Reasons Why Igbidin Quarter Spear Heads All Festival Activities In Ozalla
Bookmark and Share

Last up date (July 25, 2021)

One may wonder why it is only Igbidin Quarter that fixed the day of performing any Festival in Ozalla.  Apart from this, one may also wonder why Igbidin or Usuamen Quarter has to be in front when performing the festival in Ozalla.

One of the Reasons is that, Iraede Quarter being the first Quarters of the Village in Ozalla Clan was with a certain ceremonial sword given to the head of the quarter to perform important activities in Ozalla.

As custom has it (Iraede custom) the ceremonial sword must be handed over to the Senior Daughter of the head of the quarter and was not to be given to any other person except incase of death

Eventually, this daughter of the senior man of Iraede quarter has to get married. As custom had it, it must not be taken away from her. She finally, went to marry at Igbidin Quarter along with the ceremonial sword. And when the idea of Ivbamen came out, the strong men (Ebo in Ozalla) revealed that the day for the festival must be fixed by the house in which the daughter of the senior man of Iraede Quarter married has to be doing necessary things as regard all the festivals perform in Ozalla. Even when the woman died, it was later left in the hand of her son

One may hear of Igbidin Quarter fixing the day for festival activities in Ozalla. But one thing is important to know here It is not all the Igbidin Quarter but it is only a particular extended family that is concerned. This extended family is known in Ozalla as “OKOKHUMU”  in Igbidin Quarter.

Another reason why Igbidin spearheads all the festival activates in Ozalla is that, a certain hunter from Okechuku in Igbidin Quarter went for hunting expedition. He eventually met the goddess of River Orhueren who told him how they will be worshipping her as already planned by the people of Ozalla. The goddess of River Orhueren revealed many things to this hunter and she directed him to tell the elders and she instructed the hunter that in the case they would not be able to do according to her order that the hunter should always spearhead it in order to direct others.

The other question which can be treated is why Igbidin or Usuamen people have to be in front when performing the Ivbamen festival in Ozalla.
The reason for this is very simple and straight forward.

Originally, Igbidin is a stranger in the midst of other quarters of Ozalla. Having been accepted into the fold of the other quarters or villages in Ozalla, they therefore became Junior to the other quarters. This is why we have the “ATUEKHORS” as a group and Igbidin as another group when performing the Ivbamen and Obo festivals.
As Ozalla adage has it, “When a father is going to the farm with his son, he has to allow the son to be in front so as to be watching his son’s movement”. This simply account for one-of the reasons why Igbidin has to be in front during the Ivbamen festival.

Another reason for this is that the other villages of Ozalla wanted the Igbidin as Junior to be faced with any difficulty before other quarters or villages would eventually follow them. This they mean that the morning and if a road is not cleared and the dew falls upon the leaves that the water will have to wet the clothes of Igbidin who is normally in the front

The question then is, how came about that Usuamen? Usuamen is the senior son to Igbidin and as such Igbidin has to place his son in front before following him. This is why Usuamen has to be in front during the festival but if in any year no participant from Usuamen Quarter, Igbidin has to be in front.
At the time all these arrangement were being made by other quarters of Ozalla to place Igbidin or Usuamen in the front during festival, they thought it as a type of punishment for the Igbidin or Usuamen but today, this view is very in error. The two quarters (Igbidin and Usuamen) now claim superiority over the rest quarters in Ozalla

During the Ivbamen festival, the two quarters have to delay other quarters before going to meet them at the meeting point, because it is already in history that other quarters, cannot move without the two quarters (Igbidin and Usuamen)

I will like to add here that in answering the foregone questions, one has to acquit himself or herself with the historical background of these two particular quarters (Igbidin and Usuamen) in order not to be biased over the Issue.

One may tend it to be a privilege given to Igbidin and Usuamen by the other Village in Ozalla but if so, pre-village has turned to be a Right which can never be taken from them as far as the Festival is concerned.

There is much worth knowing about the Festival Solders which is known in Ozalla as “ULOKHIO”. The significant of the Ulokhio for the festival stands for the role that they continued to play.

At first, when this lvbamen Festival was inaugurated, only the Age Group performing the festival needed to go without the assistance of any Age-Group.

It all happens at a time that a certain Age group had to go to the River during the Festival celebration. The People of Ijesha under the leadership of Ogedegbe went to the River through the bush to lay ambush for the age group at the other bank of the River. They wanted to capture the Age Group as Slaves.

But before the arrival of the Age Group, the river had as usual overflowed its bank and thereby making it difficult for the Ogedegbe and his troop to cross the river to capture the Age Group.

Age Group quickly fetched the water as usual and ran back home to report to the Elders that Ogedegbe of Ijesha and his troop had gone there to lay ambush at the bank of the river.

The Elders then sent out an Age Group that had completed it for a period of about ten years. They were armed with guns and cutlasses and getting there, they met that Ogedegbe with his troop had left the River.

It was at this juncture that the Elders made it a law that whenever an Age Group would be going to the River to fetch the water and that another Age Group who had completed theirs for about ten year ago, would always accompany them there and such Age Group to accompany them must be with Guns and cutlasses and this Age Group is then regarded as the Festival Soldiers and they are known in Ozalla as ULOKIUO.

When they would return from the river, they would be shooting their guns at a certain spot or place near to the Market square and it is known in Ozalla as the OTOUGHE and they would be jubilating that they had returned from the river peacefully without any harm on their way
There is of course yet another festival not connected with the Admirable River Orhuren. This festival though not functioning again in Ozalla is known as the “UKPETO”

Comment Box is loading comments...