To Get Personalised contents and be able to add items to your favourites, please Sign In or Sign Up          
 

Anambra State


Travel » State Pages
Anambra

ABOUT US

 

old enugu stateEarly History:

According to historical accounts of their migration, Jabbokigbo after traveling through the region of Arabia, followed the traders. Being a trader in various articles and merchandise, he entered  Northern Gobir in present day Katsina, a major trading centre. Finding solace in this new settlement, he decided to set up a settlement called Degel, a name taken from ‘Dege’ the first son of Jabbokigbo. Following the arrival of the Hausa from North Africa in the town and the attendant hostilities towards the Igbo migrants, Jabbokigbo left Degel to Tor-Uga, a town not far from the later famous Nok settlement said to have been established by Igbo settlers, a name that has Igbo ethymology because Nok and Nawgu in present day Anambra State are the same in pronounciation and meaning. In line with the migratory structure of the Igbos, which is usually in cluster form for defence purposes, some of the people moved westwards to settle at a place called IgboAikun which means ‘Igbo that lives forever till date’ in Ile-Ife in Oyo State.  The peace of this settlement was destroyed following the invasion of the area by Lamurudu who led a Yoruba military expedition out of Bini Empire. Lamurudu attacked and scattered the Igbo settlers and to hide the treasured bronze works which were religious items, the Igbos buried these items. This was to be later excavated by archeologists and became known as Ife bronze works. Perhaps this explains the level of acculturation that took place as a result of interactions between the Yoruba indigenous population  and the Igbo, as the Yoruba borrowed from the religious belief systems of the Igbo settlers. This was affirmed by the Yoruba belief in ‘Orisa’ which is the corruption of Igbo ‘Olisa’, the Supreme Being. Leaving Igboaikun after the Lamurudu attack which led to the destruction of their settlement, Jabbokigbo and his kinsmen moved eastwards passing the great Bini kingdom, the Niger river and arrived at a virgin land they called ‘Igbo’, which later became known as Igbo-Ukwu. Since the place was still virgin, a tropical rain forest zone, rich in assorted trees, shrubs, fruit trees, animals, grasses, rivers, streams and lakes among other gifts of nature, they gradually conditioned themselves to suit their new environment. As great hunters and with skills in irrigation farming acquired when the Israelites sojourned in Egypt, they made effective use of the arable land aided by the several streams around and turned the area into a food basket. Being an agrarian people, they developed their planting seasons and times with agriculture as its base. And with good knowledge of astronomy which they learnt from their ancestral home, they were able to count their seasons, festivals and time using the appearance of the moon and its cycle.

     Having found this fertile and uninhabited land, nor was there the need to fight for territorial expansion, and being of one family, the descendants of Jabbokigbo found no reason to migrate. Rather what took place was movement of families to occupy other uninhabited lands not far away from each other. This explains the close proximity of communities in Igbo land as they all recognize their filial relationship with one another which does not require inter-communal boundaries. Later as a result of attacks by neighbours, the Igbo were dispersed to other lands across the great river Niger, up to the great ocean bordering Rivers states, Cross river and Delta states in the present day Nigeria. In spite of the fact that they finally settled at present day Igbo Ukwu, the greatest legacy bestowed by the Igbo in their various lands of sojourning was the bequeathing of the art of bronze and iron works, which was very active around 500 B.C to 200 A.D., a period marked by the discovery of metal works and iron smelting. It is a time noted for the great sculptural works with varied representations in forms of animals, human heads and figures, which incidentally tallies with the history of Igbo contact with the people living in the Niger tributaries and beyond.  This historical link was further demonstrated by the size of the  bronze and iron works which were found in the final settlement.

 Igbo-Ukwu. Another mark of this history is shown by the fact that Igbo-Ukwu bronze works show a similarity with what was found in other excavated sites such as Lake Chad area, Ile-Ife bronze works, Jebba discoveries in Kwara State, Esie in Niger State, Tor-Uga works in the southern part of Abuja, the terracotta and the Benin bronze works. The knowledge and workings of iron smelting and bronze work techniques is further shown as exclusive to Igbos as shown in Awka and Igbo-Ukwu bronze smiths among others. Though the bronze objects found in Igbo-Ukwu were carbon dated 9th century A.D which may be earlier than this, one significant thing remains, the Igbo-Ukwu bronze culture undoubtedly is found in all the migration routes of the Igbos in all parts of Nigeria. This is coupled with the fact that Igbo-Ukwu has the largest deposits of bronze so far discovered in Africa. According to history, the art of bronze casting came to an abrupt end in Igbo-Ukwu after the empire was conquered by the Okotu, while the bronze works in order to be protected were buried as seen in other old Igbo settlements, which were later excavated.   

 

 

ATTRACTIONS

Featured first are Natural attractions but below them you will also find Man made attractions.

Ogbunike Cave (Ogba): The cave can best be described as one of the greatest wonders of creature, found within the crust of a range of hills surrounding the area. Located at Ugwu Ogba in Ogbunike town of Oyi Local Government Area, a 10km drive from Onitsha, commercial heartland of Eastern Nigeria.
Ogba Ogbunike,  as the locals call it, has been known to them for a very long time. It is a location where Africans hid for slave raiding parties during the African holocaust period.


According to oral tradition of the Igbos, two hunters from Ogbunike town discovered this cave at the dawn of history who received divine instruction on the cave by a spirit angel called Pantheon.
It was also said that there was a god called Ogba who lived inside the cave in the middle of a large rock. Despite the opaque nature of the rock, he was an all seeing spirit who could detect criminals especially thieves. When someone was accused of some sort of crime, he could prove he was innocent by entering the cave. The guilty ones never returned alive. There are several other stories about the many segments of the cave which are better told by the local guide. Today, the cave is the most popular which attracts a quite number of visitors every year. Because of religious traditions, the visit to the cave is only allowed with bare feet. Painting graffiti on the walls is not forbidden, so many walls are full of them.


Leading into the cave is a track (a multiple of 60 steps) which leads into a number of other mazes (a complex and baffling network of paths, lines). The entrance to the five tunnels of the cave is a wide and tapering mysterious hemispherical vault of solid rock with all season cool spring water dripping from top and all corners. Once inside the vault, you feel quite serene as though you have come to a wonderland.
The naturally-carved network of chambers and tunnels has two levels. The lower level is 100m long and leads to an underground river. The upper level is twice as long and dry, and a bat colony and a waterfall sit at the north-western end. Visitors to the cave are advised to go with touch light, wear trouser and prepare to do some crawling. Within the vicinity of Ogbunike cave is Mbida Ogba stream. Visitors to Ogbunike cave will have the advantage of savouring the serenity of the stream.
Location: (i) Enugu through Enugu/Onitsha Expressway to Ogbunike junction (10km to Onitsha) turn left to Ogidi (Idemili LGA) via Afor Igwe to Owelle Ukwu Central School. Then move towards St. Monica Teachers College, there lies Ogbunike cave. (ii) Onitsha through old road to Nkpor, Ogide and Afor Igwe, Ogbunike (Owelle Ukwu Central School via St. Monica s Teacher s College).

 

 

OMASHI-IYI CAVE AKPU


This cave is also the shrine of Omashi-Iyi, the oracle of Akpu believed to offer protection to its people and adherents. Within the cave itself are hundreds of sacred bats that have inhabited it since the origin of the cave, centuries ago. As is always the case with caves, this one contains compartments, crevices and a very long tunnel about 1km long. Approaching the cave, there is a stream; semi-circular in form, which borders the cave and forms a pool at its entrance, this stream is hooded by trees and bamboos, a natural setting for a cave or a hiding place.The cave is in the custody of the chief priest of Omashi-Iyi who offers a yearly sacrifice at the entrance of the cave to appease the gods of the land, to solicit for its blessings and to predict the future on behalf of the people. The cave is a wonder as one experiences the sheer thrill watching the colony of beautifully coloured bats flying all over its entrance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


OBUTU LAKE OMOGHO

This is an offshoot of the Odo River, covering a large 10 hectares of land.  People come here all year round for fishing and excursions.  During the rainy season, it covers a larger area of land. The water of this lake is considered an antidote by locals. When fetched at midnight and without being observed, the water has power to cure a person of ailments and poisoning. The lake provides water for irrigation of abundant rice and vegetable farms during the dry season. It is also a reservoir of fishes and a delight to local fishermen who ply their trade along its bank. In the rainy season when the lake overflows its banks, the fishes are easily caught. The beauty of the lake lies in its clear crystal nature and as a natural fish pond, its sand beach provides a serene environment for relaxation. There are no harmful animals in the lake.  Students from far places come to the lake for excursions and picnics. It is attractive for tourism, rowing, swimming, leisure and recreation.  There was an attempt in the past by the Odo River to flood the lake but this was foiled by a sand dune on its path towards the lake.  It however succeeded in dumping a large quantity of sand into the far end of the lake, making it a bit shallower than the near end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE OGBA UKWU DOME AND CAVE
The dome is a naturally carved rock formation in the form of an arena, covering a large dry and sandy area which forms a natural beach around the Ogba waterfall.
Next to this dome is the Ogba Ukwu cave considered the largest cave in West Africa, which will take upwards to two hours to explore. It forms a deep and complex rock formation with roomy compartments large enough to take in an entire village.  The cave consists of tunnels, heading off in different directions; however, there are two noticeable entrances to the cave.  One tunnel in particular is regarded as an escape route which is about two kilometers long, from which one will eventually emerge in Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State.  At the centre of Ogba Ukwu, is one large area said to have been the living room of the  god  of Owerre-Ezukala.  His throne and other compartments within his household. His sentries were always mounted at the two entrances to the cave watching out for visitors and intruders.  There are crevices in the rock depicting his wardrobe and store rooms.  There is one particular compartment, accessed by the aid of stone steps where an old elephant s foot still stands, long dead and dry. In another crevice, there is a natural spanner of rock, and in yet another is a gun of stone, as old as the cave. There is the Ogba Ekezu , a bottomless well within the cave that no one who ever falls into it is seen again.  In the past, natives came to the cave once every year, in the month of March to perform the Aja Ala Onwa Ito  festival. Visitors were invited for parties and picnics inside the cave.  It is alleged that natives in the past communed physically with the god of Ogba Ukwu who appeared on his throne in the form of a man, holding a broom in his hand.  He answered the people s questions, gave judgment to their cases and made predictions about the future.  Time and encroachment however must have caused his relocation to an unknown destination. Guided tours in and around it is a wonder, and leaves a visitor dumbfounded to this wonderful work of nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


OKPU ANA NATURAL SPRING (UKPOR)
This spring whose source is unknown simply gushes out of a large boulder embedded in a cliff and is regarded as the purest waters to be found anywhere. To access the waters, one has to descend virtually into the bowels of the earth by means of steps constructed by the people for that purpose. The people of Ukpor are very proud of the mystery spring, as they lead tourists to its banks and encourage them to take a drink. The spring forms a stream at the bottom, which has a beautiful bet of white clay, giving it an entirely surreal atmosphere.
The quiet and serene environment of the spring is conducive for camping and picnicking or simply for a quiet time of meditation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKUKA ODUNKE
This is an ancient feast celebrated at the middle of the year of the Igbo calendar. It was a reconciliation festival designed by the forebears to reconcile people, families, clans, kindreds, villages and communities who often had misunderstandings amongst themselves. The essence is to renew the brotherhood of the people. It is also a time of home coming for sons and daughters of the community from their various places of abode.
Preparation for the feast is elaborate. A day is set aside for it. On the said day every member of the community wherever they may reside must come home for symbolic public declaration of innocence from evil. At the set time everybody gathers at his Umunna (kindred) Obi . In the morning sun, the assembly gathers at the kindred s Oda (square) and thereafter move to the front of  Alusi Umunna  (shrine of the kindred s deity), were prayers are offered for long life, prosperity, peace and for heartfelt reconciliation of all. After the prayer and blessing of items, delicious meals, kegs of palm wine which have already been prepared by each of the participating families, are presented to visitors and persons which a person has in mind for the purpose of the reconciliation. It is believed that one s kindred knows his sworn enemy(s) and it is to this enemy that one sends his food personally. Once his enemy eats the food, it signifies true reconciliation. To show he has reconciled with his enemy, a person is expected to leave a piece of yam and oil which he shows his kindred, and which signifies real reconciliation, thus eliciting jokes and laughter among the kinsmen.

governor sullivan chime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKUKA ITAGHITA

This is another feast celebrated in Igboland for the maintenance and concretizing of friendship. It is another festival of reconciliation, where friends come together and celebrate their love which cuts across sexes.
The festival is celebrated on a day chosen by the community and lasts several days. One usually visits a friend he chooses, with whom he or she celebrates the  Okuka  which lasts for a period of one market week. The host entertains his friend with delicacies like roasted yam, oka (roasted maize), Utara Ede ( cooked pounded cocoyam), Utara Akpu (pounded cooked cassava), Ofe Egusi  (melon soup), Ofe Onugbu  (Bitter leaf soup) served with smoked fish or Anu Ewu  (goat meat),  Anu Okuko  (chicken), 'Ji mmiri oku' (Yam pepper soup), Abacha Ncha  (African salad) with the best of palm wine from the best palm wine taper served. It is a period during which one is free from the cares and worries of family life; a mini holiday when friends get together to celebrate love and friendship.
On the day of departure of guest, he is showered with lots of gifts mostly food stuff and is also given reserved smoked goat arm to take to his people as a sign that he was well taken care of, which he cooks and gathers his kinsmen to eat and drink with him. In the next Okuka feast, he is expected to reciprocate his friend s gesture by hosting him. To abscond from this obligation is a great crime that the traditional court of Ndi Ichie or  Ides  (Titled men) settles with severe penalty.
OKPE NSI

This is an ancient religious festival in remembrance of the dead rooted in the belief in resurrection. It is the last of Igbo religious festivals celebrated before the dawn of the New Year in the Igbo calendar. It symbolizes the mark of cultivation of land or beginning of New Year which the Igbos recognize as the month of yam, the chief Igbo crop. Another part of the feast is the belief in reincarnation of the dead into one of his or her descendants while at the same time, remaining in the land of the ancestors to watch over his family.
Secondly, the feast is celebrated as an act of thanksgiving to the ancestors for their blessings throughout the passing year, and to ask for their protection, progress, peace, good harvest etc. This is due to the Igbo belief that blessings of God come to them through the instrumentality of their ancestors and through the mediation of one s  chi  (the guardian angel).
IGWANSI
This is an ancient festival to mark the beginning of new yam harvest. It signals the end of  Ugani  (hunger period) which is experienced between the time the yam is sown and the time it matures for harvest. The ceremony was also to thank the mysterious power for protecting the people through the hunger period to the day of plenty, and for nurturing the crops to ensure good harvest. In the past the feast was conducted by the chief priest ofUdo Onu deity who first harvests his yam and brings it to the market square to be sampled on  Nkwo  market day (fourth Igbo market day). Nobody is expected to buy the yams as they are seen as having been consecrated to the communal deity. After the sampling, the chief priest collects the entire sampled yam and consecrates same at  Okwu Udo  (altar of the Udo deity), where he offers prayers of thanksgiving for long life, prosperity and a hitch-free new yam festival. This feast signifies the consecration of the first fruits of crops. Formerly the feast was performed by Eze Nri the high priest of Igbo race.
OKUKA UDO

This is an ancient religious festival, during which the people come to Udo deity to thank the deity for the favour they received in the previous year and for future protection and blessings. It is usually celebrated with pump and pageantry shortly before the end of the Igbo calendar.
OKUKA NWAOJI

This is an ancient feast celebrated a month or two after the new yam harvest. It is the great feast of brides-to-be. It is this feast which shows that a girl has reached womanhood and will shortly go into marriage.
OKUKA EGWU ONWA

This is one of the ancient forums for recreational activities instituted by the man Igbo. It is usually celebrated under the full moonlight between dinner time and pre-dawn. It involves lots of merry-making, dances, folk tales, wrestling, recitations etc. this feast is now celebrated every 30thDecember of the year.
IGU ARO FESTIVAL

This festival is celebrated to mark the beginning of a new year from September, October and November in the Igbo calendar year. It lasts for two days and is celebrated in Agukwu NriNawfiaEnugwu Ukwu, Aguleri, Umuleri, and among communities in Anambra East Local Government Area.
IRI JI/UFEJIOKU/AWAMJI/ASHA OLU/AHUMJI FESTIVAL

This is another important festival widely celebrated between August and November annually. It lasts from two to four days to mark the eating of new yams in communities of Aguata, Anaocha, Ihiala, Idemili North and South Local Government Areas.
UZOIYI FESTIVAL

This is a festival of masquerades which lasts for four days in Umuoji in Idemili North Local Government Area and Nnobi in Idemili South LGA of Anambra State.
IDEGWU FESTIVAL

The feast is celebrated annually in Achina, Aguata Local Government Area in honour of the founder of Achina.
 NWAFO FESTIVAL

The festival is a celebration of masquerades that lasts for four days. Different types of masquerades manifests during the feast. It signifies the end of the farming season and is celebrated between August and September of every year in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area and Ogbunike, in Oyi Local Government Area.
IKEJI FESTIVAL
This festival is celebrated annually and lasts for a period of four days. It marks the end of the harvest season in Ndiowu, Ndikelionwu, Awa and Amaokpala, in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state

Culture

African Traditional Religion was the indigenous religion of the people before the advent of Christianity. Like all Igbo people, they believed in the existence of a Supreme Being  Chukwu  (Almighty God) or  Chineke  (God the Creator). There is also the belief that one is guided by his personal god 'Chi' who determines the fate of man. There is the belief in ancestors; the forebears of the community who are long dead but are believed to watch over their respective kindreds and families from the land of the spirit. Apart from the Supreme Being Chukwu the people believe in the existence of other smaller gods or deities, to whom sacrifices are made,  being seen as messengers and intermediaries between the far removed Chukwu  and man.

PRESENTATION  OF KOLANUTS
Kolanut is a symbolic crop in Igboland. It symbolizes hospitality and peace to its visitors. After the general introductions, the host presents the traditional kolanut to any his kin present before it is presented to a guest or guests. This presentation follows a format that is based on seniority and kinship which is strictly adhered to. Misdirection of the path of presentation of the kolanut is frowned at. To Anambra people as with every Igbo community, it is a mark of its cultural identity.

WASHING OF HANDS
This traditional process of receiving visitors among the Igbo people was observed beginning with the washing of hands.  Water is usually passed around in a jug and all guests are expected to wash their hands in a basin.  It is believed that a visitor who has traveled a long distance must have come in contact with several evil spirits along the way.  This wash is meant to cleanse off these contacts in preparation for touching the sacred kola nuts. 
THE WHITE CLAY
The presentation of the white clay is the next stage that following the washing of hand before the breaking of the kolanut. The white clay symbolizes purity of the guest and acceptance  of the welcome given to him by the host.  The process involves the drawing of lines on the floor with white clay.  All adult males are given a piece of white clay, rolled towards them on the floor with which they are expected to draw several lines on the floor.  The reason for rolling the white clay on the floor is to give the visitor a choice to either accept or reject it.  Acceptance means that the visitor has come in peace while rejection signifies displeasure. Drawing of lines is done according to the position a person holds in society / community.  Titled men known as  Nze usually draw eight lines to signify the eight great market days while ordinary men known as Okoro draw four, for the lesser four market days of the Igbo namely, Nkwo , Eke , Orie and Afo
Drawing of lines with white Clay    


BREAKING OF KOLANUTS

This is the next and most significant aspect of receiving visitors in Igbo land.  A wooden dish full of Igbo kolanuts (Oji Igbo) is brought by the wife of the host and presented to her husband as custom demands.  The host then presents the dish to the leader of his visitors team.  The kolanut travels thereafter, from one person to the other, among the males only.  Each person thanks the presenter of the Kolanuts, a sign of goodwill, makes a speech and passes it on to the person nearest to him in terms of kinship / origin.  The kolanuts, on completion of this long journey, is returned to the host for prayers and blessings.  While the host prays, he calls on God to bless all present, multiply them and make their lives fruitful.  If the function is being conducted in a palace, the Igwe s (traditional ruler s) trumpeter (Oti Mkpu) continuously blows his trumpet made of elephant tusk to signify the Igwe s glory and majesty.  The kolanuts are then broken and passed around for all to take a piece and eat.


POURING OF LIBATION


The stage of presentation and drinking of palm wine signifies that the visitor has been well received and has the goodwill of the host.  A community leader is called upon to bless and pour out the wine into drinking cups.  The first cup is given to the eldest who blesses the gathering in traditional a praying rite after which he pours it out. This is followed by general serving of wine to all present. 

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

Nightlife/Social and Other entertainment:

Night Life and Social Entertainment in ANAMBRA STATE

 

ogbete main market with people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE IGBO-UKWU MUSEUM
The creation of this museum was a follow-up of the Igbo-Ukwu excavation work by Thurstan Shaw who excavated the Igbo Ukwu bronze heads and vessels.  Further researches between 1960 and 1963 revealed more and beautifully made works of bronze, plastic beads, iron works which after carbon dating, were dated 9th century A.D.  Most of the works depict the culture of the local Igbo Ukwu people till the present time.  The gallery of the museum was built by an indigene of Igbo-Ukwu Chief Sir Timothy Umeweni who donated it to the town and was later commissioned in 1977.Some of the historical and cultural artifacts within the gallery are a study in cultural antiquity.

ODINANI MUSEUM, ANAOCHA  This museum is located at Anaocha Local Government Area. It was sponsored by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan and Prof. M.A. Onwuejiogwu. It has a large collection of invaluable art materials.
OBUOFO – NRI MUSEUM - ENUGWU UKWU The museum is owned by His Royal Majesty Igwe Osita Agwuna III. It Houses a very wide range of collections of works of art.
MMANKA MUSEUM This museum is located in Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state. It has principally collections / art instruments used in the execution of the once prestigious and famous Ichi facial scarifications.
NATIONAL MUSEUM IGBO UKWU
The National Museum Igbo Ukwu was established primarily to house the famous Igbo Ukwu Bronze works excavated from the various sites in Igbo Ukwu. It also contains classic art works like traditional paintings, pottery and metal sculptures depicting the cultural ingenuity of the people. 



Are you thinking of where to enjoy a perfect night entertainment? Anambra State is the place to be.

SHOPPING

 Economic activities in Anambra

1. Main Market Onitsha

2. Relief Market Onitsha

3. Elecrotins  Market Onitsha

4. Ochanja Market Onitsha

5. Ose Market Onitsha

6. Bridged head Market Ontisha

7. Nkwo Nnewi Market

8. Eke Awka Market

9. Nkwo Igbo-Ukwu Market

 

 

 

 

 

Article Credit:

Updated 4 Years ago
 

Find Us On Facebook

Tags:     Anambra state     About     Entertainment     Shopping     Attractions

RELATED