The Onwa – Oru Festival of the Uratta Clan,
….Eze Amaobi sues for peace as the 2020 festival holds.
Culture could be said to be the refinement of norm and tradition of a people, community or state.
So a civilized community of people will always hold on and protect her cultural condition by so doing providing a pattern or an authoritative standard for their tradition.
A tradition is what was handed over that is an oral transmission from generation to generation.
In Uratta Clan, of Owerri North Local Government of Imo State, Nigeria, the people had a practice called Onwa –Oru festival handed down to them by their forefathers.
According to the Traditional Ruler of Obibi- Uratta, His Royal Majesty Eze Prof. Amaobi Uwalake, Uratta Clan is the oldest community East of the Niger in Nigeria and that it is as old as the Igbo historical origin several thousand years ago.
Eze Prof Amaobi Uwalake who is the Obilubi of Uratta Clan explained that the Onwa-Oru Festiival was handed down to them by the great Chukwu Abiama who migrated from Orie-Uratta many years ago to Arochukwu now Abia State.
He hinted that the Onwa-Oru is a peculiar culture and tradition because of its significance to farming season in Igbo land, adding that any month the ceremony comes up, that month and season signify the month of farming and peace.
During the period, he explained that there will be no quarrel, burial, farming or any act that will run country to the successful celebration of the ceremony.
For the 2020 celebration of the ceremony, Eze Uwaleke said that the event which kicked off a month ago will witness its climax at Orie-Uratta Market Square on Saturday February 22, to be attended by prominent sons and daughters, friends and well wishers of Obibi-Uratta and Uratta Clan.
The Uratta Clan is made up of eight (8) Towns and Two (2) appendages namely – Umualum, Umuori, Umuoba, Okwu, Owalla, Owaelu, Umunahu and Orji Communities.
Others are Akwakuma – Uratta and Amakohia – Uratta within the Owerri Methropolis.
Before the ceremony, many steps were taken which includes that;
- The Oha Uratta Supreme Council will sight the new moon.
- The Supreme Council soaks the palm front (Omu) in the water to signify the end to fight, quarreling, police case, burial, farming etc. in the community.
- Embarking of collection of flute levies for the blowing of the trumpet to signify the commencement of the festival.
- Invitation of Eze Obibi for the bringing down of the big staff of authority (Ofo Ukwu) to beg the gods of the land to bring down rain for bountiful harvest.
The ceremony is usually held within 21 days after the bringing down of the Ofo Ukwu and lifting it and the festival must be held on the Orie-Ukwu day.
This year 2020 celebration has been arranged and planned for Saturday February 22 and at the helm of affairs is Eze Prof. Amaobi Uwalake who is by tradition, the head of Uratta Clan to be ably supported by the Oha Uratta Supreme Council.