@Ubari Ikoro Umuezike,Umuezeala-Ama,Ehime-Mbano.
*September 4 2017
AWA is the last ceremony in the New Yam Festival of Umuezeala clan (Onwa Onwa Ano Umuezeala). In its uniqueness, the feast is all inclusive for males and females; and Ehime nchi ishii (comprising of six clans) are involved in the celebration of AWA.
The crab (Nshiko) the mascot of the ceremony signifies the stability of the Igbo man nay Okigwe man. The Crustacean has eight legs, “hard shell, two pincers, and a pair of sharp stealthy eyes. It moves side ways on land; swims in the water and burrows underground for safety and shelter”. However, when you kick it, it bounces back, stable and poised for action.
That is how an indigenous Igbo man of Okigwe zone is expected to behave.
The bullying from the Colonial masters, Christian religion and Neo-colonization by our political leaders (or rather masters) couldn’t have mattered if we could bounce back to our original collective pursuit as a group with one destiny.
The proverbial Nshiko as we are taught at every AWA ceremony “swam various streams, rivers and oceans but regrettably drown in a woman’s soup pot”.
Thus the AWA ceremony is the time for sober reflection for the man, the head of the household, community or state who may last many battles and upheavals but may succumb to the vagaries of women and materialism of this world,. It is a time the man:
*Socializes with his family, wife, sons and daughters.
*Teaches his family etiquettes, ethics and morals.
*In conjunction with the wife teach the children to keep warm during cold and damp weather.
*Purges his sons of selfishness and individualism and teach them the good lessons of :
-Igwe bu ike,
-Onye aghala nwanne ya,
-Ibu anyi nda nda,
-Agba kuo aka nyuo mmamiri ya gbọọ ufufu,
-Self help projects.
*The time mothers teach their children the recipe and preparation of Indigenous delicacies and dishes.
Sponsored by Dr Chineme Mike Anyaeze (Ikoro)