Sunday, August 23, 2009

Know Your Igbo

>>Nsibidi: A system of writings in the form of formalised pictograms in which the Igbo language was first written down. After the decline of Nsibidi, it became a system of communication among secret societies. Inscribed on the sculpture of Chukwu Abiama (the supreme God), displayed in the Mbari Cultural Centre, Nsibidi is now also a major source of inspiration for Igbo artists.

>> The Igbo calendar: The Igbos have four market days - Eke, Ovie, Afor and Nkwo. These also doubles as days of the week; four days make a week; seven weeks make a month.

>> Mbari: the name derives from the Igbo word for ‘Creation'. Specific to the Owerri-Igbo people of Imo State, mbaris are sacred open-sided mud houses built to honour a deity.

Chukwu Abiama: the great high god in Igbo mythology, who created the chis (personal gods) and other deities.

>> Ala: is the earth deity, revered for her powers of fertility over humans and the land. Daughter of Chukwu, she is the highest Igbo goddess. Ala is also the goddess of death.

>> Amadioha: is the god of lightning and thunder, said to be the messenger of the gods. Amadioha is said to have worked inside an mbari, painting clay images with the assistance of his wife.

Anyanwu: is the sun goddess; name translates to ‘Eye of the Sun' - the source of life and health for all living creatures.


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