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.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Igbo Ohafia war dance iri agha

[Igbo] Ohafia war dance The [Igbo] Ohafia war dance iri agha. Adult male carrying a headhunters trophy (oyaya) on his head. The trophy is a rectangular shaped wooden frame decorated with feathers, leopard fur, cloths and animal fur at either end. He is wearing a striped shirt, and holding a ?metal rod in one hand. Behind him is a crowd of people and a Building with corrugated iron roof.

— Jones, G.I. 1932 - 1939
Location: Ohafia, Alaigbo | Date: 1930s | Credit: Jones

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wall paintings in Okwu village

Wall paintings in Okwu village painted by an Anang artist in the style of Ngwomo ghost houses.

— Jones

Location: Okwu, Alaigbo | Date: 1930s | Credit: Jones

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rumuji Owu play

[Igbo] Rumuji Owu play with the character of Oterivinwe sitting on a chair. The masquerader is wearing a wooden, beautiful female, white face mask with two horns attached to the top. The neck is coiled and attached to the mask is a print cloth. The masqueradere is wearing white cotton trousers and seed anklets around the ankles. In the background are spectators and vegetation.
Location: Rumuji, Alaigbo? | Date: 1930s | Credit: Jones

Interior of Igbo Mbari house

Interior of Igbo Mbari house. Sculpture in foreground representing adult male riding animal, second adult male standing in front of animal.
Location: ?Unknown?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unknown? | Credit: Edward Chadwick

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Visit to Ogume in 1937

A Nwammuo [of the Ogume Ika-Igbo (now in Delta State, Nigeria] was a trophy used in a dance or play of the same name. It consisted of groups of little human figures arranged in tiers one above the other. The one I photographed [the photo attached] was two-tiered, with four figures in each tier, and surmounted by two birds, but Ufere was said to have carved Nwammuo with up to four tiers and sixteen figures. I gathered that the principal dancer would carry the trophy on his head and a paddle in his right hand, and that the others (who could be both men and women) would dance in a circle around him. [Nwammuo means ‘ghost-spirit child/offspring’ in Igbo]
A Visit to Ogume in 1937, by G. I. Jones.

Location: Ogume, Ika, Alaigbo | Date: 1930s | Credit: Jones

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rumuji Owu play, the character is Abam (one who has visited placeds and learnt things) and the figure represents a fierce fish spirit. The headpiece is a long horizontal carved piece with a pointed head depiciting sharp incised teeth, round eyes, and fins on the sides and top. The headpiece is painted in different colours. On top of the carving is a square cloth panel (like a sail) that has four pieces of cloth sewn in the centre. The masquerader is draped in block printed cotton cloth. In the background are spectators.
— G.I. Jones

Location: Rumuji, Alaigbo? | Date: 1930s | Credit: Jones

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Interior of Chief’s Compound. I[g]bo.
— P. A. Mc C, 1870-1900.

Location: ?Unknown?, Alaigbo? | Date: 19th Century | Credit: "P. A. Mc C"
24 Feb 1905. Ikot-ekpende. [Aro-Igbo] bride and her mother. [In Ibibio territory where the Aro (originally from Arochukwu from what is now Abia State Nigeria, but settled all over eastern Nigeria) were known as Inokun, now Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria]
— Charles Partridge
Location: Ikot Ekpende | Date: 24 February, 1905 | Credit: Charles Partridge

Thursday, October 4, 2012

“I[g]bo MBARI house. 28/2/46. at EBELE, OWERRI [now in Imo State, Nigeria]. Figures of telephone operators”
— William Fagg.
Location: Ebele, Alaigbo | Date: 28 February, 1946 | Credit: Fagg
The interior of an Obu meeting house in Asaga village showing two large life-sized figures of a male and female standing on a raised platform.
— G. I . Jones
Location: Asaga , Ohafia, Alaigbo | Date: 1930s | Credit: Jones

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Ngbagba Ikoro masquerade with a close up view of Otiri, the principle masquerade character. The mask of Otiri consists of a circular base with layers of white feathers adorning it; the head is shrouded in a woven cloth. In the background is a thatched building.
— G. I. Jones, 1930s.
Location: Mba Miri, Alaigbo | Date: 1930s | Credit: Jones

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Obugulu mau masquerade. A close up view of the masquerader wearing a white and black painted face mask adorned with an elaborate superstructure. The top of the mask consists of pieces of cloth, ribbon, felt. tassels, carvings, and mirrors. The costume is harlequin like appliques material.
— G. I . Jones. 1930s. Igbo peoples, Nigeria.
Location: Onicha, Alaigbo | Date: 1960s | Credit: Dmochowski

Friday, July 27, 2012

[Ichi] scarification is not a tribal mark, but a sign of status, rank, or nobility. It was taboo for persons thus marked to perform any menial task, such as to carry a load on the head; their persons were privileged and sacrosanct and they were never molested. It was also customary for the local native police, if sent to apprehend such a person, never to handcuff him.

In [ichi] scarification no attempt is made to raise keloid scars. The patient is placed supine on the ground and then, with a sharp-pointed, leaf-blade knife, strips of skin are gouged out, leaving long, raw furrows to heal. The operation is a severe test of courage and endurance and may take as long as an hour and a half to complete; it is sometimes followed by grave sepsis involving loss of sight and even of life. The victim, whether adult or child, must not wince or whimper or utter a sound.

Location: Nri, Alaigbo | Date: 1951 | Credit: M. D. W. Jeffreys

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Idigo, roi des Agouléris, avant sa conversion

Idigo, king of the Agouleris, before his conversion

“…the Father pronounces his first homily and announces his intention to constitute a Mission. In response to his words, Idigo [chief of the Aguleris] bows down before his idols, exclaiming: “Oh my deities, I am grateful that you have sent me this White today. There will be happiness and peace for all. – Leave your idols, responds P. Lutz, they have nothing to do with my arrival.” (pp. 212-213)

Location: Aguleri, Alaigbo | Date: 1902 | Credit: J.B. Piolet

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Location: ?Unknown?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unknown?, Before 1904 | Credit: A. A. Whitehouse

Asaba men

Location: Ahaba, Aniocha Alaigbo | Date: ?Unknown?, Before 1906 | Credit: John Parkinson

Ekele - Ekene

Thanks for the positive feedback from commenters and also for those whole follow or view this blog. Imeela.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wedding dress

Location: Bonny Island (Ụ̀banị̀) | Date: 1880-1905 | Credit: Jonathan Adagogo Green, British Museum.

Agaba/Mgbedike masquerade

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: 1946 | Credit: William Buller Fagg