The Igbo Network
1005th ỊGỤ-ARỌ NDI IGBO:
their stay in Egypt Eri became the high priest and spiritual adviser to Pharaoh
Teti, the fifth dynastic king of
During the Exodus, which marked the beginning of the mass movement of the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Eri was amongst the tribe that left Egypt following the injunction from God to the Israelites (see Deuteronomy chapter 28 verses 58 68). Some of these tribes founded settlements in the southern part of Sudan, where they established the Nok culture, which is similar to that of other (sun Cult) culture, like Nri, Fiji, Samoa, and Jukun in the Northern part of Nigeria and elsewhere. But others who could not remain in the Southern Sudan traveled further South, some branched off to Jukun, in Northern part of Nigeria, others continued and arrived at the confluence of Rivers Niger and Anambara known as Ezu-na-Ọmambala and settled there while some veered off to the Island of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean. An intelligence report notes that the Fijians have the same sun culture with the people of Nri.
arrived at the confluence of Ezu-na-Ọmambala he had two wives, namely
Nneamakụ and Oboli, Nneamakụ begot five children, namely (a)
Nrifikwuanịm-Menri being the first son (b) Agụlụ (c) Ogbodudu
(d) Onogu and (e) Iguedo the only daughter. Oboli begot Ọnọja, the
only son who founded the
took after his progenitor Eri, and became a high priest among his people. He
left Agụleri in search of a better living place, according to Mr. M.D.W.
Jeffreys report, and settled at present Nri site. He started performing what
Eri did at
Ịgụ-Arọ is an annual festival of the Nri people. It is during this festival that Eze Nri proclaims the New Year to all the Igbo communities under his jurisdiction, and he then announces the Nri calendar to the people. The Nri calendar is made up of thirteen (13) Lunar months namely:
(2) Ọnwa Abụa (2nd moon) March to April, (clearing and farming).
(4) Ọnwa Ana (4th moon) May to June (planting seed yams).
(5) Ọnwa Agwụ (5th moon) Ịgọchi and mmanwụ (Adult Masquerades) June-July.
(6) Ọnwa Ifejiọkụ (6th moon) Yam Ritual (Ifejiọkụ) July August.
(7) Ọnwa Alọm Chi (7th moon) Yam Harvest (For Alụsị only) comes up August to early September.
(8) Ọnwa Ilo Mmụọ (8th moon) Ọnwa Asatọ festival (September ending).
(9) Ọnwa Ana (9th moon) Ana Ritual comes up in October.
(10) Ọnwa Okike (10th moon) Okike ritual takes place in early November.
(11) Ọnwa Ajana (11th moon) Okike ritual takes place in November ending.
(13) Ọnwa Ụzọ Alụsị (13th moon) offering to Alụsị (early January to early February).
were great innovators in rituals, diplomacy, economy, administration, and
management of a segmented and decentralized people. The Lunar system of
calculating the year with a system of adjustment was known to the Nri priests
of Alụsị Arọ and the knowledge of the movement of the heavenly
bodies were employed in calculation the lunar year, according to Northcote
Thomas (M.A. Frai) a British Government Anthropologist who served in Ọka
District in the early 20th century, in 1910 he reported he got names from the
following heavenly bodies at Nri-Pleiades, Orion and Great Bear. Therefore Nri
elders had clear knowledge of these stars and others which helped them in
calculating the intervals between each Lunar period and finding their
directions during their sojourn from one
During the Ịgụ-Arọ Festival, Eze Nri proclaims the New Year; he also distributes seed yams to the Igbo People and asked them to go home and farm. He tells the people that after his Ịgụ-Arọ, approximately within four days but certainly not more than three native weeks (Izu Anọ) you will have the first rainfall, so after this rainfall you can go ahead to cultivate your crop.
Eze Nri introduced the cowrie currency (Ego ayo), and a sophisticated system of using cowrie as a medium of exchange and valuation was developed in the Igbo cultural area. The system of calculation and the table of conversion used in the Nri area in the late Nineteenth century were as follows:
1 Mkpụlụ Ego = 1 Cowrie
6 Mkpụlụ Ego = 6 Cowries = 1 isi ego
10 Isi Ego = 60 Cowries = 1 Ukwu
20 Ukwu = 1,200 Cowries = 1 Afịa
20 Afịa = 2,400 cowries = 1 Akpa ego or ili Afịa
10 Akpa (bags) = 240,000 cowries = Nnu Afịa.
Fowls and bags were valued in Ukwu, goats and sheep in Afịa, cows, slaves and land in ili Afịa. Bride wealth was negotiated in nnu, never to exceed four Nnu Afịa. Iron bars and rods, copper bars and rods and manilas were valued in terms of cowries. In order to facilitate carrying them around for transaction, cowries were strung together in rows of sixes and sewn permanently on mats in bundles of 6, 1,200, 24,000, and 240, 000. The mats were rolled, loose ones were tied in bags of 24,000 called akpa.
Prof. M. Angulu Onwuejeogwu equally reported the conversion of cowries to British currencies this way. At the beginning of the 19th century, the British introduced the pound, shillings and pence #, s. d. currency system. This new system was resisted in various ways. First a dual currency system was developed, traditional goods were sold in cowries and European goods in British currency. Later cowries could buy British currency and British currency could buy cowries. By a system of haggling, the exchange rate varied and was determined by several factors. As more European goods began to penetrate without replacement, the British currency backed by law, became dominant. In 1925, the following rate of exchange was still operating in many rural markets.
10 cowries = 1/2d (Half Penny)
20 cowries = 1d (One Penny)
60 cowries = 3d (Three Pence)
120 cowries = 6d (Six Pence)
240 cowries = 1/- (one shilling)
1200 cowries = 5/-(Five Shillings)
1400 cowries = ₤1 (one pound)
24,000 cowries = ₤5 (Five Pounds)
120,000 cowries = ₤25 (Twenty five pounds)
Having introduced trading and currency which was the cowrie system, and having worked out the rate of exchange to accommodate the British traders and their currency system, Eze Nri introduced a sort of local system for people with extra money to keep on this Prof. M. Angulu Onwuejeogwu 1981 writes:
In Nri, a rudimentary local banking system developed, during the slave trade period, men with strong buildings began to keep the cowries of other people in return for commission. Such men became very rich and were able to give a capital loan to persons who wished to begin a trading venture. No fixed rate of interest was paid, one had to haggle over the interest called Ọmụlụnwa on the principal, isi ego.
Stock Exchange was introduced for the first time in Nri, for instance stock exchange was associated with Ọzọ title. In this system, a person who had belonged to one of the alliance groups called Ogwe Mmuo. The candidate for the title will purchase a total of Nine (9) shares known as Ọfọ Itenanị. The shares are known as Ọfọ the stall of immortality. The Ọzọ titled man will get his entitlements depending on the number of Ọfọ Ọzọ he has. An Ọzọ man with nine Ọfọ Ọzọ will be entitled to nine shares whenever a new person took the title and made payment. One could sell his Ọfọ, except three, within his Ọzọ group at a loss or profit, whenever he is in need of money. He could use his Ọfọ as security for a loan, the person giving the loan will take the shares allocated to the Ọfọ whenever payments of share were made until the capital and interest were paid back by the owner of the Ọfọ. If a man dies his male children will inherit the total Ọfọ Ọzọ and the allocated shares. Shares of Ọfọ Ọzọ lapses two years after the mans death, it is known as ovunisi. The family of the dead Ọzọ man will continue to take all shares accruing from the Ọfọ Ọzọ left. The son could use one of the Ọfọ Ọzọ in taking his own Ọzọ title. If he did this he would continue to take shares accruing from his own Ọfọ and those inherited. If he has brothers, the Ọfọ Ọzọ of their father would be shared according to the law of inheritance in Nri. (Northcote W. Thomas, M.A, F.R.A.I) 1913.
The Ọfọ, the staff of immortality, ritual and political authority was converted into a type of security certificate. Nri used the ritual system to achieve economic enhancement via Stock Exchange. This cultural civilization was introduced to Igbo land before the coming of the British Colonial Administration. Therefore, Nri bequeathed this highly civilized pattern of exchange to Igbo land.
introduced the four market days to the
It is on record in Igbo land that Eze Nri introduced agriculture in Igboland. He introduced yam, cocoyam, and other cash crops in Igbo land. That is why at every Ịgụ Arọ ceremony, His Majesty the Eze Nri will share out seed yams to the people present, to go and plant. This symbolizes the introduction of yam to the Igbo race.
LIST OF PAST EZE NRI AND ORDER OF REIGN:
(1) Nri Ifikuanịm 1043 1158
(2) Nri Namoke (from Diodo) 1090 1158
(3) Nri Buife (From Obeagụ Unified Ọfọ Nalọ Agukwu and Diodo) 1159 1259
(4) Nri Ọmalọ (Uruọji) 1260 1299
(5) Nri Jiọfọ 1 (Agbadana) 1300 1390
(6) Nri Ọmalonyeso (Obeagu) 1391 1464
(7) Nri Anyamata (Uruọji) 1465 1511
(8) Nri Fenenu (Agbadana) 1512 1582
(9) Nri Agụ (Obeagu) 1583 1676
(11) Nri Ezimilo (Agbadana) 1701 1723
(12) Nri Enwenetem (Agbadana) 1724 1794
(13) Nri Enwelana 1 (Obeagu) 1795 1886
(14) Nri Ọbalike (Uruọji) 1889 1936
(15) Nri Jiofọ II Taabansi Udene (Agbadana) 1937 1987
(16) Nri Enwelana II Obidiegwu Onyeso (MFR) (Obeagu) 1988 - Present
NRI AGE GRADES:
(1) Oliokuku between 1846 1854
(2) Irunatọ between 1855 1863
(3) Umezọba between 1864 1866
(4) Ijele between 1867 1872
(5) Atụ between 1873 1875
(6) Ugo between 1876 1878
(7) Ọchokwu between 1879 1881
(8) Olimgba between 1882 1887
(9) Ekwueme between 1888 1890
(10) Mmanenyi between 1891 1896
(11) Irugo between 1897 1902
(12) Iruagụ between 1903 1905
(13) Iruatọ between 1906 1908
(14) Nri buenyi between 1909 1911
(15) Iruenyi between 1912 1914
(16) Ọkpatụ between 1915 1917
(17) Ifediọra between 1918 1920
(18) Amakaekwu between 1921 1923
(19) Abakarị between 1924 1929
(20) Atigwe between 1927 1929
(21) Akpalị between 1930 1932
(22) Akụm between 1933 1935
(23) Amuoku between 1936 1938
(24) Ọkuanị (Omenyi) between 1939 1941
(25) Udokafulukwu between 1942 1944
(26) Ndụkakụ between 1945 1947
(27) Chikwado between 1948 1950
(28) Ofuobi between 1951 1953
(29) Nri Jiọfọ between 1957 1956
(30) Nri Bụ isi Igbo between 1957 1959
(31) Ọdinanị between 1960 1963
(32) Nri bu Ofu between1964 1966
(33) Nri Ezuo between 1967 1969
(34) ? between 1970 1972
(35) between 1973 1975
Since the present monarch ascended the throne there has been peace, however after the initial wrangling in the community. The community is well-protected security wise. The town union, Nri progress Union (NPU) has introduced a very reliable security outfit, that patrols through the community both day and night.
The community has benefited from the Federal Government two unserviceable water boreholes. However, since the ascension to the throne by HRM. Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso (MFR) Eze Nrienwelana 11, Anambra state Government has awarded ADB assisted water project while the federal Government has through the federal ministry of water Resources awarded three borehole projects which have been ostensibly completed but they are not functional yet. We are still begging the Federal and State Government to assist us to get these boreholes become operational, so that our water problem would be solved.
gradually improving on our electricity supply in order to ensure that Nri has
steady electricity supply. The Federal Government through NEPA is currently
executing an enhanced electricity supply project through the installation of a
2.5kva electricity step down from Nibo sub station to Nri. To this end the
Eze Nri in Council and the N.P.U.
Executive would like to thank the Federal Government for this kind
gesture to the people of Nri. With the enhanced electricity supply to Nri, our
sons and daughters and other entrepreneurs can now site small-scale industries
in the community so as to improve the unemployment syndrome of our youths, as
well as help reduce the worsening urban drift to the metropolitan cities.
The authorities in Nri are working concertedly to re-establish effective relationship with our brothers and sisters in Diaspora in some 113 and ever growing list of identified communities in Nigeria including:
(1) Abala Ụnọ (
(2) Abavo (
(5) Akwaeze (
(Part of it)
(8) Amaegu Nrobo Ọkpara Ụzọ Ụwanị (
(9) Amaezike Nkpọlọgwụ Nsụka (
(10) Amọbia (
(15) Rgbema Ozubulu (
(17) Eha Alụmụna (
(21) Enugwu Ukwu (
(23) Eziọnwa Oko (
(25) Igberi (Kwara state) (26) Ikot Ichie (
(27) Ipọnri (
(29) Ishiagụ (
(31) Isuochu (
(34) Isu Awa (
(36) Ivolo Ọraifite
Otolo Nnewi (
(41) Megeri (
(43) Ndiamazu Arọndizuọgụ (
(45) Nimbo (
(47) Nkwere Isu (Imo
state) (48) Nnọkwa (
(50) Nọfia (
(52) Ofun Nrobo (
(54) Ogboli Isele
(56) Ogboli Ibusa (
(58) Okpolo Amichi
(60) Okpuneze Nnewi (
(62) Ọmanenu (
(65) Ute Okpu (
(68) Oya Affa Udi (
(71) Ugbene (
Ejiofọ Obeledu (
Ilozumba Obeledu (
Okeakpukpo (78) Ụmụ Eme Asaba (
Ossomari Ogbaru (
(86) Ụmụeri-Owerri (
Ọgba Nguru Nsụka (
Ọka Etiti (
Ụmụọgaze Ukpo (
Ezidike Agulu Uzoigbo (
(107) Uwanyama Nsukka
(109) Ogboli Nkwerre
Nri Community Ọkija (
(113) Nnewi (some Communities) see C.N. Ugochukwus Isu factor in Nnewi History 2000, Tabansi Publisher.
foregoing, Nri is one of the oldest established Kingdoms in
The street of the Nri family is the street of the Gods, through which all who die in other parts of Igboland pass to the land of the spirits.
Some other notable references include Olaedo Equiano (1789), G.T. Basden (1902, 1921), A.G. Leonard (1906), M.A. Talbot (1926), Northcote Thomas (1930), C.D. Forde and G.I. Jones (1950), Professor Kenneth Dike (1956), F.K. Elechi (1971), M.D. Jeffreys (1972), A.E. Afigbo (1973), (1981), Prof. M. A. Onwuejeogwu (1981) B.I.O Odinanwa (1987, 1993), D.C. Ohadike (1975), Cardinal Arinze Francis (1970), P.J.O. Nwadirigwe (1999), Uche P. Keanyibe (1997).
PAST ỌFỌ NRI HONOREES
1. Rt. Hon.(Dr) Nnamdi Azikiwe
Former Premier of Eastern Region and first President of Nigeria
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1956.
2. Rt. Hon. (Dr) M.I. Okpara
Former Premier of Eastern Region
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1958.
3. General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
As the Biafran head of State
Ọfọ Nri was bestowed on him on 1967.
4. Rt. Hon. (Dr) Jim. Nwobodo
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1979.
5. Rt. Hon. Sen. Dr. Chuba Okadigbo
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1979
6. H.E. Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 2001.
RECIPIENTS OF AWARDS:
H.E. Dr. Sam Egwu
Shall be conferred with a chieftaincy title of
DIKE ORA of Igbo land.
H.E. Senator Adolphus Wabara
President of the
Shall be presented with Ọfọ Nri
H.E. Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige OON
Senator David Mark
Chairman Senate Committee on Police Affairs.
Shall be honoured with chieftaincy
Title of DIKE MBA of NRI
Engr. Emma Okonkwo,
General Manager, NEPA H/Q
Shall be honoured with CERTIFICATE MERIT
With its paraphernalia.
Conferment of Certificate of Honour as well as certificate of Merit to deserving Nri Indigenes.
Otunba Mike Niyi Adenuga Jnr. OON.
Chairman, Global Com. Ltd
1004th Ịgụ Arọ Ndigbo 2003Ad
Recipient OF A Chieftaincy Title of Omefulu Ora Of Nri.
Chief Dr. Anieze Chinwuba PhD.
Chairman Nitel Plc
1004th Ịgụ Arọ Ndigbo 2003AD
Recipient Of A Chieftaincy Title
Of Ikeora Ndigbo
Chief Barr. (Dr.) Mrs. Josephine N. Anenih
Iyom Nri Nwachinemelu
National Woman Leader, Peoples Democratic Party.
Chief Mrs. Uche Ekwunife
Prof. Miriam Ikejani Clark
Prepared for Online Publication by Dae Nnamdi Nwuda, Igbo Heritage Foundation