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.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A View of the Arọ̀ from Igbere

Before the Europeans came, the Arọs […] main interest in their trade was the purchase of slaves. […] Some of them came as medicine men, […] traders […] agents of Ibìna Ụ̀kpaàbị̀. We called them Ọbụ̄ Arọ̀ bụrụ Ìgbò (He is Arọ as well as Igbo), […] Arọ̀ Oke-Ìgbò, […] Inokun. […]
The Arọ people exerted a tremendous influence over our people's culture. For instance it was through them that cassava, coconut and maize came to Igbere. They also introduced the […] gun here. […] They were feared because they were cunning as the tortoise. They fought their enemies by sending other people to fight for them. I was told that the Arọs were not answering 'Arọ' before. […] [T]he people wanted to know the name of their spear which appeared strange[.] […] They uttered 'Arọ’. […] The name Chukwu was attached to it because of the mysteries of their deity called Ibìna Ụ̀kpaàbị̀. […]
[F]rom the Aro people […] Igbere people learnt the kind of writing known as ǹsìbìrì. Ǹsìbìrì was used by members of the Ekpe secret society and could not be read by a non-member. […]
The most powerful influence came from their religion, which was feared in every land. […] In the Ibìna Ụ̀kpaàbị̀ lay their power […] people who went there never came back. […] They travelled and traded with many people in many places and we used to call them Arọ̀ enwēghi ụlọ̀ (The Arọ have no homes).
It was when the white man destroyed their oracle that the Arọs ceased to be a fearsome people.

Interview of Madukwe Anyankụ, aged 75, in Agbo, Igbere, July 10, 1973, U. O. A. Esse (1977).

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