OKIGWE CIVILIZATION by Onyeji Nnaji
Added to this, the Nigerian Scripture Union (SU) members has their holy Land at Okigwe. If you think all these are for nought, then you need to have a rethink as the detailed discussion staged below shall clarify us that Okigwe was vested with more glorious and perfect depiction of the Igbo nature laws and spirituality than we have ever known. Again, we shall observe how the existence of Okigwe gave rise to other ancient communities, even outside the Igbo settlements.
'Ọka' refers to the exceptional function that had remained the reserve of the Awka people of Anambara State. 'Ọka' is the Igbo word for technocracy. This was the original name of the Awka people before the white men came and changed the spelling to an ordinary sound with no meaning. 'Ọka' is used in the Igbo lexicon to connote every-facet technocracy. It underpins special skill in craft. The second word, 'Igwe', is originally spelt as 'Igwé. With the rise tone on the 'e' it marks distinction between Iron and sky. And in referring to the technical quality of the people of this area, their name denotes the Sky. So, the name Ọka-'Igwé means a people whose distinct technocrat quality is sourced from the cosmos. In this condition, anybody found with the difficulty of pronouncing the compound word correctly may find liberty in achieving such a name as Ọkigwé. That was how the name suddenly lost its validity for the meaning it was originally laden with. This directly tells anybody who uses the Igbo language well in communication that the original inhabitants of Okigwe were sourced from elsewhere.
Umudiala had the largest population among the four sets of the Igbo ancestors. And remarkably, every of the Umudiala population was a pygmies. They were short people, popularly referred to as Dwarf. The Igbo traditional society referred to them as Nshi, Nsi or Eshi. Their headman, Idu wore scarified face in the likelihood of the princes of Nri. They were known for the populous Akwa Nshi in the Igbo tradition remarkable for the exceptional energy they carried. Umudiala contributed largely in the formation of the population of many ancient nations across Africa. They founded the ancient Egypt; we became very precised about their contributions in the peopling of ancient Egypt because, Diop Anta noted, in African Origin of Civilization, that the earliest population that inhabited Egypt were dominantly pygmies from inner Africa. See the Origin of Egypt. They also formed the populous Bantu that founded The Zulu of South Africa, The Kikuyu of Kenya, The Akan and many others in that population. Other nations founded by the Umudiala are discussed under page.
The population of the Umudiala covered the present day Igbo heartland and beyond. The ancient map of Umudiala included The Aba, The Benben (The Benben were the original settlers of the present Ikom. It was from among them that Idu parted to the present Benin City). We knew this through the similarity of the traditional features of the Benin edifice and the culture unearthed in Ikom. Again, I grew up in Ikom and attended Army Primary School Asuegbe Ikom; the Ikom indigenous stated clearly that the culture unearthed in the area belonged to the people who first lived there. In other words, the present Ikom population came to meet those culture already there. That was why we argue that the monolith must have existed before the flood, since Idu left before the flood. We found similar situation in the Indan history. The ancient dravidians who founded the present Indian population cannot claim originators of the predated culture in the area, especially when they are aware that the Arinya population had registered their presence in the area centuries before the dravidians.
Apart from those groups mentioned above, Umudiala also had more people at different settlement before the flood. Among them also are the Ancient Nodo and others. Okigwe was not as prominent as it is today. Okigwe became concentrated and esteemed like a capitol much later, especially after the flood. Ugwu Ele was like a refugee camp for the population of the Okigwe inhabitants of old. For those in the southern part of Umudiala territory, mountain Cameroon was their refugee camp. These population was civilized by the Nri survivors and survived today as the Ijagam or Ejagam. Nri ancestors were giants. In the same way, after the flood, the Umudiala population who survived the flood at Ugwu Ele, descended down the mountain and inhabited Okigwe area.
The Formative Stage of Okigwe Civilization (1600,000 - 950,000)BC.
Considering the ancient Nsukka civilization which dates to 500,000 BC., Okigwe Civilization which was much older should be more than 500,000BC. On this note, the observation of Reuben Eneze in his 2016 publication entitled, Igbo Culture will be relevant. In the above book, Reuben spoke of the unearthed Stone age culture at Ugwu Ele estimated for about 1000 000BC. This suggestion varies with the carbon dating estimation of the excarvated stone age tools unearthed by Anozie led archaeological team estimated back to 1,600000BC. Another mistake Reuben made in positioning this civilization was that he, as well as many others, ascribed it to Ugwu Ele because it was the abode of the archaeological sites. There was a moving down from the mountain and settlements that were not on the mount. Ugwu Ele was significant for the survival of these population, but the concentration of life and habitation was heavily down the mountain; and the proximity amidst Ugwu Ele and Okigwe made this very possible.
Nsukka Civilization was remarkable with the building of the first stepped pyramids in the world, yet the glory of the age was not ascribed to Nsude (the site of the pyramids), instead it belonged to the very entire area where the Civilization was heavily concentrated.
The Formative Stage of Okigwe Civilization was dated to 1,600 000BC. We know for sure that this civilization was older than this period, but since the excarvated acheulean proved dates around the period it becomes proper to base our discussion around such date. The remark made by the British archaeologist who accompanied the UNN Archaeology Department, Professor D. David is a clear proof of this. According to him, "Ugwu Ele site was the largest stone axe factory in the world; and of course, the oldest". The world generally has not recorded anywhere such enormous number of stone axes and other stone tools as was found in Ugwu Ele. Some of the stone axes found in the area are shown below.
Caves served the purpose of sustenance to both human and cultural properties that proved the existence of life sometimes in the past. What we could find, as shown above, were the instruments used by the cavemen to prove the truth of their survival. The significant stone axes were instruments for predatory, and on another hand, they were used to engrave the civility clues of the survivors on stones where their knowledge and education of their time, though limited, were survived through successive generations. The actual engraving as found in Okigwe Civilization took effect at the middle and late stage of the Civilization.
The Middle Stage of Okigwe Civilization (1,000000 - 500,000B)BC.
The middle stage of Okigwe Civilization, studying the tools of this civilization, shows several improvement in the technique and in the depiction of civility. The earliest stage was characterized by the production of working tools such as axes, chissels and many other tools useful for the masterpiece engraving of the middle age.
The prominent features here are the derogatory human facial rendition and the naval. These two parts of the body were prominent in both Ugwu Ele and Ikom artefacts. The clue this similarity holds is that they belonged to the same culture proving a civilization that took place the same time. Towards the end of the middle age, the prominent features that clearly distinguish between the period was the inclusion of fake human arms. This is prominent with the Ikom monolith as shown below.
The Decay Stage of Okigwe Civilization (500,000 - 22000)BC.
One significant remark notable about the decay stage of Okigwe civilization is that it marked the very time when Walker Travellers, popularly known in the traditional Igbo setting as 'Ndi Ojukwu', began to travel out of the heavily concentrated civilization to find other settlements outside the Igbo boundary defined areas. It was about the same the that both Nubia and Egypt were founded respectively. We have discussed how these nations took their names via their journey situations. Of course, we have noted in the Origin of Language, that the name Egypt sprung from the Okigwe word meaning deep black. See some of the comments below:
We found thorough modification on the working tools of the later stage of Okigwe civilization as shown below.
Decay Stage of the Okigwe Civilization took a simultaneous effect with the emergence of the Nsukka civilization. It is worthy of note that the Civilizations of the ancient Igbo took place in turns. With the desolution of Eridu through the war of the gods in the fifth generation of the Igbo history (an event which led to the creation of Adama within the same generation) 5000 years from creation date. We have carefully discussed all these in the bookss, Reminiscence and Reality as Myth. This battle was succeeded by the flood of Noah. Immediately after the flood Okigwe Civilization began.
Okigwe civilization was the Civilization of cavemen remarkable with stone works. At the tail of Okigwe civilization was the Nsukka civilization remarkable with the invention and popularization of iron production. When Nsukka civilization was aging seriously the Nri resumed another civilization remarkable with bronze production.
One significant people in the Okigwe civilization, very remarkable indeed, were the walker-traveller popularly called Ndi OJUKWU. Ndi Ojukwu were nature scientists and cosmographers gifted to the exceptional knowledge of the cosmos. They were inhabitants of Afar in the lower region of the ancient Umudiala. Afar was like a secluded area where people visit for ancient education and mystic learning. The enclave was headed by an ancient cosmographer whose name gave rise to the name the enclave was marked with. His name was Afra.
Afra's mastery of cosmic sciences popularized the Okigwe civilization of old and helped to make the era's fame spread like fire. As Idu was popular due to the traditional position he occupied in the lost civilization of Eridu, the same was how great Afra was in the Okigwe civilization. That was why, even at his death, he was still sung as song among the old Umudiala. When Afra died, his children and members of his community could not sustain his solitarily designed self-made lifestyle. They moved to the upland of the delta and reunited with the populous society, while many others went to unidentified places. The deserted the Afa. The reserve of Afra are found in a very little population of people with such denotation in their names as Afa... and Afara.
With the fall of Okiwe civilization due to the rapid uprising in the metallic explosion in Nsukka, the Afa dwellers, who hardly had found compatible habitations among their Umudiala mainland, moved to the new empire. Around that same time/period some of them went beyond via the saha plain. Those who travelled farther landed first in the present day Ethiopia. There they also called their new home after their original home, "Afa". The are known in Ethiopia as the Kambata. Ethiopia history documented them as the oldest clan in Ethiopia. They were the populous walker-travellers who carried the Umudiala culture and language to Egypt. Mentionable among those in the train who founded Egypt was Tera Nata. History revealed that he was a Lord leading the group of the founding fathers; all were pygmies were explained to have belonged to the race of Ani which in the Egyptian Book of the Dead were addressed in either ways: Ani or Anu. Their mystic knowledge of the cosmos and Stella courses was later masterminded by Osiri Ani. See details in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, page 120.
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