Traditional Ceremonies Performed During Igbere Ezumezu – by Chief Uche Dimgba

According to report by Chief Uche I. C. Dimgba, there are several unique events which take place during the Igbere Ezumezu such as entertainment, commissioning of projects for the development of Igbere Community, etc. However, there are certain traditional rites and ceremonies which must be done during each Ezumezu in order to certify it completed.

All ceremonies to be performed during the EZUMEZU FESTIVAL are as follows:
(1). “Igbotonma”:  “The Ezumezu Festival affords our Igbere Clan the singular opportunity and privilege to pull out or retire the oldest age grade who served the Clan meritoriously from communal service; this is called Traditional Retirement Ceremony (IGBOTO NMA).” – Chief Solomon Ukaegbu Akuma, SAN, MON wrote

(2). “Inarunma”: This is the age grade that will replace the retiring age grade (Uke Igbotonma). They will then become the oldest age grade and will receive from the retiring age grade Uke Igbotonma the traditional Marchete and Hoe which is the symbol of the whole tradition.

(3). “Izaru aha”:  On the other hand, to recognize a new Age Grade. And this aspect is called Outing/Naming of a New Age Grade (IZARAFA). The occasion is also used to raise funds for the development of our Clan.” – Chief Solomon Ukaegbu Akuma, SAN, MON, wrote in statement delivered during the 2008 Ezumezu Festival in Igbere.

(4). “Ifusa uke”: This is same with ikwaru aji or ikeru aji: The “uke ikeru aji or ikwaru aji” is the youngest age grade Umu Ebiri. They are made up of the young men and women who are getting ready for the next three years (after each Igbotonma) to be recognised as new age grade. This is called (ifusa uke). Traditionally, a  piece of aku George will be used to tie to the waist of their leader, which signifies informing them to get ready for their recognition come next three years.

(5). “Uke ji ogo”: There is always an age grade which will see to the organisation of the ceremony and make sure everything is well organised known as “Uke ji ogo”.

So, in all you can see that almost everybody is celebrating. But we have kept most of them silent and only concentrated on the Igbotonma alone. Maybe in the near future will open up all the ceremonies and that will be great if it could be done. However, we thank God for what we have as a community.

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Article written by Chief Uche I. C. Dimgba, (Okpotemba)

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