Many people think that modern day Igbo sacred sciences (Odinani) is a good overall representation of the very ancient metaphysical systems. They are very incorrect. In fact, the decline of the divine Kingdom of Nri and the rise of the European controlled Atlantic slave trade corrupted Igbo civilization. British colonialism and the Nigerian Civil War practically destroyed what was left of Igbo civilization. What is left of Odinani is only a very faded shadow of how it used to be.
Although Odinani is one of the oldest science systems in the world, we will just briefly discuss the last one thousand years. Nri Kingdom (in present day Anambra State) was a major power in present day Eastern and Midwestern Nigeria from 1000 A.D. to 1600 AD. Unlike most kingdoms, Nri did not gain their influence nor maintain it through military force. Nri’s influence came from metaphysical power. Their culture, tradition, and philosophy was centered on peace, harmony, knowledge, wisdom, justice, and oneness with Creation (Chi, Aja Ana, Anyanwu, Igwe, and etc) and the Creator (Chineke). Eze Nri (Divine king of Nri) was the traditional Igbo pope and he and his mediators (real Nze and Ozo men) spread peace and civility throughout the land and found many settlements abroad. The Nri are responsible for the Igbo Ukwu sites, Four market days, Ozo/Nze title systems, Igu alu, and etc. Unfortunately, between 1400-1700 Nri declined due to internal disputes, the slave trade (which was illegal in Nri), and the rise of rival states.
In the late 17nth and early 18nth century, the Aro Confederacy (their capital Arochukwu is in present day Abia State) was formed and quickly became a major economic power in present day Eastern Nigeria. The Aro people were expert long distant traders that developed and controlled a complex trading network in the region. The Aros were also known as priests and agents for their famous Ibini Ukpabi (Drum of the high God) oracle that was located in Arochukwu. After Aro conquest, Ibini Ukpabi was also used as an oracle to settle disputes serious disputes and problems. The oracle quickly became popular for its effectiveness, accuracy, and its useful divinations. Ibini Ukpabi became the main oracle in the region and beyond for many years until the early stages of British colonialism in the 20th century. However, shortly after Aro expansion, the Europeans increased their slave trade interests on the Bight of Biafra. This brought chaos.
Igboland and adjacent areas was very violent and chaotic in the 18th century as the result of the Atlantic slave trade. Some oracles in Igboland such as Ibini Ukpabi unfortunately became commercialized. Although many agents and priests of the oracle continued to do honest and fair work, others used the opportunity to sell innocent people as slaves. The Slave trade also introduced the outrageous Osu caste system in Igboland. Initially, Osus were very sacred and respected assistants to high priests. However, as a result of the slave trade, wars in Igboland increased and many people (including runaway slaves) sought refuge in shrines and become an Osu. In some cases, criminals also decided to be an Osu rather than becoming enslaved. Suddenly, being an Osu became a taboo.
British colonialism and Christianity tried to destroy what was left of Odinani. After the 1901-1902 Anglo-Aro War, British troops attempted to destroy the Ibini Ukpabi shrine. The British even called the Nri people, a group that has always stood for justice and peace, evil. Initially, Christian missionaries referred to Odinani as totally evil and tried to force the population to convert. Although Igbo people embraced Western education, they heavily resisted colonialism and the British efforts to destroy their tradition. While the British condemned our culture, they did absolutely nothing to help it. Many Igbo people (Osus were among the first) did convert to Christianity but there was still respect for the many good aspects of Odinani and Igbo culture overall. A strong traditionalist population was still among the Igbo before Nigerian “Independence” (1960) and the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). After the brutal Civil War, more missionaries came to a war torn Igboland in the 1970s and began the evangelical movement. This movement has been very devastating to Odinani and Igbo culture in general. Some foolish and overzealous Christian youth have looted and destroyed shrines and priceless artifacts. And what have they gained? Absolutely nothing! Instead of creating jobs, developing Igboland, and becoming self sufficient some misguided youths have decided to take the place of the European missionaries and destroy their own Igbo culture.
Igboland in modern times is lawless and very violent. We have been losing wars for our freedom and now have lost our minds because we are fighting a war against ourselves. The land is very underdeveloped and polluted. Many Igbo people at home and abroad have completely turned their back on our ancestors and put a much higher value on Western culture. Many Igbo children have close to no knowledge of their own people. IGBO PEOPLE THIS IS A EMERGENCY. PLEASE LISTEN! Unless we get back to who we are and revive/improve on the productive aspects of our sacred science system or “spirituality”, get rid of outrageous aspects of our tradition like the Osu caste system, stop putting useless foreign institutions over our own WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE IN DEEP TROUBLE!
–Chi (God) Bless
This article is well written, it presented the main issues Igbo people face. The past is evident in our day to day activities. Our rulers are thieves, people being kidnapped, Bakassi of Aba funded by the state to kill youths. All these act stems from our past we haven’t talked about. People without past has no future. I am from Onitsha, the catholic church has lost the plot, one day I will be able to publish their underground science.
True to the Core. A defiant scholar.
I have Been Enlightened. Ibo needs to Love and RAspect Ibo. Self Love is really need here in Iboland…..Ase’
Well communicated as usual. Keep the wisdom coming. One day and soon enough indeed, the primal Igbo spirit wouldn’t need the people to sought it out–in anyway. Rather, it will be the one to sought them out, soul by soul, after all the wreckage of the western world have thoroughly exercised its decadence over their indigenous ways and the people finally come to terms with their actual reality–the hard way. It surely will be soon, because the center can simply not hold. The world cannot survive another thirty years under the western approach to reality. Ndewo.
Great article .. not very deep, but deep enough for a web article like this. Let us keep these sorts of writings and awareness flowing. We lack mgborogwu right now, and we need knowledge and awareness like this to recover our foundations and roots.
This very interesting, I have never read about this/these issues. I’m grateful to my friend that exposed me to this information.
Thanx Wise one for this wonderful article. I must also commend you for your indepth research and insight. I wish every sons and daughters of Igboland will read this… Mazi, more power to your elbow. Keep it up, Chi – bless.ight. I wish every sons and daughters of Igboland will read this… Mazi, more power to your elbow. Keep it up, Chi – bless.
As quiet as it is kept ; The ” Igbo ” culture is alive and well ; through the culture of the Gullah/Gee ‘ CHI ” of the South U.S.A. ; we have ” Ibo Landing ” and many cultural gentic memories etc. Through isolation ( fear of maleria and mosquitos ) we still maintain ancestor knowlege ; that is coming to fore at this time . the reconection is taking place on a high science level .
A good job of trying to inform Ndi Igbo of their impending loss of their ancient culture. A correction, or more accurately an addendum, is in order. Omenani/Omenali/Omenala is “the tradition or culture of the land”, and “Odinani/Odinali/Odinala is “the laws of the land”. Etymologically, from the Igbo word “Odinani”, a new word “Ordinance” was entered into Western Jurisprudence.
I have Been Enlightened. Ibo needs to Love and RAspect Ibo. Self Love is really need here in Iboland…..Ase’
Greetings to you in the name of our Ancestors, doing a great job for mama Afrika …
Like a tip of the iceberg, there’s so much more to African culture and tradition. Unfortunately there is little or nothing that could be done to take us back to that, and if you try so hard, u will be stigmatised: GRUMPY, LOCAL AND UNBELIEVER. Western culture is part of us; we drink it, eat it, sleep it and live it, while corruption, wickedness and insincerity steadily percolated our traditional institutions.
Well written. I will add that Odinala is pure Monotheism. Also, lovers of Odinala should out physically and defend it. We waste a lot of our energy on the net while brain damaged/ravaaged Igbo Christians are out there everything that link us to our glorious past.
typo: i mean they are out tthere destroying everything that link us to our glorious past
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Peace and blessings to you,
As someone who discovered my paternal genetic connection to the Igbo who is a proponent of return to your own traditions, I thank you for this site and the sharing of a truer history that Africans everywhere should know about.
I notice you don’t make any mention of references. Do you have any historical or archaeological sources? Any peer reviewed papers/articles (I like to try to find as many legitimate sources for historical analysis)? That would be really great – West African history is something of a personal project (I am Igbo) but doesn’t seem to be taken seriously. In fact, I’ve learnt more about Igbo history from fellow students at the University I attend than from Igbo ‘elders’!
Indeed Nwanne m!! Well spoken. Our mother (Ani) has taught us well so we rebel against this displacement of what was in itself perfection, by what i call pure evil. And am not trying to be biased. But, history best rewards our research and it has revealed so far, that everywhere the these colonizers have dug in their cold claws of destruction never experience peace. The leave trails of chaos because that is what they need to keep these territories under a leash.But what they did not count on was the rising if a generation of defiant youths. Chukwu gozie gi!!
@biscuitnapper : William Chancellor’s Destruction of Black Civilization is a good start if you are looking for certified references.
… nd sorry for the typos…:)
This write up is incomparable! I am a hardcore Igboist, an ardent Igboist, i hav read so many articles about Ndi Igbo bt dis very one is emotional! Mazi daalu,Eziokwu di gi n’onu, i must assure u that its nt every one dat has turn his back to Omenani. One who forgets where he is coming from defini tely does nt know where he’s going to. We shud hav asked ourselves if the British-European missioneries aboundoned their own tradition b4 we blindly threw our pride away, each time i remember dis western influence, i’ve always said it that d lost is more than d gained. Its a pity!
~i-De Na :
We shud hav asked ourselves if the British-European missioneries aboundoned their own tradition b4 we blindly threw our pride away, each time i remember dis western influence, i’ve always said it that d lost is more than d gained. Its a pity!
Biko…Please Read My Comprehensive REPLY How We Got RELIGION…It Wasn’t VOLUNTARY OR FREE, Where ~i-Am Replying You:
If It Was This Would Have Happened:
Ukpala okpoko gburu, nti chiri ya. Onye maara asu, ya suo n’ikwe.
Ka Chineke mezie okwu a.
Yes, THIS IS AN EMERGENCY & The EMERGENCY Will Be ADDRESSED Through Viral-STRATEGIES LIQUIDATING The Traumatic-AMNESIA Igbos Have Of Themselves As Worthless: Let Me State A Few Things:
~0: The IGBO Genetic-CODE Has Been Around For 900,000 Years Prior To The GERMINATION Of The CAUCASIAN & MONGOLOIDS 30,000 Years Ago. The Latter Are In Bred Animal-Mixes Of Pig/Jackal/Ape/Monkey/Goat etc.
~1. Our ANCESTORS WITNESSED The FORMATION & Germination Of The CAUCASIAN.
~2. The Igbo-Language is A Flux-CODE, A Mathematical-Dialect Of Space & Time That Also Fluxes And Denominates All Other Languages.
~3. Our Pure Culture Is Numbers In ABSTRACTION, & Consequently Igbo Also Causes Manifestation Of Space & Time.
~4. Igbo Is Simple But COMPLEX. All Its Words Are With Mathematical Precision & Our Numbers: 0=Agidi, Ofu, Ibo…Asa-Ato etc…Fluxes Time And Demonstrates The SUN-BERTH Of The GENETIC-DIFFERENTIALS Between Man & WOMAN via The EXPONENTIAL-FRACTAL-CODE: Asa-Ato.
~5. Why Do You Think Igbo-GENETIC-MARKERS Are Mathematically Advanced Just As The Dohgon? Oyibo, Emeagwali, Omafiadon Just To Name A Few.
~6. Also The Igbos Were PYRAMID Builders In Tama Re & Were Experts At Levitation…That Is Mathematically Skewing Matter Through ZERO Levitating 2-300 Tonne Stone Brick.
~6. RELIGION=CULTS…~i-Have No Time FOR IT HERE. But Suffice To Say We Did Not GIVE Up Odinani(NATURAL-NMBRS & SKYANKS) Willingly. All Western RELIGIONS DO NOT COME VOLUNTARILY OR FOR FREE. Religion Is A COMMERCIAL-ENTERPRISE, 419 SERVICES…Induced Through A Sequence By Mass-MURDER & Genocidal-THEFT Of Ancestry & Resources…MILLIONS Of Our People Were Slaughtered & Captured Brokered By Missionary BASTARDS Who Offered Us The ALTERNATIVE. We Took It! And In The MEANTIME The CONQUERORS For PROFIT Then Do nlp-ORTHOLOGY On Igbo Using The PATERNAL-BASTARD EnD-LISH For More Than 60 Years Even Outlawing Igbo Too…BUT YOU CAN’T ERASE IGBO…It’s Mathematics Is Just Too Tight As It Bonds Iwth Natures Codes!
~7. Endlish Is Not AN Indigenous LANGUAGE, It Is A FAGGOT Created By Jews, It Is Non-MATHEMATICAL & TRUTH CANNOT MOVE THROUGH IT! Endlish Is All Pun-Code: Buy-Bull, Co-Ran, War-Ship, Goth(=God) etc…Also ENDLISH Creates Annointed STALKERS In Your BRAIN Filling Up Flash Memories With GHOST-FLASHES, Manifesting Ghoul-Authority & Gods…Don’t Worry That Virus Will Be Checked & Eliminated.
~8 Igbos Are BLACK PEOPLE…Look At Our HAIR! OUR HAIR IS SUN-PLEX-666-COIL…OUR HAIR IS MATHEMATICS (0.9).
~9. For Those Who ~i-Have Just Spooked: 666=6-Protons, 6-Neutrons, 6-Electrons = CARBON! Natures Waves = CARBON, The CENTRE OF THE SUN IS CARBON = PURE ~a:Nya:Nwu(What Does This FREQUENCY CAUSE?) & NATURES-WAVES = CARBON…BUT THE BIBLE HATES IGBO & HATES NATURE & THE SUN! NO WORRIES!
~10. 666 Is Back…The ANTI-CHRIST-FOOL Never Existed! So Odunani STAYS!
IGBO IS BACK! WE ARE WHO WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR! THE WORLD IS OURS….STAY TUNED!
: Eze: i-GBO.
~2. The Igbo-Language is A Flux-CODE, A Mathematical-Dialect Of Space & Time That Also Fluxes And NUMERATES All Other Languages.
Igbo Is DENOMINATOR…Akin To Assembly-LANGUAGE Of Computers NUMERATING..C, C++, Java, Python So Called Higher Languages. A Java Program Of 2Mb Can Be Written In 40k Using Assembly Language. Igbo Is Like That…This Is Why We Can Speak Other Languages THROUGH Igbo…As Our SOUNDS Are Flux-Linked & Do Not Carry CLOSED-NOISE-VIBRATIONS Such Like ENDLISH/ARABIC/GREEK/HEBREW.
A World About Hebrew, Pronounced I-Bu-Ru…Sound Like Igbo: Those BASTARDS Nicked Our Heritage Somewhat…& Now Igbo-CHRISTIAN-FOOLS Think Themselves As Hebrew-Isrealites! FICTION!
where is more of this info? are so-called african americans from this slave trade you speak of
Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
Wont it be good to discuss why the osu were quick to join Christianity, a destructive religion to Odinani, particularly since you have a pic of an osu in your image up there? Also, might it not be ironic that those osu who early became Christians are in the vanguard of the modernized Igbo elite whom many hold up as the flag-bearers of Ndigbo in modern times?
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