Traditionally, Uga is respected for their tradition which when indigene or residenstial non indigene of the town violates the tradion, it is considered a taboo. LIKE: Igbu Eke:Which is killing of boa, Women climbing palm or kola tree, Killing and Stealing of yam etc. Anyone who commits any of these is considered a taboo in Uga town and the person MUST be ostracized for some time before anything (Though Christianity is seriously trying to abolish some of these things now).
Uga has great culture which includes Iri Ji...New yam festival, Igba nkwu nwayi...Traditional marriage, Ishi ozo...Traditional/Ancestral installation of indigenous male borns into a prestigeous group called nze na ozo who are respected for their uprightness and respect to supreme laws of the land.
Ime udo...festival of udo deity. Iku ozu...dancing of traditional music by bereaved in the market to mark end of funeral or obsequies of their deceased.
Ishi ozo is an Igbo culture that is general in Igbo land. It is an institution preserved for only true borns of a particular community. the title is to be taken with a name symbolizing what the individual who the title will or is confeered to will like to take as another prestigeous and responsible name different from his former name and ozo is only for male folks not women. In Uga town, ozo title is respected as it is in every Igbo land. Uga town practices three types of ozo institution. (1) Idi (2) Ume (3) Ebili. In Uga town, anybody who is not an ozo title holder will never be conferred with chieftancy titl and will never hold any traditional office in the town. Also in induction of individual into ozor title, the entity will not take names (iza aha oziza) if his father is still alive. Ozo title ceremony has a section called izu ahia ozo which in epic days, all those to be conferred with the ozo title do go to Orie market square for the izu ahia ozo but do to christianity, the entities no longer go to orie but in the house of the individual who will take the title, after which the ozo titled people will now proceed to a place czlled isi obi which ,means the ancestral palace of the kindred or community the person is from. That is where the individual will be crowned with red cap after ozo title ceremony.
New Yam festival otherwise known as iri ji in Uga is another traditional festival in Uga town which is done on August every year. Before now, the traditional head of Uga town every second friday of August performs Iba Ubi which is the traditional celebration of iri ji by traditional head of Uga. On the day, the Isi Obis of Uga town, Igwe cabinets, personalities, other traditional heads from different towns gathers in Uga palace, the Igwe of Uga will be escorted by the Isi Obis and chiefs to his farm, Igwe will dig out a tuber of yam from the farm and with traditional music, the yam will be carried to the centre of the palace, cleaned and placed on a table where Igwe Uga will sit and divide the tuber of yam into four according to the four villages that made up Uga, each village from the head and in hirachy, will come and take from where their rite is. The first Village is Umueze who will take the head part of the yam, next is Oka who will take the next after the head, followed by Umuoru who will take next after Oka and finally is Awarasi village who as the last born, will take the tail end of the yam. After that, all Uga people on the next day been Saturday, will assemble at Nkwo the heart centre of Uga town and same ceremony will repeat itself but the only part which will not be repeated is the Igwe going into the farm to dig out a tuber of yam. Both at Nkwo and Igwe palace, after sharing of the parts of the yam to the four villages, rosted yam with local made stew/sauce will be served to the guests which people will use to eat the roasted yam. This ceremony is to tell people of Uga that everyone has right now after the festival, to dig out yam ((ji) which is king of crops), and is now ready to be eatn from his or her farm and eat that yam.
Slaughtering of cow (IGBU EHI) for the dead is another tradition in Uga culture. This is done to a man or woman who is dead but has offspring after him or her. This acvitiy demands that whensomeone dies, his or her children will kill a cow in honour of the deceased to show that the deceased is fullfledged. But when the children don't have money to do so, the grand children or anybody from the deceased family will do that. If it is not done, nobody from the offspring of the deceased will kill cow in his compound for an occassion, use cow for condolence anywhere, give cow as offering to church. If the father of the deceased (in case of male, vice versa) was not honoured with the Igbu Ehi honour, the deceased will not enjoy such honour until it is given to his own father. Nobody will kill cow for his father if his grand father or great grand father was not given such honour. In some places in Uga, some people who are passing through rigorous stages of life are told to go and atone to their late father by killing cow for him, that it might be the reason for their challenges in life. Anybody whose father is still alive will never in Uga land be called Ogbuefi which means Killer of cow.
HRH Igwe Chidi Stephen Ezenwugo, the Obi of Uga was Crowned the Obi Of Uga in the year 2016. In the year 2017, October 21st, his first ofala festival was celebrated in central school field, Uga, after pre-ofala church service at St. James anglican church, Uga. Many people were conferred with chieftancy title including the then governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano. Others includes Her Royal Highness, Ugoeze, Chief Mrs. Adanma Adline Eche Iheuwa (Uri Chukwu Dere of Uga), Permanent secretary of Abia State government, who hails from Uga but married to HRH Eze Akpunku Eche Iheuwa, the Odo 11 of Umuokorodo Autonomous Community in Umuahia in Abia State, Hon. Chief Chukwuma Umeoji (Ebube Dike of Uga) who was former chairman of Aguata Local Government Area and once member of Fedreal House Of Representative represented Aguata Federal Constituency, Very Rev. Msgnr. Johnbosco Akam (Anyanwu na Awara Oha of Uga) the founder Tansian University, Lumen Radio 94.9fm, Konigin Des Ffiedens College, etc. Chief Mrs, Angela Nonyerem Ezekwueme (Ugo Eji Eje Mba of Uga) and many others.
Ikoro in Igbo land is a big wooden gong placed in centre of a community or town. Uga had their Ikoro placed at the centre of Uga town which is nkwor Uga. It was placed in a place called Ukwu Ehuru, near udara omumu, opposite Idemili shrine, a deity believed to be worshipped by the man Uga and his family. The reason for carving Ikoro is just like a means of summon to the general public, it was not meant to sound anyhow. Ikoro sounds when there is an important message or serious issue in the land. eg; If Igwe or prominent person dies, if war is coming to the town, at the presentation of new Igwe to the town,to summon the town for a serious meeting, etc. According to history, the first Ikoro in Uga was burnt around 1916 during the invasion of the whitemen with message of christianity to the town. Decades later, 1983 to precise, the Amala people of Uga approached the government of the town then for permission to use a tree at Nkwo Uga to replace the burnt Ikoro. They were permitted to do so and they carved, presented and handed over the now new Ikoro Uga to the ruling body (Uga Improvement Union) of the town then. In 1986, the now new Ikoro was unveiled and all the serving priests in Uga both Anglican and Roman Catholic were invited to pray at the unveiling of the Ikoro and NTA channel 8 Enugu televised it live on television. This was in the days of HRH Igwe Felix O. Ezenwugo as Obi of Uga and Chief, C. C. Ifemeje as president general of Uga town. In August 12th, 2015, another crusade was organised and the centre was at Ukwu Ehuru in Nkwo Uga, very close to the place the Ikoro was placed. During the crusade, the guest speaker burnt Ikoro the only artifact in Uga, by Uga people and for Uga people. He also burnt down all the shrines at nkwo Uga including the Idemili shrine which was situated at the now roundabout that stand between Umueze and Umuoru road.
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TRADITIONAL STOOL OF RULERSHIP IN UGA IS NOT ROTATIONAL BUT HEREDITORY. UGA IS AMONG THE FEW TOWNS IN SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA THAT PRACTICES THE HEREDITORY TYPE OF TRADITIONAL RULERSHIP AND THE TRADITIONAL RULER OF UGA IS KNOWN AS OBI OF UGA.
|IRI JI (NEW YAM FESTIVAL)||HRH Igwe Chidi Ezenwugo (Obi of Uga) palace||2020-08-15|