ritually and becomes mmuo:  why should one become Ozo:  “By being thus consecreated,he acquires a right to life hereafter.  Until a man has advanced to this ennoblement, he has no hope of eternity.”  [RNH: clearly an overstatement; but  relevant in terms of name recognition.] Originally, only ozo men were commemorated by the religious object called Okpenchi [23].  Only titled men’s names are given in prayer; only they are generalized as Ndichie. [23]  Only the chi of titled men could return and reanimate new-born children of their umunna.
Life (Chi) and the Eze Ndri are intimately bound up.  To take tile:  chi-li-chi: to live life, to have life more abundant. [24]
[26] death:   an untitled person is forgotten and becomes a worthless ghost; these are the mmo who cause trouble.  But when a titled man dies, his chi goes to the sun, while his mmo goes to ebe mmo.  His Okpenchi is not buried with him.  By prayers, etc., his mmo waxes strong; his chi returns. [26]

Ch. 10:  Life after Death
Nso (pollutions and abominations) which the Eze must avoid:
1) Only Adama may touch him, serve him; thus they are his personal charges; should any of them become a slave he must redeem.
2) Anything he touches is nso.
3) He must wake before sun-rise (Adama wake him); he washes with water from a sacred lake.  No one can be bathing when water is drawn for him.  Silence by the water-carriers.
4) He offers communion of kola nuts to ancestors after washing, draws lines — 8 — with white clay.
5) All his family comes to salute him, after the washing;
6) His acolyte prepares all his meals.
7) His first son and daughter born after the coronation must have ichi marks by 7 weeks after birth.
8) It is Nso for the Eze Nri to engage in any menial occupations;
9) he cannot enter the house of anyone, or eat elsewhere;
10) it is Nso to cross water
11) it is nso for him to handle or touch a bow and arrow;
12) his wife cannot sit on the dais; only little children, or members of the Adama family can sit there.
13) “He must never uncover his head in public, and when he shaves his head at the annual feast of purification, he always leaves a tuft of hair somewhere on his head.” [10]
14) If a question arises in any town as to whether an act is nso, the Eze Nri decides.  He may also revoke an nso.
(The Eze Nri, pushed by the District Officer, declared twin births no longer nso.)

[11] Any adult Nri has the right of purifying towns and persons of nso.  He uses a spear called Otonchi and may keep the fees for himself; Eze Nri has no right to them.  (But, argues Jeffreys, he “must have had” this once.)

[12] Aguku is the emporium for persons whos nso is too great to be purged by the traveling delegates;  all men who had connection with women in mourning; all women who had tied loincloth as a man; women who were mothers of twins or of children with improper teeth; deformed children and dwarfs. (One cretin seen in the Ama of  the Eze Nri Oreri)  These were all taken by the travelers.
The dwarf associated with the king is a jester or clown.
[14] Purgings of Nso in Aguku were done by the Adama.
Such persons — taken to Aguku because of nso — were sold into slavery by the elders of Aguku. [14]

[14] The Eze Nri controls the calendar of the year. [15]  He consults delegates of the towns coming to get ogwu ji how they have counted months at home; some will say 12, some 13; he will bless these variations.  In some towns the years’ months are altered:  one will be a long year, one short — to keep feasts reasonably co-incident with the seasons.  This is still done in Awka but dyingh rapidly elsewhere. [15]

Eze Nri opens the farming season in aguku by clearing himself a few bits of grass on his farm.  When yam-planting is due, he initiates the planting by himself planating a seed-yam.  Day he does this are signals [16] for the populace to follow suit.  When there is no Eze, the Ifejioku priest does this.

[17] The Ifejioku cult was established by the first Eze Nri and hence the principle shrine has remaied in the hands or the family directly descended from the first Eze Nri — in the hands of ishi Nze. When an Eze Ndri takes over the cultu of Ifejioku he approaches the priest in charge of the sacrifice.  Then all sacrifices [18] take place at the new shrine made for him and in the presence of the Eze Nri.   The official is either an Adama man or the priest in charge of the official shrine.
The annual issue of ji ogwu is associated with this:  knowledge of how to prepare this is the secret of one family:  the Umu Eze Kamadie, from which Eze Nri Nweleana came.  They prepare it before his shrine of ifejioku.  Towns from Igbo Ana Otsha — the barren lands — come to the EzeNri for it. [19] They bring tribute and take it home and bury it in their farms.

[20] Elders say:  while Eze Nri is reigning he is in charge of all shrines and Alusi in Aguku, and all sacrifices for the town as a whole, or on behalf of those from other towns, must be done in his presence.   When he dies, these rights revert to owners of these main shrines.

[21] Elders say:  the right of removing pollution (nso) was instititued by the first Eze Ndri in use of a special agwu (?) “medicine”, possession and distribution of this is today the privilege of the umunna of Umunechi in Agbadani ward:  agwu otonchi — must be had for removing nso;  this is tied around the shank of a special spear bought from the Awka blacksmiths.
”To gain control of this agwu otonchi the EzeNri has to hand over one cow, two goats, a male and a female, a cock and a hen, a ram and a dog.”[21]  Since the first Eze Nri made this, it can be effective only when used by his descendants, and like ji ogwu it is controlled by one family.
[22] Tribute to the Eze Nri from neighboring towns:  some said it was shared by Adama. Others said he shared it with Adama.  Another said:  tribute:  1 yam of every basket went to Adama; then Eze Nri calls the elders of the town together; they take half, he takes half. [ Jeffreys:  this latter is likely [23]

[23] Death of Eze Nri:  no uniformity (in reporting on this):  Ichi Nze of Adenebo says when Eze Nri died, the family acted for 7 years as though he lived; dealt with tribute as if he alive.  (Disagreement though.)  [24] After 7 years:  signal for farming was given by the priests of the Ifejioku shrine:  1 shrine in each ward.

Eze Nri’s activities are religious:  he has nothing to do with the administrative and executive side which controls the economic and legal aspects of the community. [24]  Ozo men do this in each town, including Agukwu. [25]  No murder case is brought to him; he is not a ruler.

His death:  When the Eze Nri sickens to death, it is the duty of the Adama senior man to see that Eze Nri is touched on the head with ofo stick .  After this is done, the Eze Nri is able to die. [26]
When he is dead the Adama bury him.  None of his family attend; there is no  mourning.  But the Adamas demand fees and articles:
1) Igala cloth — Okwechi
2) a live Ugo (fish eagle)
3) leopard’s skin
4) a ram
5) a hausa cloth
6) aka beads from Idu (Benin)
7) aka beads from Igala
8) aka beads from Idah
— these are buried with him. [27]  [RNH: compare the archaeological finds.]
On his right wrist, an isi-ona manilla procured by Awka blacksmiths.
[28]  Eze Nri not buried until these are given.
Grave:  in the floor of Eze Nri’s own private quarters.  Line grave with carved iroko panels, and roof; all provided by the family. [29] He is not buried extended and wrapped in mat, as are ordinary people; rather dressed in his coronation robe, crowned, plastron on his chest, he is placed in one corner of the grave, sitting upright on his Awka stool. [29]
[30] His wives have been treated as widows since his installation (but he has access to them since he is mmo).  They are not free until ikwa ozu is done.  All it is is a brief freeing of the wives by adama.  These women are now free; can never remarry, but can have sexual relations as they like and thus raise children for the dead Eze Nri.
[32] No human being or food is buried with him; but the odudu is.  Earth is piled on top [33], the place is allowed to revert to forest.  No form of mummification [34] as the Aro do by smoking.
[34-5]  7 years interregnum; each year in the month of ongwa sato, a drummer plays the ufie wooden gong for several days in the Ama Eze Ndri as though he were still alive. [35]  Towards Igala (See Meek), the Niebo:  their Eze is kept over fire. [as in Onitsha RNH]

[38-9] Hints:  The Eze Ndri was killed when aging and sick.  As the Igala did?  Touched on the head to symbolize the rightness of his death, then beaten or clubbed to death.  [40]  [Jeffreys goes on to guess that formerly they allowed their divine king 7 years’ reign.]

Ch. 11:  Okpala:
The man who holds the title of Okpala comes from the Adama family (he is speaking of Oreri at the moment, where one eze ndri is living.) (He lists 5 eze ndris and their corresponding Okpalas.)
The Okpala insignia [6-7]:]
1) a cap with 4 or 8 feathers;
2) left wrist:  a charm containing iron, called omummu.
3) Oliphant:  ivory trumpet to call titled men to his compound.
4) his ikenga
5) 4 ofo sticks — these are the insignia of the title; one had a human face on it, the others are plain.  (The Eze Ndri Oreri denies okpala should have four, saying this is the Eze Ndri’s number.)
6) [8] Goatskin bag for carrying these; attached to this, a brass bell.  each okpala gets his own and it passes on to the next okpala.
Other insignia, kept in the Obu of the previous Okpala:
1) latter’s ofo
2) ona nso — a brass amulet.
— these can only be handled by the present okpala, and with a special cloth:  native-made, indigo-dyed pattern, called ogodo ali ibeya, “cloth that eats its fellow”.  Once a year, this cloth is displayed in Eke market.  When the okpala leaves his compound for any reason, he is followed by an acolyte carrying his bag and sacred stool [10].  Bell rang and warned all that he was coming: this act is “mgbelamba oduma”. [11] All polluted persons must get out of the way.
Okpala will carry his spear and wear his omummu.
In his compound are these shrines:
1) Eze enu (ie, to Chukwu)
2) Anyangwu
3) Abwala
— but he had not yet prepared them; when he dis he would prepare raised earth mounds edged with square-faced gin bottles.” [11]

Important men such as the Eze Nri, the Okpala and the ishi-nze attempt to keep in captivity an Ugo, or vulturine fish-eagle (gyphohierax angolensis). They load its legs with brass or iron rings to keep it from flying. [11]

[12] Having taken this title (Okpala) he may not enter the house of a bachelor, nor a woman.  He may enter the house of a man of the Ajarija title, but not lower.  In the old days he could not leave the town.  He cannot set eyes on a dead body. [13]  No one else may use his drinking horn.
The Okpala had the right to tying the ankle cords of all men in Oreri who took the title of Ajarija; got fees for this.
The Okpala (we’re speaking of Oreri here) also acted as sponsor for men who take the Okpala title in Adazi Akpo and Itshida.
[14] At any sacrifice where Eze Nri must attend, the Okpala holder actually does the killing of the victim.  If no Okpala has arisen, the whole Adama Ogbe may attend, but the ishi nze will atually take charge. [14]
As head of the Adama Ogbe, the Okpala must attend the ceremony for naming any child born in the Obwe; [15] as head of the Obwe he can free a man who has dedicated himself to an Alusi and become Osu. [16] He does the cleansing ceremony.

[23] Okpala and the death of the Divine King:
He sends a “messenger” with his ofo to “kill” the (already dead) Eze Ndri.  He also sends an Adama man to cut off the dead Eze Ndri’s ankelet — cannot go himself because he cannot see a corpse.

Ch. 12 The Okpala Title at Oreri:
Election:  as with the Eze Ndri, it lies with the gods; is restricted to the Adama family, and is their highest rank.  There can be only one okpala at a time in Oreri; but one’s father can be alive at the time. [1]
“I saw signs — collapsing of the walls of my ngulu.  But I return to my ngulu after taking the title, unlike Eze. [2] My anasi died; a matchet cut my hand; I consulted a dibia, who said, mmo want you to take the title.  But I said, my father is alive, and a father may not see his son as okpala.  Five other dibia confirmed this.” [2]
[3] It ususally happens that when Eze Nri is installed, so is Okpala, and when he dies, so does Okpala.
“I went to the Obu of the last Okpala to make a sacrifice at his shrine, for, as Okpala, he is in charge of the ndichie of the Ogbe and the ndichie shrine remains in his compound till the new Okpala takes his post.  This shrine:  4 stakes of iroko.  I place my hands on the stumps and fowl and goat are sacrificed then blood flows over my hands.  This shows the mmuo I am willing to take the post.
The Okpala must run  (oso uzo) (to another town) to obtain his title.  Uzo ozo:  a special ozo road.
[7]  Then the Okpala drives his own iroko stakes in his compound;  all the titled men of the ogbe — the ishi nze, the ifejioku, ekwu and Ajarija members are present and help drive these iroko stakes.  The place then becomes the obi (the centre or heart) of the ndichie. [7]
While this is being done, a prayer:  First ndichie, stand up; mighty ndichie, stand up; young ndichie, stand up; nna afa stand up.
“These four stakes represent all the dead, who must die on one of the four days of the week.”  [7]
[11-12] He describes the steps of taking the title; finally he stands on cowhide, a wooden bowl with a mixture of white clay, palm wine and water is brought.  He is stripped naked; the live hen is then dipped into this clay slip.  The hen is then used as a brush to splash this slip over him.  The Ishi nze then raises the fowl to the sky and asks the ndichie and all preceding Okpalas to witness what is being done.  A white cloth is then tied around him. [12]
“Okpu nso” — holy hat with eagle feathers placed on his head.  The first wife stood beside him during this.  Then he goes to the former Okpala’s place, where he gets his four ofo sticks that go with this title. [13]  Had there been an Eze Ndri he would hand the Ofo sticks.
[They travel around to various alusi, etc;] the Ishi nze is in charge.  And he is cleansed and purified at these places.  From now on he must eat alone. [18]
The Okpala, the Ume, the Eze Nri go down the royal road.
Then he runs along the royal road for his title. [20]  (Whitening wipes away pollution.)  Then he is made Okpala title.  Then he gets a bundle for his chi (fowl, omu, leaves etc.), buries it and plants a tree, an obu-chi.  [Long description follows about taking one title of Okpala.  This Okpala-titled man now says, “I am now a big eze.”]  His head is shaved except for a tuft, while he is kept in seclusion for 7 weeks.

Umundri town of Oreri:
Founded by one “ndri-agu” — now four wards.   The present Eze Nri was selected by the mmo; he had become seriously ill for 13 years, went to the dibia afa: “mmo of Eze Ndri was calling me to take the post”.  [4-5]
Initial ceremonies:  sacrifice to all Alusi in Oreri; all ndichie also.  He was then led by Adama into the bush, where I am stripped naked, whitened with clay. [6-7] The Adama put on my cap; lift me on and off my stool four times. [7]  [8] I then journey to the Osi mmili — the Niger — a journey of 7 izu.  Okpala kills cow in Eze Ama when I go.
I offer sacrifices to alusi along the way.  At each place it is the onye ishi of the alusi who does the sacrifice. [9-10]
At Oreri I first do Udo (which comes from Amoreshi); Iyimiyi; Anana Efivie; then I and the Okpala (who is head of Adama) go off.
1) Enugu Adazi — sacrifice to ndichie
2) nokwa:  Alusi Eke Nokwa [11-12]
3) Nobi:  Ndichie, alusi Eze Enu
4) Idemili River in Nobi
5) Agbaja:  Ndichie of one Umunna
6) Ojonoto (or Ojoto): sacrifice to the ndichie
7) Oba — Udo Oba [13]
8) Obosi:  at house of Igwe:  his ndichie
9) Onitsha:  I entered his place with two goats; one kept, one sacrificed.  One at Alusi Ogwugwu, Ojukwu Onitsha, ana Onitsha.
[14]  I then wanted to do the final ceremony at the edge of the Niger, but “Eze Onitsha locked [one of my followers] up in a room and said I would have to ransom him.” [14]  He accepted 2 pounds sterling.  “This procedure is customary, each Eze Ndri Oreri must rescue or ransom his  man from the Eze Onitsha.”  (This is not new, says Jeffreys.)
I then give to Osi mili:
1) my cap with 8 Ugo (feathers)
2) my stool
3) my white loin cloth
4) my okwa with nzu
5) a white fowl [16]
6) the omu tied on me by Adama
7) my anklets.
Then Adama put new anklets on me.  The river sent the objects back to shore, until the Adama said, This was not the first Eze Ndri to offer these seven things. [17] (No odudu was brought up.)
Then Eze returns to Oreri and stays in the “Bush of Nri” for 3 native weeks.
Then the Adama people chase the Eze into the Ama of Obi (the Eze’s temple). [18]  The Eze Nri then threatens them with his Alo, and assumes the title of Igwe, Ogbu-evi.
(Photo of the Eze nri shows him carrying his “spear”, which is an  oji with a spear point. )
In Oreri, the skull is not buried in the Ngidi (dais).  There is also no ceremonial farming.
Annual sacrifices:
1,2 — no special
3) Town makes individual sacrifices to mmuo and Udo Alusi.
4) Igwe Aja (heaven and earth): done at the shrine of the female alusi called ogwugwu. (Fertility in women and wealth increase.)
Also:  Ifechioku sacrifice
5) Isu anji — face of yam: devoted to crop fertility
[33]         This month, the town shows its subjection to the Eze Ndri:  all males report to work to him.  He may have them work on his house or farm. [34]  Any one who fails will suffer death from the Eze’s Ofo.
6) Month of Chi:  all women sacrifice to their chi; sacrifice also to increase the size of yams and cocoyams.
7) Sacrifice to strengthen oil-palms; also worship of mmo called Ongweke.  Cannot wail for any dead this month.
8) Great month:  onwasato:
all traveling blacksmiths return for celebrations;  the Eze Nri alone makes sacrifice this month:  the Alo of the Ezendri is brought out at this time only, and the blood of a cow provided by the Eze is poured on it.  Everyone but the Adama, Okpala and Eze Nri departs for this.
9) Mourning for those who died in 7 and 8.
10) [38] First sacrifice to the Mmo by Eze Ndri:  after he does, the rest of Oreri do it.
11) remembrance of dead mothers;
12) head of each Umunna sacrifices to the mmo of his umunna.


Grades and divisions of Onitsha Mmo Society:
First grade:  Ayakka, mmuo ogunogu or afia, Nnukwu mmmo;
Second grade:  Oyulugbe, Ulaga, Otuiche
Third grade:  Otakili, Udu

1.  Ayakka:  Okolobia armed with spears and medicine: “tumble out of the air” (an sing from the heights to simulate).  If two groups meet at night, they fight.  The bull-roarer is only used with Ayakka.  No titled person can take part, but the society visits its retired members.

Mmo Ogunogu:  attends at the funerals of all titled or important persons.  The air is of sadness, dejection; this means that lamentations of the living have reached the dead, and the dead have sent a member to lead the deceased.
At second burial:  the deceased appears, gives ghostly counsel to his wayward wives, and calls on all to observe tradition, and conserve family property.

Nnukwu mmo:  heavy, bear ferocious teeth.  Called Ugonabu: strong and prosperous departed ghost.  Reminds the family to look after it.

2.  Oyulugbe: concerned with happiness and joy of life.  They appear during new yam feast, and usher in feasting.  They are expensively dressed.

Ulaga and Otuiche:  are variants:  Ulaga are donned by agile runners.

Mmo is the generic name for a society whose maskers are called Maung.  The Maung come out of  Ebe-mmo through a passage made by the small black ant, Anuru.

Young boys do pantomime imitations of the mmo.

Now the society has decayed to entertainment.

Chapter on Awka Craftsmen:

Nku Agu are images carried by a dibia; Agu are vultures.

(I was unable to finish this portion.)

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