Original

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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Prince Chukwuma of Àbọ, William Baikie

"Prince Tshúkuma [Chukwuma]" of Abö, illustration from an 1854 voyage by William Baikie. Internet Archive.
[At Abö] we learnt that King Obí [Osai] had been dead for nearly nine years, and that since that time there had been no regular king. At Abó, the chief power is elective, and after the death of Obí two parties sprung up, one of which supported the claims of his son, while the other advanced as their candidate an influential person named Orísa. The two sections were respectively entitled the king's people and the Oshiodápara party. Obí's friends were unanimous in their selection of Obí's second son, named Ajé, an active, intelligent, young man ; and this was acquiesced in by his less energetic and more peaceful brother Okúrobi or Tshúkuma.
[…] Ajé has four large war-canoes, and about 250 slaves, while Tshúkuma has five smaller canoes, and about 50 or 60 slaves.
[…] At this moment Ajé was absent, having gone to settle some dispute at Igára ; but Tshúkuma, as his deputy, had sent Alihéli to receive us. We promised to come on shore the next morning and pay our respects. […] About mid-day, after church, some canoes were seen approaching, in one of which a drum was heard constantly beating. This we discovered to contain Tshúkuma, with a large retinue, come in grand state to pay his regular return visit. To-day he was dressed in an engineer's scarlet uniform coat, a pair of duck trousers, and a purple beaver hat ; he held in his hand the sword I had presented to him, and round his neck were suspended two small medals given him by Captain Trotter.
[…] Abó, the Eboe or Ibu of Lander and of Allen, is the name of a town and also of a district extending along both sides of the river, from the Orú country towards Igára. It forms one of the sections of the Great I'gbo (Ibo) territory ; and though by no means the largest, is, from its position along the Kwóra, one of the most important. The sovereignty, since the death of Obí, having, as I have mentioned, been partly in abeyance, many towns which were under his rule have ceased to pay tribute, and have become independent. The dialect spoken along this tract is called also Abó, and it is readily understood over the whole of I'gbo[.]

– William Baikie (1856). Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kwóra and Bínue… in 1854.. pp. 42-43, 48, 50, 303.

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