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, December 27, 2018

Ishi Nwa Njọkụ

Photo: Shrine with human skull at Obieni, in today's Cross River State, probably the revered head-pieces of deceased family heads, from Charles Partridge (1905). Cross River Natives. p. 64.
Around [the yam title, by the yam title society Ndi Eze Ji] is the theory that certain male and female children called Njoku and Mmaji respectively, may be born only to members of this society. ... As the human representatives of the yam deity, Njoku and Mmaji are entitled to privileges. They have a right to any yam they may demand from the Oba [yam barn].
Wherever they occur, Njoku claims the bride-wealth of Mmaji no matter who the mother may be. ... Mmaji must be the first wife of her husband [and] the only [Mmaji].
Their heads may not touch the ground at death. At burial, there is a raised platform to which a solid receiver is attached ... in order to collect the head as it falls out after decay. The head is then ritually dug out, washed, put away in a box which is placed on a raised platform for the purpose.
Njoku or Mmaji heads ... are loved as "status objects" but hated for the problems they create on their death. ... No member of the family may eat yam until they are ritually buried; a very costly affair. A Njoku or Mmaji ... must find a female or male opposite to marry.

– Victor C. Uchendu (1964). "The Status Implications of Igbo Religious Beliefs." The Nigerian Field. vol. 69. p. 32.

No comments: