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.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Eze Ede

Ndị Ngwa, around Aba, photographed by Northcote Thomas, c. 1913. MAA Cambridge.

In the Igbo area, in southern parts especially (Abia, Imo, Rivers), women who are highly successful in farming cocoyams take on the Eze Ede, king of cocoyams, or Ikwa Ede title. Eze Ede become the spokespeople for women in the community. Women with even larger mkpuke ede, cocoyam stores, are initiated with the title of Ezumezu. In some communities, the title associated with women's cocoyam farming is referred to as Lọlọ Ede.

Exemplarily of the dualistic nature of Igbo society, Eze Ede is the female counterpart to a major title for men, the Eze Ji title, king of yams, given to successful farmers with large yam barns. Other similar titles are the Diji and Duru Ji titles. Yams are traditionally cultivated by men, cocoyams are the spiritual and folkloric female equivalent of yams.

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