Original

Igbo names and spellings for various settlements
Abakaliki is Abankaleke; Afikpo is Ehugbo; Awgu is Ogu; Awka is Oka; Bonny is Ubani; Enugu is Enugwu; Ibusa is Igbuzö; Igrita is Igwuruta; Oguta is Ugwuta; Onitsha is Onicha; Owerri is Owere; Oyigbo is Obigbo... any more will be added.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Rich Trading Woman

This picture taken c. 1889, possibly by G. F. Packer credited with other photos from the Niger and Önïcha (Onitsha) (and of Önïcha trading women), is annotated as 'Trader from Timbuctou' on the right and 'Rich Trading Woman' on the left.

Is this lady an Ọmụ? Could she be the Ọmụ of Ọnịcha?

It seems to show a member of the Önïcha women's Otu Odu (ivory group) society often made up of women traders; the woman, noted as a trader, has on large ivory anklets still worn my members of this socio-economic women's group today. The lady could even be an Omu, the Omu oversaw Önïcha markets, Igbo communities to the west of the Niger also had Omu.

The trader from Timbuktu.

If Önïcha, the presence of the man from Timbuktu may illustrate the thousand-year old connection between the West African forest areas, the Sahel, and the Trans-Saharan trade, as shown by beads in the findings of Igbo Ukwu dating back to around the 9th century with their origins placed over the Sahara to places as far as Venice and India. The people from the north brought trade items like horses (for ritual use) to trade for goods such as ivory.

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