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|The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Rapmoney(m): 7:19pm On Aug 31, 2015|
In many places in Igboland, the python is regarded as a ‘sacred being’ which no one is expected to kill, harm or maltreat. It is an age-long observance because to most Igbo communities, Eke or python is seen as the symbol of the sea or river goddess. It protects and provides for the people, both in terms of wealth, fertility and long life. To the people, eke is a harmless ‘being’ and it is actually harmless to those who do not kill it. To them, eke symbolises peace, prosperity and abundance, especially in the waters.
At Umuohi, Okija, in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state, a man called Ukata Nnanna in an interview gave a clearer picture of why the eke has come to be regarded as being so sacred and in some places is worshipped as a goddess.
"The story of eke we have here is sacred and different. But before we go on, it is good to point out that the mystery surrounding eke is greater than most of us can actually understand. Our own case is quite peculiar. In the olden days, our people used to provide shelter for strangers. This was how the issue of eke became a symbol of respect and regards here in our village", Nnanna said, grinning and shaking his head repeatedly.
"There was one certain aged widow who was said to have been driven away by her husband people. She set out on a journey, a journey she did not know where it would take her. When she got to Umuohi, Okija, she stopped and begged our people to provide a place for her to rest her feet. She was by then too tired to continue on her way.
"Our people did not only give her a place to settle down, she was also asked to remain with us. Without knowing it, our people had given shelter and hope to a woman with plenty of mysterious powers. Before the woman died she made a lot of promises to our people. In the first place she asked that her house be built by the riverside. No one knew why she made that sort of request. But then at her death she decreed that no Umuohi woman should be maltreated by her husband people. And wherever she is married to, on the first night of her arrival, a python would appear to encourage and strengthen her. To date, this situation still exists; that once an Umuohi woman is being threatened at her husband’s place, a python appears, sometimes a very big one that would frighten people out of their wits. For this reason, a lot of people are sceptical about marrying an Umuohi woman.
"The woman did not even die. She turned into eke. She lives inside the Okpu stream or if you like river, which is along Owerri-Onitsha road, Anambra state. There you can see this big python and it comes out once the sun is out to suntan. This is what it does everyday. It is so huge that a lot of people are scared of it," Nnanna stressed. "But we the Umuohi people are not," he boasted.
The python which is called eke ogwugwu-mili therefore is said to be the mother of all the pythons that litter the length and breath of Igboland. Today, anyone who kills or maims eke either knowingly or unknowingly is compelled to buy all the necessary materials with which to bury it. These range from white cloth, to coffin, kola nuts, white chalk and so on. The coffin would be placed in a conspicuous place where passers-by are wont to pay condolences and show some sign of remorse. Where one fails to bury the eke in the traditional way, more stringent punishments will be placed on him and members of his family. Sometimes he would be ostracised or banished from the land depending on the circumstances of the death of the python. Some even have small pox sickness placed on them.
It is because of all these that eke does not bite the natives of Okija and other places where these observances are made. If eke bites one by error, all it does is to hiss, and then the bite will have no effect on the person. Even then, Christians also obey the law; they too do not kill eke. Why would anyone kill it when it does not harm him? Some people would often ask. Eke is a common sight in many places in Igboland where they are at liberty to crawl without let or hindrance. There is the eke Idemili (for Idemili, river). There is also eke Ogba which is supposed to be the king of all the pythons. That one lives inside huge forests and so has no contact with human civilization.
Each area gives the eke a name according to what it does for them and the deity it represents. For some, it is eke atamili’ or eke nkwo ocha, all in the name of what place it has in their communal lifestyle and existence. Today at Umuohi, Okija, eke still remains their symbol, some kind of rallying point. And you are not expected to treat their daughters with disdain and disrespect.
15 Likes 9 Shares
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by INTROVERT(f): 7:21pm On Aug 31, 2015|
Sipping with swag.
a lot of people are sceptical about marrying an Umuohi woman.
30 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by 48noble(m): 7:21pm On Aug 31, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Rapmoney(m): 7:23pm On Aug 31, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by kikilove(f): 7:25pm On Aug 31, 2015|
Na WA oh
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by fromnigeria(m): 7:30pm On Aug 31, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by knostbrown01(m): 7:36pm On Aug 31, 2015|
ℓ̊ 8 Snakes
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by NigAmbassador: 7:40pm On Aug 31, 2015|
Such culture is found only in Amambra state. In my igbo community, we murder such evil creatures... #war_mood
76 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Lilyomi(f): 7:52pm On Aug 31, 2015|
Here in nigeria? Wow I love to learn new things.
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Nobody: 7:53pm On Aug 31, 2015|
I take it you are not too familiar with the Isu-Njaba axis of Imo State.
89 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Nobody: 8:32am On Sep 01, 2015|
We don't practice such culture in Anambra state.
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Nobody: 8:33am On Sep 01, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Vock(m): 8:34am On Sep 01, 2015|
Point noted, don't marry an umuohi woman if you have abusive tendencies
24 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by loomer: 8:34am On Sep 01, 2015|
See meat sha
8 Likes 1 Share
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Nobody: 8:34am On Sep 01, 2015|
You sound stupid.
The culture can only be found in ANAMBRA STATE ??
Mention only 2 towns in Anambra state that entertains such culture
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by magabounce(m): 8:34am On Sep 01, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Fernandowski(m): 8:34am On Sep 01, 2015|
Why do some people wanna turn nairaland into a snake market??
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by missKiffy(f): 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
Bloody yeebos, if it is another tribe now they will start crying and wailing as if na them holy pass, and na them worse pass
75 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by RichDad1(m): 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
Nna men... see
Ihiala hmmmm Eze-Ego comes to mind. Funny how time flies.
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by okooloyun1(m): 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
No wonder babes that come from that side go dey wrap their body all over you when u dey yans*h them.
13 Likes 1 Share
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Olayinka8793(m): 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
Mhen,I can't stand creep creatures,I hate snakes but then each tribe has its peculiar culture and customs.
By the way if it is forbidden to harm or kill those pythons,it means they are in a favourable environment which will lead to them increasing in population,I will be dead scared to visit such community or town with large population of free moving pythons.
17 Likes 1 Share
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by jmoore(m): 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
Ma na Ideani
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by dhesire(m): 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
Eke, help those hustlers on the highways nau.
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by free2ryhme: 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
what is the meaning of nweke?
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by helphelp: 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by jmoore(m): 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
162 Likes 7 Shares
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Nobody: 8:35am On Sep 01, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by 400billionman: 8:36am On Sep 01, 2015|
I hear you
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Nobody: 8:36am On Sep 01, 2015|
NigAmbassador:Its rampant all through Orsu- Oru- Orlu- Isu- Njaba all in imo... so get ur facts right before spewing ignorance
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by lastmessenger: 8:37am On Sep 01, 2015|
this is superstition.
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Nobody: 8:37am On Sep 01, 2015|
|Re: The Giant Pythons Of Ihiala by Christmasdon(m): 8:37am On Sep 01, 2015|
Snake you said.
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