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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pilgrimage to a River Goddess
Author:Sofola, Zulu
Periodical:Nigeria Magazine
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:African religions
Abstract:In the Aniocha Division of Bendel State are the descendants of Ezechima known as Umu Ezechima. They descended from Chima who migrated from Edo (Bini). Chima had five children, Onicha, Obio, Obomkpa, Oligbo and Ezi. They founded kingdoms which today bear their names. Some of these kingdoms broke up into other settlements. Issele-Mkpitime and Issele-Azagba are offshoots of Issele-Ukwu, the original kingdom. The Umu Ezechima kingdoms, except Onicha-Mili which crossed the Niger, lie between the Oshimili and Ika Divisions of Bendel State. The kingdoms share a spirit of solidarity through the Association of Umu Ezechima Clan. This paper describes the pilgrimage of the Isseles to Mkpitime River in honour of goddess Mkpitime. The pilgrimage is a part of the Igwe ritual which is celebrated every three years after the first few rainfalls in February/March. The Igwe ritual precedes the Year (Iwaji) festival and has a purificatory and supplicatory nature. The Ilo-Mkpitime aspect of Igwe ritual is the second section of a month-long three part ritual. The king of Issele-Oligbo then pays a homage to Mkpitime with a visit to the Mkpitime River, offering sacrifices on behalf of the citizens of Issele-Oligbo, Issele-Mkpitime and Issele-Azagba. Notes, photos.