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Aug 3, 2018 31 tweets 6 min read
The Igbo people where did they actually originate from? Some say they are Jews, Israelites and what not. What is the Osu- caste system in Igbo Land and how it all started? etc. Enjoy #IssaThread
Ndi Igbo ekenemunu...

First, “IGBO” is spelt just like that and not “Ibo” be guided.
Many believed the Igbo people actually originated from Nri and Aguleri but our focus will be on Nri.

The Kingdom Of Nri is the oldest Kingdom in Nigeria, was founded around 900AD by a man named ERI. This Eri man is said to be the “Son of Gad” and there are biblical accounts,
Jacob married Leah and Leah begot 4 sons for him. When Leah noticed she has passed child bearing age she gave out her maid Zilpah to Jacob to marry and through Zilpah he had a son named Gad. Gad then bigot Eri, who later formed a clan known as Erites.
Biblical References “ Genesis Chapter 30 verse 9; 46 verse 16 and Numbers chapter 26 verses 15-19” Based on these accounts, Eri was therefore amongst the twelve tribes of Israel through Gad.
During their stay in Egypt Eri becme the high priest and spiritual adviser to Pharaoh. During the Exodus, which marked d beginning of d mass movement of the tribes of Israel, d tribe of Eri was amongst the tribe that left Egypt following the injunction from God to the Israelites.
Some of these tribes founded settlements in the southern part of Sudan, where they established the “Nok” culture, which is similar to that of other cultures like Nri, Fiji, Samoa, and Jukun in the Northern part of Nigeria and else where.
But others who could nt remain in the Southern Sudan traveled further South, sme branched off to Jukun, in Northern part of NIG, others continued and arrived at D confluence of River Niger and Anambra known today as “Ezu-na-Ọmambala” ND settled there while some travelled further
When Eri arrived at the confluence of “Ezu-na-Ọmambala” he had two wives, namely Nneamakụ and Oboli, Nneamakụ begot five children, namely (a) Nrifikwuanịm-Menri being the first son (b) Agụlụ (c) Ogbodudu (d) Onogu and (e) Iguedo the only daughter.
Oboli begot Ọnọja, the only son who founded the Ịgala Kingdom in Kogi State. Yes, the Igbos have ties with the Igala people.
Meanwhile, Nri-Ifikwuanịm begot Agukwu Nri, Enugwu-Ukwu, Enugwu-Agidi, Nnofia, and Amobia, while his brother Ogbodudu who later became Nrinaoke N’Ogbodudu had founded the Diodo Dynasty, while his brother Ezikannebo founded Akamkpisi and Amanuke.
Onogu Begot Igbariam, while Iguedo, the only daughter, begot Ogbunike, Okuzu, Nando, Umuleri, and Nteje, Known today as Umu-Iguedo clan, while the former are better known as Umu-Nri clan. If u noticed these names are the names of your communities today.
You remember Nri-Ifikwuanim earlier? He was the one who started the Nze na Ozor title thing in Igbo land. He took after his progenitor Eri, and became a high priest among his people. He later left Aguleri in search of a better living place.
He started performing what Eri did at Egypt, cleansing of abominations, giving titles such as prestigious Ozo title, to his people, proclaiming the New Year (Igu aro ) and many more stuffs we still have today.
Eze Nri introduced the cowry currency system my mother said it was known as “ego ayo” those days. Then we started using cowries as a system of exchange for purchase of commodities.
Stock Exchange of today was introduced for the first time in Nri, for instance stock exchange was associated with Ozo title. In this system, a person who had belonged to one of the alliance groups called Ogwe Mmuo.
The candidate for the title will purchase a total of 9 shares known as “Ofo itenani”. The shares are known as “Ofo” the stall of immortality.
Ozo titled man will get his entitlements depending on the number of Ofo Ozo he has. An Ozo man with nine Ofo Ozo will be entitled to nine shares whenever a new person took the title and made payment. One could sell his Ofo, except three, within his Ozo group at a loss or profit
whenever he is in need of money. He could use his Ofo as security for a loan, the person giving the loan will take the shares allocated to the Ofo, whenever payments of shares were made until the capital and interest were paid back by the owner of the Ofo.
Now, u want to know why children inherit the Ozo titles of their Fathers when they die? Ok.
If a titled man dies in Igbo land his male children will inherit the total and the allocated shares. Shares of Ofo Ozo lapses two years after the man’s death, it is known as ovunisi.
The family of the dead Ozo man will continue to take all shares accruing from the Ofo Ozo. My brothers and I are still reaping the benefits of this. Can be seen to be a little fetish kinda but Nah, it is just basic customs of the land that must be OBEYED. Omenani ka ana akpoya!
The Ofo, the staff of immortality, ritual and political authority was converted into a type of security certificate. Nri used the ritual system to achieve economic enhancement via Stock Exchange.
Eze – Nri introduced the four market days to the Igbo Land, namely Eke, Oye (Orie), Afo and Nkwọ. In each of the communities where the Eze – Nri establishes these markets, he will keep one of his Alusi(Deity), and leave one of his agents to take care of that Alusi.
The inhabitants of that community will pay allegiance to the Eze – Nri through that agent, especially during the Igu – Aro ceremony of Eze – Nri.

I am tired, we continue later. Credits to Northcote W. Thomas, and Prof. M. Angulu Onwuejeogwu.
Osu caste system.

In Igbo land there are two classes of people, the Osu (outcasts) and the Nwadiala (real or free born or son of the soul, what the Yorubas May call Omo onile). Osu therefore means one who is sacred to the gods or an advocate of the deity.
They are most times ostracized or compelled to worship the deity of the land if they disobey the orders of Nri the then king for their land to be cleansed. After Nri other traditional leaders also copied the act therefore spreading it across Igbo land.
The worst part is that, this punishment is not just for those who commit the said crime but for their generations yet unborn. Osu people are seen as evil and everything they represent to be misfortune.
And at such, the so called “free borns” in Igbo land are not expected to marry or have anything to do with the Osu people. Those days even till now they are made to worship the gods of the land, and if u do something bad to an Osu, it is believed that the deity must REVENGE.
For example in my town Okija, just across the “Ulasi” river we have a community called “Okija 1” close to Ozubulu that was where they banished the Osus from my town to. They are still there today facing discrimination for something their great grand fathers must have committed.
Some many many stories about this Osu caste system. It is deeply rooted and can take years to be resolved. Maybe through public education and religious teachings.

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