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.

Friday, November 23, 2018


An Okonko masquerade in Umuahia photographed by G. I. Jones, 1930s. MAA Cambridge.

Okonko is the form of Ekpe society in many southern Igbo areas. Likely from Arochukwu, it became the main masking and governing institution in the Umuahia area where every male was expected to go through the rite of ịkpụ ụlọ, the Okonko initiation and the start of education in Okonko. It is used in the burials of prominent elders, and apart from in special occasions like Iri ji, Okonko processions usually take place at night. In the past, Okonko membership was used to secure business and trading ties.
Okonko itself is split into grades, a member may rise up the grades and in rank as they acquire more knowledge of Okonko. There are several types of masks worn by members according to their rank. Okonko is headed by a president in each community.
Okonko is part of the wider Ekpe complex which stretches from the centre of the Igbo area to the Southern Cameroons.

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