This thread house discussions and news on the Igbo culture, cultural events and traditional values
Situated in the heart of Asaga, Ohafia, the Obu Nkwa, “House of Images”, represents a major cultural monument of the Ohafia people and stands as a symbol of the architectural prowess of the Cross Riverian Igbo. Built as testaments of masculinity in a society in which women were the major traditional powerbrokers, obu houses were primarily meeting houses for male elders and members of male social clubs as well as shrines for local deities.
This is a typical Igbo woman from Achala, Nri-Awka, (now in Anambra state) Igbo land, who was a lead-traditional dancer in the community.
Part of the costumes worn by the female traditional dancers were the anklet plates.
The anklet plates were worn on both legs to produce sounds that go with the rythm of the drums, other musical instruments (if any) and the dance steps. And these anklet plates often confine their dance-steps to a few measured "pas" made slowly and with caution to right and left.
Agadi nwanyị anaghị akaru nka na egwu ọma agba.
Literal Interpretation: An old woman is does not grow old in the dance she knows well
Proverbial Meaning: the knowledge and experience one has are part of one and are always exercised even in old time, what a person learns has become part of him and can not leave him.
Inwelu nkọwa nke gi? Dee ya ebe a
Ukwa rue oge ya ọdaa
Literal Translation: When breast fruit is ripe, it falls
Proverbial Meaning: Success comes at its prime; things happen at their appropriate time; when it is one's time to be great, successful or announced, it happens naturally.
Note: The Igbo philosophy of time is dependent on the belief that everything is controled by God, Chukwu or the personal god, Chi. When it is the appointed time of God, they believe, things will happen naturally.
Eze Mbe si na ihe ya ji-achiri ihe egwu ya aga njem (ije) bụ maka izute ndiegwu n'ụzọ
Literal Translation: King tortoise said that why it always travels with its musical instrument is beacause it may meet musicians on the way.
Proverbial Meaning: To embark on a journey, one needs to be properly prepared because of unforseen circumstances; one should take cognizance of the unknown when making plans; plan based on what you konw and on what you assume.
Dibịa ụlọ, physician of the home. He reads the pulse of the home; understands what ails the home; heals the home. In him is the fullness of nwokeness: industry, resourcefulness, courage, sacrificial love.
From the panopticon of his obi, he watches over the home. Even the spirits think twice before entering his homespace, but must be ready to wrestle with him and his ikenga first. Dibịa ụlọ stands upon the trust of Ala and the ancestors, confident and daring to eat fire, vomit fire, extinguish fire.
The Igbo have invested in him the highest values to stay the family.
Ara n' obi adighi ese okwu.
Literal Translation: The breast and the chest do not quarrel. [There's no sense at all in living at loggerheads with your neighbor
Proverbial Meaning: people who are bond together do not engage in quarell.
Note: Ara n' obi represent many things in the context of the proverb; it could mean siblings, couple, partners etc in as much they all share a bond.
Inwelu nkowa nke gi? dee ya ebea...