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, January 4, 2018

Okonko Masking

Ọ̀kọ́ńkọ̀ masqueraders with raffia costume on the cover of African Arts journal. Umuowa, central Igbo area, Nigeria. March 1988. Photo: Eli Bentor.

"The Okonkor is the leading secret Society among the people of these parts. It originated from Arochuku. It was an innocent play organized by a few members just to amuse themselves; the inviting sounds of the drums they used in their play, the curious sounds produced in the Okonkor private chamber from what they call cloth, the funny dances, soon brought the elders and notable men who are curious to know how and by what these sounds are produced, to join the new play. In short as many were desirous to join, and as many important men and elders join the club, they soon make it to gain supremacy over other clubs .... Every member is sworn not to disclose the secrets of the Society excepting at the formation of a Branch Society in some other countries for the purpose of money making. In this way it spread among the countries but the Aro people being cunning use the greatest care to introduce it to a certain limit. The Okonkor of the Coast towns was not introduced by the Aros but by the offenders of Okonkor laws and who were sold away as slaves to the Coast towns by the Aros. Chiefs and elders of every town soon invited the Okonkor and make it the channel by which they rule the affairs of the country."

— Memorandum by A.O. Ockiya of the Delta Pastorate Mission, Aba, [1920] (NAE Abadist 1/12/54). via Robert D. Jackson (1975). The Twenty Years War.

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