WORSHIP OF ANCESTORS NZE, ỌFỌ AND IKẸṄGA (ONI[CH]A OLONA).
Location: Onicha Olona, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1921 | Credit: Thomas.
A Bronze Bell from Onitsha Province, Nigeria.
SIR,—The bronze bell was seen and photographed by Mr. K. C. Murray in the Nsukka (Ibo) division of the Onitsha Province, Nigeria. According to information given to Mr. Murray by local blacksmiths, such bells are still being made. The general character of the workmanship appears to me to resemble that of the bronzes recently discovered at Igbo [Ukwu] in the Awka division of the Onitsha Province, and published in MAN, 1940, 1. G. I. JONES.
Grades of chiefs.—The first and highest grade is that of Igwi [Igwe]. The distinguishing mark is a circle of broom (termed Aziza, from the palm tree), knotted before and behind, with upturned ends a couple of inches or so in length.
This circle is usually worn round a red cloth cap, rather like a flattened fez, but is occasionally worn round a brown one, and, when work has to be done, even on the uncovered head. In addition, the Igwi carries a circular fan made of untanned cow-hide, usually ornamented with red cloth strips or some similar decoration,and a short thin handle. This is the Azuzu. Finally, a short-handled many-thonged fly-flick is common, and is carried in the hand or over the shoulder. This is the Ijappa. Ivories round ankles or wrists are very usual and are termed respectively ordu uku (ivory [for] foot) and orku uku (ivory [for] hand).
Thumb rings are known as umbáká orpupu (literally ring bone).
A horn, which, when properly blown, produces a long discordant note, is called Oturu aka, and is often carried by an Igwi. The origin of the name Oturu aka is doubtful; the instrument, in the form of a slightly bent cone, is made from the canine of a hippopotamus, the horn of a cow, etc.; it is blown through a small rectangular slit half way down the length, and is open only at one end.