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, February 6, 2020

Àbọ

"The Aboh Creek", drawn from an 1841 visit during the British government's Niger Expedition.

Abö (Àbọ) was the most powerful mercantile state on the Lower Niger before European incursion into these hinterland areas around the Niger.

Located directly on the western bank of the Niger River, near the Forcados and Nun rivers from which the Niger runs into the Atlantic, Abö controlled trade on the Niger from the delta areas up to Asaba, with its influence reaching Ida, the Igala capital and main trading rival of Abö.

Only with the establishment of a European trading and mission station in Önïcha in 1857 did it come to stop being the controller of much of the goods that were previously being brought from the delta states to Abö to be distributed into the hinterland in exchange for produce.

Europeans saw Abö as the 'capital of the Igbo country' and the Obi of Abö as the 'king of the Igbo'. They also regarded Abö as the most important Igbo settlement. Abö was one of the first Igbo towns to receive Europeans when the hinterland was largely unknown to them.

Abö men and women were involved in long-distance trading on armed canoes. Because of their reliance on trading hinterland produce, particularly palm oil later on, Abö people also settled on parts of the Imo River to the east, in places such as Akwete, Owerenta, and Mbaise.

Abö reached the peak of its influence and its largest extent under Obi Osai who became Obi sometime in the 1820s until his death in 1844. His was the last era in which the Lower Niger’s trade was controlled by Africans.

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