This year’s Iri Ndi (Ji) Festival in Igbere fell on 19th August 2017. As families held low key celebration the real Inu Ndi which heralds the Apex and Concluding Events holds today 27th instant by Amakpo Igbere eight (8) days after harvest.
History has it that a son of Akpor – the legendary founder of the community – was the 1st son of Ebiri who proved by eating and surviving that the hitherto wild tuber was not only edible and safe but sweet and nutritious. He thus earned the headship of the Igbere clan’s Yam Culture.
Only nde Amakpo can eat the yam very day of harvest while others do so a day after. All wedding and burial ceremony are suspended until Inu Ndi Amakpo is over.
By the way Fijioku (Njoku /Ahiajoku and its dialectical variations) is the yam deity hence God of farming and food security worshiped in the Yam Belt of West Africa that covers countries between Cameroon and Ivory Coast. Yam remains essentially a status crop in Igboland.
Its continued decline as a staple food is a monumental tragedy.
HRH Eze Rowland A. Ekeoma.