Igbu Ewu Ani

Igbu Ewu Ani: Cultural Significance and Dangers Associated With its Negligence.

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More and more, I continuously see the logic and benefit behind several Igbo ancestral practices, especially practices we classify as archaic, ancient, fetish, and superstitious, nonetheless the construction of these practices was uniquely tailored to suit our realities as Ndi-Igbo and they more or less form a foundation to our existence, which if we had stuck to some of these practices, our current deposition and existence would have been phenomenal, because we would have built a better “Ala-Igbo”, based on these foundations.

Gini Bu Igbu Ewu Ani?

Igbu Ewu Ani is an ancient Igbo practice that entails the offering of a live goat to the kindred and ancestral spirits “Ndi-Ichie” of a family after the purchase and the sale of a land. This practice of Igbu Ewu Ani, to Ndi-Igbo is synonymous with the legal documentation or procedure that signifies the legal ownership of a piece of land but with a metaphysical twist in regard to the ancestral and familiar spirits that are governing a piece of land.

These spirits include the linage ancestors whose blood and sweat were used to either fight and conquer the piece of land “ndi zotara ani” or familiar spirits who are known as the protector of that land, hence, this traditional rite needs to be performed on all land sales excepts ancestral lands we consider as “Ani Obi- lands on which an Obi or shrine was established on” because, in Igbo culture, it is considered an abomination to be involved in the sale or the purchase of an “Ani Obi” because of its spiritual and metaphysical significance.

Significance of Igbu Ewu Ani.

   The significance of this traditional practice is to prevent the reselling of an already sold land by family members since their spiritual and ancestral forces have been pre-informed and have released the ownership of such lands to its new owner. This practice, therefore, serves as a sort of deterrent and oath-taking ensuring that individuals who bore witness to this sale, do not become two-faced by participating in the resell of such land, hence, we can say that this practice is a form of “Ijidere Mmadu Ofo”. 

Also Read: Ogwu Ego In Igbo Culture

Dangers of not performing the rite of “Igbu Ewu Ani”.

    We must have heard our elders casually throw this sentence “Ana di oku na eri isi mmadu”, it means, “An unappeased land, is ultimately dangerous and can lead to loss of life”. In this context, we can say that some lands we inhabit today can be traced to some dispute, inter-communal conflicts, or were known as a wilderness “Ikpa or Agu” where no one lives. Some of these lands were also dedicated to deities “Ana-Alusi”, making these lands to be filled with so much history and spirit-dominated heritage. This automatically makes these lands dangerous “Ana na ere oku”, when they are not handled properly based on the Igbo stipulated rites and rituals guarding the land. Therefore, to purchase land without performing the traditional rites associated with the land transfer of ownership leaves an individual at risk of awakening angry spirits who still perceive such piece of land as their heritage and such anger can also be directed towards their own family member who sold their property without any prior information.

Read about this book extensively here.

   

Read Here: The Negative Energy Akalaogheli.

  This was what our ancestors thrived to prevent, hence, by doing Igbu Ewu Anu, the right way, they avoid uprooting and opening themselves up to spiritual entities that may want to cause them harm. In regards to our interpersonal relationship, when these traditional rites are duly performed, the reselling of such land by those that participated in this ritual can ultimately lead to their death, because they are no longer walking on the path of truth, but they are walking on a destructive path of greed, hence, the new spiritual owners of the land, would ensure that such action would never go unpunished.

What are your thoughts about this ancient Igbo ancestral practice of “Igbu Ewu Ani”, do you think it serves a modern purpose?

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