Meet The Unique Cultural Heritages of “Abia People” of Nigeria.

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ugwuabia festival
Dancers at Ugwuabia festival/ photo credit:nigeriagallaria.com
Abia, also known as “God’s Own State” is a State in the South Eastern part of Nigeria. The capital is Umuahia and the major commercial city is Aba. The commercial hub, Aba was formerly a British colonial government outpost in the region. She is the first on the list of the 36 states + Abuja (the FCT) that made up Nigeria: the giant of Africa.

She was founded on 27th August, 1991.

She is made up of 17 LGAs

She covers 6,320 km²

ISO 3166 code: ISO 3166-2:NG

Destinations: Umuahia, Arochukwu, Ohafia, Azumini, Okigwe, Abiriba, Ahaba, Umudike, Alayi, Osisioma Ngwa, Ishiagu, Ngodo

Team: Enyimba International F.C.

Abia State is one of the States inhabited by the lgbo tribe of Nigeria. Their primary language of communication is lgbo language. When you talk about “cultural heritage”, she is richly endowed. This is evident in her people’s mode of dressing, dancing, arts and crafts, as well as festivals.

new yam festival
On a new yam festival:kingspartan.com

They have a unique dress and grooming pattern. The traditional attire for the men is–An over-flowing jumper or long-sleeve shirt worn over a “George” wrapper tied around the waist and flowing down to the ankles. This dress is perfected with a cap and a walking stick for support and defense.

READ ALSO: South Africa: The Traditional Wedding Culture of the “Zulus”

For the women, the traditional wear is–A blouse over an “Abada” or “George”, around the waist, always complemented with a headgear, necklace and earrings.

As a means of psychological escape and a form of entertainment, the Abians performs different types of music and dance to suit various occasions. There is music for work, leisure, childbirth, funeral, and for different festivals.

Most of the traditional music is a combination of the vocal and instrumental artistry which produces a tuneful melody. Musical instruments such as the Gong, Leather drums, Wooden drums, Traditional flute the (Oja), Earthen-pot drums and a host of other percussion instruments.

Ohafia war dancers
Ohafia war-dancers:photo credit/premiumtimes.com

Abians are also known for their famous traditional lit- music and dances such as the the “Bende and Ohafia war dance,” the “Egwu Ukwu (waist dance) of Isiala Ngwa and “Ekpe dance in Arochukwu”.

Abia tradition and cultural heritage will be so incomplete in the absence of the traditional “Akwete’ cloth of Ukwa East, among other artistic works produced in the State such as carved doors, stools, walking sticks, traditional flutes, mortars, gongs, pestles etc.and  the lgbo traditional hospitality to visitors, which is represented by the presentation of kolanuts to visitors. The kolanut here signifies that the visitors are heartily welcomed.

Colanut
Kolanut offering tradition of the Igbos:photo credit/the234project.com

The rituals of the presentation of the kolanut are effectuated with the offering of prayers and thanks- giving or request to the supreme God for the protection of the visitor and the host.

Akwete weavers
Akwete-Weavers of Abia:photo credit/nigeriagallaria.com

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Meanwhile, each community in Abia State has different festivals celebrated in honor of its gods and goddesses, or to mark important events. The beginnings of the planting season as well as the harvest season are celebrated annually. The New Yam festival, celebrated as thanksgiving to God (Chukwu) by everyone is prevalent in lgbo land.

On the record, there is a State-owned festival known as “Ugwuabia Festival” (the pride of Abia). This festival is considered one of the founding festivals in Abia where all the LGAs in the State comes together to showcase the best of all their culture in a carnival.

Igbo dancers
Ngwa dancers:photo credit/pinterest.com

The most significant festival in Abia State is the annual New Yam Festival (also known as Iwaji) celebrated in thanksgiving to God for a good harvest. It is usually held towards the end of the rainy season within the months of July and August respectively.

Abia state is richly blessed with values so tremendous!

Beautiful people with unique cultural heritage: No wonder the state is called “God’s own state.”

 

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