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 2, 2019


The Ebonyi River from a photo album made before the 1920s. The National Archives UK.

The Igbo people who passed and lived around the Ebonyi River were part of a great expansionist Igbo group that mostly sprang out of an initial migration over the Imo from the Mbano area. The groups, including the Izi, Eza, Ikwo, and Mgbo, were large militaristic groups who were able to overtake the lands of several Upper Cross River groups over the last couple of hundred years.

Mgbo children photographed by Northcote Thomas, c. 1913. MAA Cambridge.

The Ogu Ukwu, as they are collectively called due to their large farm tools, were more remotely related to the other Igbo area with a strong warrior tradition, the Abam-Ohafia-Bende area in addition to the Aro area in today’s Abia State. This northeastern Igbo area that mostly makes up today's Ebonyi State was the last to be conquered by the British.

Culturally and linguistically, this area is quite different from other Igbo areas, for example, ọfọ ritual staffs are not generally found in this area and the horse title took precedence; horses are especially important in this area for ritual use; a lot of the horse trade went through here, salt was a major commodity in the Uburu market. The people of this area are generally expert rice cultivators.

1 comment:

TempleUche said...

No wonder you see them still fight today... History is sure wonderful