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The cultures and traditions of the people of Akwa Ibom State


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Nollywood actress, Ini Edo dressed in her traditional attire

 

Akwa Ibom is a State in  Nigeria. It is located in the coastal southern part of the country called the Niger Delta, lying between latitudes 4°32′N and 5°33′N, and longitudes 7°25′E and 8°25′E. The state is located in the , south- south geopolitical zone and is bordered on the east by cross river state. Akwa Ibom is one of Nigeria’s 36 states, with a population of over five million people. The state was created in 1987 by Ibrahim Babangida from the former Cross River state and is  currently the highest in oil and gas producing state in Nigeria and the state capital is called uyo.

The main spoken language of   Akwa Ibom people are, Ibibio, Annang, eket and  oron-ibibio dialect, The ruler of a community in Akwa Ibom State is called Ubong-Edung and must be a man it has not been recorded that a woman once ruled a community in Akwa Ibom.

The Akwa Ibom people are Christians, the main ethnic group of the state are;

  • Ibibio
  • Oron
  • Eket
  • Annang

Including their effik brothers and sisters of Cross River state, they speak in various dialect of the effik-ibibio language.

Akwa Ibom State Cultural Dancers

 

IN TERMS OF MARRIAGE 

Marriage plays a very important role in the Ibibio society, there are elaborate ceremonies on it before, during, and after the formal handing over of a girl or woman to her suitor. The bride price practice of giving out a ‘long and rich’ list, has been in existence for a very long time. in the olden days a suitor will have to seek permission from the girls family before he would be able to court or seek for her hand in marriage.

  The marriage process includes

  • Ndidiong Ufok (know her house):  The groom to be visits the bride’s family with wine. He will state intentions to marry her. If the bride’s family accepts his proposal, a second meeting will be arranged.
  • Ukong Udok(knocking of door): This is the second stage of the marriage rites in which the man shows his readiness to marry the bride to be.
  • Uno Mkpo: Gifts are delivered to the brides family. Gifts are ways of compensating the family of the lady by the family members of the groom’ for talking away a member of their family
  • Usoro Ndo: This is the most significant part of the ceremony which is also the traditional marriage. And it is also  not different from the igbo traditional marriage.

    Akwa Ibom traditional marriage

WHEN IT COMES TO NATIVE FOOD, THE AKWA IBOMS HAS GET TONS OF DELICACY, HERE ARE THE LIST AND METHOD OF PREPARATIONS

EDIKANGIKONG

This is a soup of sliced pumpkin and water leaves with a rich variety of seafood and meat. Other important ingredients are smoked fish, crayfish, pepper, palm oil, meat, salt and little water. The food is served with boiled yam, garri or foo-foo (boiled cassava flour).

AFANG SOUP

This is a delicacy made from shredded ‘afang’ and waterleaves, called mmong mmong iking which is very rich in vitamins. Other ingredients are smoked fish, meat, crayfish, salt, pepper, palm oil and stock fish with a little water.

EKPANG NKUKWO

Ekpang is a traditional luxury dish of the Akwa Ibomites. It is made from cocoyam, grated into balls and wrapped in special cocoyam leaves. Other ingredients added are pepper, salt, palm oil, crayfish, maggi, fish, periwinkle and other recipes.

ABAK SOUP

This is prepared from oil palm fruit and leaves. This delicacy requires lots of condiments like, smoked fish, meat, seafood like periwinkle, stockfish, crayfish, pepper and salt. It could be served with boiled yam, plantain, foo-foo, pounded yam, garri or rice.

AFERE IKON

Made from melon seed, bitter leaf (etidot) and waterleaves with fish, meat, stockfish, periwinkle and other soup ingredients.

OTONG AFERE ATIKE

This is a delicacy made from okra fruit and vegetable with fish, meat, periwinkle and other soup ingredient, served with Anyan ekpang, foo-foo, garri or pounded yam.

ANYAN EKPANG

Is a form of foo-foo produced from cocoyam or cassava, wrapped in plantain leaves. It is served with Afere Abak. Among numerous others.

AFIA EFERE EBOT

It is a combination of spices used for traditional ceremonies. Goat meat, smoked fish and stockfish bring out the best of it.

CASSAVA PORRIDGE (ASA IWA)

This is grated cassava, wrapped in tender Cocoyam leaves and cooked in palm oil stew.  to mention but a few.

ekpang nkuwo

Akwa Iboms are people who value their culture and traditions, they set aside a particular day in a month of each year to celebrate. their culture. and those cultures are as follows.

  • usoro usuuke udia; a new yam festival to be celebrated in the month of June or September
  • usoro Iyka ;fishing festival usually celebrated by the riverine  communities of the state, the feast usually take place in the month of November and December.
  • usoro ikon; this is the melon festival celebrated in the month of December.
  • usoro ebre ; this is a festival to mark  the harvest  water yam, it usually celebrated in the month of September or October
  • usoro idio; this is a feast of clearing and burning farmlands its usually mark on January and February, its celebrated to mark the beginning of a planting season
  • usoro idiong; a festival for traditional medicine men and diviners , its usually celebrated in the month of august
  • usoro Isong  inyang; the water festival associated with fishermen, to celebrate the canoe men in their occupation, it is a festival to display the art of sea faring and waterfalls as a result of the nature of the terrain, this festival is mostly celebrated along the Itu river estuary in the state,
  • usoro ekong; a festival of traditional heroes , heroines  and war genera;s its usually held in the month of September
  • ndap akpo\ukappa ison / Epo festival;  this is a celebration  of  ancestral masquerades and spirit for their guidance and protections  of their communities its usually marked in the month of September and October
  • atara ukwa festival;   this marks the celebration of their traditional  deities eteen the second and third week of September every year

Epo festival

THANKS FOR READING THIS POST 

WRITING BY OBUMSELU REJOICE

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