Ikeji Festival of Arondizuogu: retelling the stories and rekindling the values of an ancestral homeland

  • Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu
Keywords: Ikeji Festival, Arondizuogu, Stories, Values, Ancestral, Homeland


Cultural festivals are unique moments in the lives of particular communities when the vital components of their worldview are explicitly displayed through various cultural acts, amplified with colourful costumes and culinary delights. This becomes more interesting in relation to the Arondizuogu Ikeji Festival. Arondizuogu is a group of sprawling communities, spreading across three local government areas in Imo State, with its largest area located in the land obtained from Umualaoma town. For the Arondizuogu, the Ikeji Festival is an annual festival of thanksgiving, merriment and propitiation, which comes up either in the month of March or April every year. It is very rich, in both historical and cultural festivities, filled with scintillating performances from masquerades, memorable sights, comic acts and magical dances from different dance groups. The festival began as a ceremony to mark the end of the planting season and the beginning of the harvest season. The festival is a four-market days' (out-izu uka) festival, which is equivalent to one week in the English calendar. Each of these market days: Eke, Orie, Afor and Nkwo, has its own significance and represents a particular aspect of the Ikeji festival. The present work on schedule is an attempt to retell the dimensions of the Ikeji Festival for the purpose of rekindling the values that underlie the colourful and scintillating event. The historical and phenomenological method of enquiry would be employed for the purpose of this research. The present work submits that the Ikeji festival is not only a yearly ceremony, but an annual event that retells the story of the Arondizuogu people and rekindles their  shared values.

Keywords: Ikeji Festival, Arondizuogu, Stories, Values, Ancestral, Homeland


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2006-5442