The Sacrifice of Princess Oma Odoko. Culture and traditions are an age-long way of life of so many tribes in Africa, and the Igala people are not left out of this.
The Igala people have a rich culture that has been in practice since the time of their forefathers which are upheld till today in many parts of the tribe.
But although, since the era of civilization, so many of them do not want to associate themselves with these cultures and traditional practices for reasons the white man-made they see or believed.
Well, even a white man has a culture, albeit different from Africans’.
The beauty about upholding these cultural values is that it gives you a sense of belonging, it brings you closer to your root. Some people consider these practices fetish, well everyone is entitled to think or believe what they want but it is pertinent that, at least, we learn about them.
Like the story of the legendary Princess Inikpi of the origin of Idah in Igala land, who laid her life by accepting to be buried alive to give triumph to the Igala people during the Igala-Benin war
Princess Oma Odoko also laid down her life for the triumph of the Igala people during the Igala-Jukun war.
Princes Oma Odoko was the daughter of Attah Idoko and a sister to Attah Ayegba; the father of Princess Inikpi, so basically, Princess Oma Odoko was an aunt to Princess Inipki.
During the time of the war between the Igala people and the Jukun people, the Jukuns trooped into Igala land to cause mayhem through the Inachalo River located in Egah, Idah Kingdom, Kogi State.
So the Igalas came up with a plan to poison the river by making some sacrifices and fulfilling some rites which were carried out by Igala medicine men.
It was also required that Princess Oma Odoko, the daughter of the Attah of Igala land at the time, would be used for the sacrifice.
Some people said her head was buried while her body was burned to ashes to prepare it as the poison for the Inachalo River.
The story has it too, that the Hausa people of Bebeji; the present-day Kano State aided the Igala people in poisoning the river through which the Jukuns swam into the Igala land.
The ‘Attah’ is the king of the Igala land, but they are usually referred to as Attah. Princess Oma Odoko was a very brave princess and thus she was immortalized by her people by erecting her statue on the same spot she was buried
And a shrine was made in her name at the riverbank of Inachalo to celebrate her braveness and sacrifice for the triumph and peace of Igala land.
It is a proven fact the fish from the Inacho River does not get cooked no matter how long you boiled. It is believed that the fishes were the Jukuns who were transforming into fishes to escape through the Inachalo River when the war became unbearable for them.
Inhabitants of the vicinity of the river who have tried to cook the fish said no matter how long they cooked the fish, it remained raw, and some people said even though they cut the fish, it still returned to its original whole form.
Hope you have learned one or two things about my tribe Igala, feel free to add your comment on this ‘The Sacrifice of Princess Oma Odoko’ by using the comment box
Am I Usman Salame, reporting from Afri NOTES Africa multipurpose portal for Africa global tiers? Stay safe and best be happy
Learn to give priority to our Africa culture. norms and heritage, find time to learn about your tribe and don’t keep them to yourself alone, share it with friends and family, tell it to the world.