Ancestral Voices: Esoteric African knowledge

An educational media platform showcasing the documentary 'Ancestral Voices' which spans two continents, opening up a much-needed debate about traditional African spiritual systems; their cosmologies, ideologies and underlying ethical principles.

Written By:Ancestralvoices@longbelly.co.uk

Website http://ancestralvoices.co.uk/
Ijaw people of Bayelsa,Nigeria performing their ancestral/spiritual initiation on water.










IJAW PEOPLE: NIGERIA`S ABORIGINAL WATER PEOPLE OF NIGER DELTAIjaw (also known by the subgroups”Ijo”or”Izon”) are a collection of peoples indigenous mostly to the forest regions of the Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States within the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Some are natives of Akwa-Ibom, Edo, and Ondo states also in Nigeria. Many are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon along the Western Africa coastline.They are believed to be some of the earliest inhabitants of southern Nigeria.The Ijaws currently numbering about 15 million have long lived in locations near many sea trade routes, and were well connected to other areas by trade as early as the 15th century. Ijaw people sit on Nigeria`s rich oil lands.Historical origin of IjawsThe Ijos (Ijaws) of the Niger Delta are the descendants of the autochthonous people or ancient tribe of Africa known as the (H) ORU. They were known by this name by themselves and their immediate neighbors. The Ijos have kept the ancient language and culture of the ORU. The Ancient ORU People. As to what time the ancient ORU people started to settle the Niger Delta is not clear as language studies cannot properly indicate when a people settled at the region.What is known is that they have existed as a distinct language and ethnic group for upwards 5000 years. Their settlements in the Benin region, Lower Niger & Niger Delta were aboriginal (i.e. being the first) and by 500 BC they may have started inhabiting the Niger Delta. The traditional Ijo narratives refer to the ancestors (the Oru-Otu) or the ancient people (Tobu Otu) who descended from the sky (were of divine origin). They are also referred to as the WATER-PEOPLE (Beni-Otu). It is ORU who established the ancient communities of mask-spirits and mermaids (mami-water) dedicated to spiritual initiation culture."Language and cultural studies prove that they are related to the founders of the Great Nile Valley civilisation complex (and possibly the lake Chad complex). They immigrated into West Africa from the Nile-Valley during antiquity. The ORU people who went and founded the Nile-valey civilisation complex of ancient Egypt and Sudan were also known as the ONU or ANU people or followers of HORU (HORUS). Another of their names seems to have been KUMONI. It was during the time of King ADUMU-ALA (alias ODUDUWA), that ORU Princes who derived ultimately from Nubia (ancient Sudan) established city states in the Southern Nigeria region. Their names have come down to us as the ancestors ADUMU, ASARA, UJO, IGODO, NANA, ALA-FUN. These city states gave birth to different ethnic nationalities through the process of fusion and ethnic intermarriage. This is reflected in the ancestral traditions of the Ijos.The ancestor who is known as Ujo or Ijo is also known in traditional Ile-Ife history as Idekoseroake. He is also known by the titles “Kalasuo” and “Indo-Oru’. His identification as ORU, means that he was of the tribe of Oru. His identification as Kumoni, means that he was of the tribe of Kumoni (the section that hailed from Upper Egypt), therefore he was Kumoni-Oru. In Ife traditional history it is believed that he died before his father. It is also stated that he died at Ife, although it is not known for sure that he did. All that is known is that King Adumu (alias Oduduwa) lost the service of a number of powerful and warlike sons early on during his reign. Where they went or what happened to them has never been explained by contemporary accounts at Ife. On the other hand Ijo traditions maintain that Ujo (i.e. Idekoseroake) migrated from Ife along with some brothers and a large entourage. Since these traditions are accurate and can be corroborated in regards to the foundation of Benin and Ife , then we can take it that they are also true in regards to the origins of the ancestors of the Ijo people.



By Kweku Darko Ankrah

Ijaw people of Bayelsa,Nigeria performing their ancestral/spiritual initiation on water.


IJAW PEOPLE: NIGERIA`S ABORIGINAL WATER PEOPLE OF NIGER DELTA
Ijaw (also known by the subgroups”Ijo”or”Izon”) are a collection of peoples indigenous mostly to the forest regions of the Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States within the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Some are natives of Akwa-Ibom, Edo, and Ondo states also in Nigeria. Many are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon along the Western Africa coastline.They are believed to be some of the earliest inhabitants of southern Nigeria.The Ijaws currently numbering about 15 million have long lived in locations near many sea trade routes, and were well connected to other areas by trade as early as the 15th century. Ijaw people sit on Nigeria`s rich oil lands.
Historical origin of Ijaws
The Ijos (Ijaws) of the Niger Delta are the descendants of the autochthonous people or ancient tribe of Africa known as the (H) ORU. They were known by this name by themselves and their immediate neighbors. The Ijos have kept the ancient language and culture of the ORU. The Ancient ORU People. As to what time the ancient ORU people started to settle the Niger Delta is not clear as language studies cannot properly indicate when a people settled at the region.
What is known is that they have existed as a distinct language and ethnic group for upwards 5000 years. Their settlements in the Benin region, Lower Niger & Niger Delta were aboriginal (i.e. being the first) and by 500 BC they may have started inhabiting the Niger Delta. The traditional Ijo narratives refer to the ancestors (the Oru-Otu) or the ancient people (Tobu Otu) who descended from the sky (were of divine origin). They are also referred to as the WATER-PEOPLE (Beni-Otu). It is ORU who established the ancient communities of mask-spirits and mermaids (mami-water) dedicated to spiritual initiation culture.
"Language and cultural studies prove that they are related to the founders of the Great Nile Valley civilisation complex (and possibly the lake Chad complex). They immigrated into West Africa from the Nile-Valley during antiquity. The ORU people who went and founded the Nile-valey civilisation complex of ancient Egypt and Sudan were also known as the ONU or ANU people or followers of HORU (HORUS). Another of their names seems to have been KUMONI. It was during the time of King ADUMU-ALA (alias ODUDUWA), that ORU Princes who derived ultimately from Nubia (ancient Sudan) established city states in the Southern Nigeria region. Their names have come down to us as the ancestors ADUMU, ASARA, UJO, IGODO, NANA, ALA-FUN. These city states gave birth to different ethnic nationalities through the process of fusion and ethnic intermarriage. This is reflected in the ancestral traditions of the Ijos.

The ancestor who is known as Ujo or Ijo is also known in traditional Ile-Ife history as Idekoseroake. He is also known by the titles “Kalasuo” and “Indo-Oru’. His identification as ORU, means that he was of the tribe of Oru. His identification as Kumoni, means that he was of the tribe of Kumoni (the section that hailed from Upper Egypt), therefore he was Kumoni-Oru. In Ife traditional history it is believed that he died before his father. It is also stated that he died at Ife, although it is not known for sure that he did. All that is known is that King Adumu (alias Oduduwa) lost the service of a number of powerful and warlike sons early on during his reign. Where they went or what happened to them has never been explained by contemporary accounts at Ife. On the other hand Ijo traditions maintain that Ujo (i.e. Idekoseroake) migrated from Ife along with some brothers and a large entourage. Since these traditions are accurate and can be corroborated in regards to the foundation of Benin and Ife , then we can take it that they are also true in regards to the origins of the ancestors of the Ijo people.

By Kweku Darko Ankrah
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