• Isiekenesi Ideato LGA Imo State Nigeria Origin

    There are several ancient stories about the origin of the town called Isiekenesi. One such story has it that the fore parents of the town and  people of Isiekenesi were migrant farmers from Umuolo. Their names were Eke, the husband, and Orie, the wife. The settled in the present -day location of Isieke village in Isiekenesi. They had six children (and  one female who was married to Okwelle). The six male children were: Isieke, the first child , who settled in Isieke village; Ojishi was the second male child, who moved to and occupied the present-day Umuojishi village; Dim, the third son of Eke and Orie settled in present-day Umudim; the fourth son of Eke and Orie, Okohia, settled in present-day Okohia village; Aghobe was the fifth son and  settled in present-day Umuaghobe village; and the last son of Eke and Orie was Awalla, who settled in present-day Awalla village. The six villages in Isiekenesi are commonly grouped into two; Isieke, Umuojishi and Umudim are collectively called Nnanato while Okohia, Umuaghobe, and Awalla are collectively called Nne-nato. Except for Okohia, which has five kindred,(onu ogu nese), the rest of the villages have four kindreds (onu ogu nano) each


    Isiekenesi neighbors are Amanato on the  north , Dikenafai on the south, Nkwerre on the east, and on the west are Umuago and  Umuakam. These neighbors share very similar customs and culture and Isiekenesi. This affinity is mainly due to long association and  intermarriage.



    Isiekenesi has sufficient  streams and rivulets such as Mgbede and Nwaokwara in Isieke; Obubaya, Nwosu-Ugwuoma, Okwa, and  Ezeama in Umuojishi; Nwosu , Ikwe, Urashi, and Nwanuhie in Umudim; Onyenyara , Ngwu , and Okwa in Okohia ; and Ogbirigba in Awalla. Umuaghobe village has no stream or river.

    Festivals  The traditional or festive  calendar in Isiekenesi contains the following:

    1. Oriri Ala– This takes place  around March / April  after the first rains have  cooled the land, and people are beginning to plan and organize themselves for the farming  season.
    1. Isusu Nri – This basically  means the pounding of the food, and it is the second festival in Isiekenesi. This festival is celebrated at the beginning of the harvesting season. The food to be pounded usually is the first tuber of the yam or coco yam.
    1. Oriri Ukwu– This is the biggest festival of the year. It is to celebrate the end of the farming season. The Oriri Ukwu festival is first started  by the most senior (premier) village, which is Isieke.
    1. 4. Nkwo Ukutu – After the Oriri Ukwu celebration , the next festival is Ike ji or Nkwo Ukutu. Again, like the Oriri Ukwu, this festival is started by Isieke on Nkwo-nta after Oriri Okohia. That is, not all the villages  would have concluded the Oriri festival. There is an annual dance at Nkwo- Ukuta festival starts. The Nna-nato villages could celebrate the Nkwo-Ukutu and the other is followed.
    1. Oriri Ajimmiri- This takes place after all the villages have celebrated their  Oriri. Ajimmiri is central godhead in Isiekenesi and it is worshipped at the central market called  Afo-Ukwu. This festival is around the end of September of the beginning of October.
    1. Igba Akwu – This is the last festival of the year in Isiekenesi. Its significance is not well known.
    1. Oriri Isiekenesi – This is equivalent to the Iri Ji ( New Yam Festival ) in many parts of Igbo land

    Isiekenesi is a town in Ideato Local Government  Area of Imo State. The town’s total population is between 90,000 and 120,000. The town’s topography is largely of loose subsoil, which is responsible for the very incessant and uncontrollable  gully erosion now swallowing up parts of Isiekenesi. Still an agricultural society the town practices shifting cultivation at farmlands called Ugwu or Ikpa. The main economic crops are yams, coco yams , and cassava. The people of Isiekenesi are friendly and hospitable . They  welcome their visitors with open arms and hearts. Isiekenesi people are united and proudly address themselves as “Umu Ishii”.



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