As part of the task for Face Of Rhodies World Photo Contest Season 6 (My, culture, My Pride), contestants were asked to tell us about the culture they are representing in an expository essay writing. This task carries 2000 votes, and below is an unedited essay writing sent in by this contestant.
Have fun and get to know more about her culture.
NAME: MAUREEN CHIEDOZIE
STATE OF ORIGIN: ENUGU
NAME OF THE CULTURE I AM REPRESENTING: IGBO
My ethnic group is Igbo. it is located at the south east region of Nigeria. The Language spoken in Igbo land is Igbo which include various Igbo languages and dialects. Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa-In rural Nigeria, Igbo people are mostly farmers, craftsmen and traders. The most important crop is the yam.
In my attire, I wore a hair scarf (Ichafu) which represents beauty and Ukwu akwa (wrapper) represents prestige. My attire is worn for special occasions like traditional marriages, Chieftaincy title celebrations, New Yam Festivals etc.
Moreover, Igbo tribe possesses certain tradition such as New Yam Festival (Iri ji Ohuru); this ceremony is an annual New yam harvest Festival by the Igbo people held at the end of the rainy season in early August. it symbolizes the conclusion of a harvest and the beginning of the next work cycle. Yams are the first crop to be harvested and are the most important crop of the region. The evening prior to the day of the festival, all old yams (from the previous year’s crop) are consumed. Traditionally, the role of eating the first yam is performed by the oldest man in the community or the king (Igwe). The day is symbolic enjoyment after the cultivation season and the plenty is shared with friends and well-wishers.
Masquerade festival (Igba Mmanwu): This is held in accordance with the community native calendars during festivals, annual festivities, burial rites and other social gatherings. The masquerades are geared in colourful robes and masks made of wood or fabric. masquerades are associated with spiritual elements as according to Igbo belief, they represent images of deities. in the past, masquerades were regarded as the means for maintaining peace and order and were primarily used as law enforcement agents.
Traditional Marriages (Igba Nkwu): This ceremony involves not only the affair between the future husband and wife but also the parents, the extended family and villages. The groom’s father will introduce himself and his son and explain the purpose of his visit.
the bride’s father welcomes the guests, invite his daughter to come and ask her if she knows the groom. her confirmation means she agrees with the proposal. Then the bride price settlement (Ika-akalika) starts with the groom accompanied by his father and elders visiting the bride’s compound on another evening. They bring the requirements for the bride price.
Also, in Igbo land, there are also customs possessed by the Igbos. These customs are known as ‘Omenala ndi Igbo’. This customs include Music, Udu; is an Igbo instrument, opi; a wind instrument similar to the flute. Igba and Ichaka which give melodic and symphonic musical style, which are designed from forged iron.
Igbo Art: Igbo Art is known for various types of masquerades masks and outfits symbolizing people, animals or abstract conceptions. Igbo Art is also known for its bronze casting found in the town of Igbo ukwu from the 9th century. Igbo Art is any body of visual art originating from the people of the Igbo.
Alusi: Also known as Arusi; are minor deities that are worshipped and served in Igbo mythology.
Moreover, there is an essential fruit in Igbo land called Kolanut (Oji) occupies a unique position in the cultural life of Igbo people. Oji is the first thing served to any visitor in an Igbo home. Oji is served before an important function begins, be it marriage ceremony.
Traditionally, Oji broken into pieces by hand, and if the kolanut breaks into 3 pieces: it means that a special celebration is arranged.
Also, there are special food prepared by the Igbos like fufu and Uha soup, Igbo bitter leaf soup, Okra soup, Ogbono soup, Afam soup, Egusi soup. There are also special Igbo desserts served like African Salad (Abacha), Nkwobi and Okpa.
There are four market days in Igbo land; they include, Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo.
In conclusion, there are special greetings in Igbo land, they include; Ibolachi (Good morning) Efifi Oma(Good afternoon), Mgbede Omo (good evening), Kachifo (Good night), Ekene mu unu (my greetings), Ji si-ike na olu (well done at work), Eaa! Dalu (yes, thank you).
COMMENT FROM THE CREW
Photo Attitude: Very Good
Presentation: Very good
Miss Maureen, thank you for letting us into your culture. This is very interesting.
SCORE: 1400 votes / 2000
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VERY GOOD: 400