Monday, September 12, 2022


The origin of Ezza began from Onueke which is known as the ancestral home of Ezza people called OKPOKU EZEKUNA. EZEKUNA is the progenitor of Ezza while ANYIGOR is the wife while EKUMENYI is the father of EZZA, IZZI And IKWO, EZZA is the elderly son among the three sons of EKUMENYI that's why the only difference in their tone and three of them form what we see today as ABAKALIKI, they refer to themselves as UMUEKUMENYI

The great People of Ezza can be found in 6 out 13 local government in Ebonyi state .
Ezza is an Igbo sub-group, in Southeastern Nigeria . Ezzas are collectively referred to by the singular name Ezza or Ezza-Ezekuna in reference to their progenitor. Ezza tribe ,are found predominantly in Ebonyi State , mainly Ebonyi Central and in great numbers in Ebonyi North and South. Ezza have twenty two notable communities across Ebonyi state,  prominent amongst them include;


They also live in various communities such as Effium in Ohaukwu LGA, Ezillo in Ishielu LGA, Abaomege, Ukawu, etc; and a very significant number live in parts of Enugu, Benue, Cross River States and other parts of Nigeria. Ezza generally are very industrious and the language is spoken in Ebonyi. 


 EZZA New yam festival is normally celebrate around July and August on orie market after cleaning of compound, EZZA is normal the first to celebrate New yam festival in Ebonyi state regarding their position as the elderly son before izzi, ikwo mgbo etc will celebrate theirs.
EZZA New Yam festival known as Oke-Aku aka (nne efi oha) Festival is still revered and celebrated with pomp and grandeur. The festival marks the commencement of a new calendar year for the EZZAS. It signifies the end of the planting season, especially the planting of yam and the ushering in of the new yam. Yam is so much celebrated in all EZZA land and other Igboland culturally because yam is regarded as the king of crops.

EZZAS, the descendants of EZEKUNA and his wife, ANYIGOR is one of the most populous clan in Nigeria with twenty-two (22) traditional communities and over 10,000 villages in Ebonyi, Enugu and Benue state respectively, having her ancestral headquarter at ONUEKE in Ezza South LGA of Ebonyi state.
As a matter of fact, EZZA-EZEKUNA people all over the world have their lineage traced back to the above mentioned communities, hence the Oke-Aku Festival takes place in all their towns, villages and homes.
The EZZAS in those areas mentioned above still offers sacrifices at the shrine of Ezekuna (Nguji Ozo Ezekuna) at Amana ONUEKE. The shrine is known to be the grave of Ezekuna their progenitor. This exercise is performed to solicit for a death-free and prosperous New year.
NOTE; no one dares to harvest, sell or eat NEW YAM anywhere in Ezza land until the Oke-Aku festival is observed or else there will be fatal repercussions "People will start dying gradually with many unusual things happening in that person's family". Inorder To avert these, Sacrifices are offered to the gods to appease their anger against those who through hunger had eaten the New yam before the day of the festival.

 The Eke day before the Orie Oke-Aku festival day also called Eke-Uwhu-Awha-Lunaa-Awha is for making purchases, while the night before the feast is a double night, a holy night (the old is said to be driven away, while the new is said to be welcomed by the beating of any available instruments like drum, accompanied by shout of "Ejo-Awha Laaoo!(unfruitful year go) This action is performed at about midnight. On the day of the feast: Ishi-nééwhi-oha (Oke-aku day); a place sited in front of a compound where all yam peels are deposited, head of unripped palm kernel and a little chicken and pepper are all hung there for all family members who died childless (Ejo-maa -bad spirit).
On Orie Oke-Aku day, the elders among those living in Ezekuna's compound in Amana in ONUEKE who over the years are entrusted with the task of looking after the palm farm of Ezekuna will bring all the kernel and oil for the year to share among the sons of Ezekuna.The representatives of all Ezza communities, usually come to collect their share of the kernels and oil. On returning home, these elders representing their communities are being welcomed by the family members by presenting the Kola plate (Ukpara, old yam, Aku-Nsuaku(kernel), Kola, Coconut and Meat for the ritual that begins the Festival proper. The representatives prays and blesses the rest of their family members. After this, he divides the old yam in Small slices this wife or wives, neighbours and well wishers. The kicking off of the celebration is done by the father of each family while sitting on his okpoku.

Written by Igwe Cletus

Source: Igbo history

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