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.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Igbo Ukwu and a possible Eri myth link

According to Umunri, their great father Nri, the first son of Eri, was told by Chineke to sacrifice and bury his first son and daughter and out of their graves grew cocoyam (daughter) and yam (son). There is a possibility that this altar stand found at Igbo Ukwu (in lands that were once part of Oraeri) which features a male and female figure (pictured), dated to no later than the 11th century CE, may point to that origin story.

The marks on the face of the figures bear resemblance to ichi marks which were given to first sons and daughters among Umunri. Ichi marks were related to the sun and the moon and the groove marks were likened to ogba ubi, farm furrows, emphasising the role of agriculture in Nri legend as the first son and daughters faces were also marked with ichi. There are also similar grooves found on the side of the object.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Igbo women and girls and their hairstyles, 1900-1930.

The crested hairstyle ojongo was popular until the mid-20th century, it is a distinctive feature of Igbo arts depicting women. Women used ornaments like thread, feathers, shells, bone, wood, beads, Igbo currency, coins, or cloth; mud containing colourful ores, yellow and red camwood powder or paste and palm oil and charcoal were also used for style. Isi/Ishi owu, a threaded hairstyle is still popular among married women in rural areas.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Textile Trading on the Atlantic

Internal trading, that is, trading among Africans, may also have brought about the distribution of [textiles]. [...]
Photo: Akwete (top) and Ijebu Ode (bottom) cloths compared. British Museum.
[...] One could navigate canoes from the Volta River as far east as the Calabar River in southeastern Nigeria. The Popos [Grand Popo and Aného in Togo] were transporting goods along this channel, at least as far as [...]
Photo: "Ferry at Grand-Popo. Dahomey." 1936, British Museum.
[...] Whydah (Kea 1969:39-40) and possibly to Lagos. From either of these two points, [...]
Image: "Canoe on the Yoruba River [sic]." [Ogun River] BMArchives.
[...] Ijebu Yoruba merchants would then have carried them by canoe to the eastern side of the delta, as the literature tells us they had done with other textiles.
— Lisa Aronson (1982), Popo Weaving.