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Although "Enuani" today typically refers to the language of the Aniocha/Oshimili people of the Anioma in Delta North,
As a language of tonality in sound, the language is spoken close to
In Anioma, Enuani language is often referred to "Asusu Enuani". The
Enuani language is rarely written but retains Igbo names, words and idiomatic
expressions that ordinarily may be sensible to other Igbo speakers except minor
variations as a result of loan words from the Edoid language. The Enuani
language has cross-pollinated the Aniocha/Oshimili areas characteristically
bringing about communication homogeneity with the adoption of words. Other
languages spoken in the Anioma region are Ika, Aboh, Ebu, Ukwani/Ndokwa,
Olukunmi etc. The languages of Anioma are derived from Igbo, Yoruba,
The word "Enu" means "High" while "Ani" means
"Land" which when put together amounts to
Claims and dynamics of the people on the origins which occurred in diversity support the issue of Enuani ethno-cultural identity together and homogeneity with their dealings before and during colonialism. A good example of this is the Ekwumekwu movements carried out against the British colonial government to end the imperialism in the area. It is equally noteworthy that around this time, the people referred to the area as Enuani region notwithstanding how others viewed them.
The people of Ibusa, Asaba, Ogwashi-Uku, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ugbo,
Onicha-Uku, Onicha-Ukwu, Onicha-Ado (Onitsha) Issele-Uku, Issele-Mkpitime,
Issele-Azagba, Idumuje-Unor, Idumuje-Ugboko, Ejeme-Unor, Ejeme-Aniogor, Okpanam,
Ezi, Oko, Ashaba, Anwai, Ugbodu, Akwukwu-Ukwu, Ubulu-Uku, Ubulu-Unor etc.
Uniquely, these communities trace their origin to the Igbo east of the
The Enuani have a homogenous culture for instance, the Akwa-Ocha (Oto-Ogwu,
in some Anioma dialects) fabric is the traditional attire of the Enuani as won
by the entire people of Anioma. It is a white fabric woven with designs
sometimes inscribing the "
The culture of Enuani regarding the burial of a loved one is same. This is generally referred to as "Ini-Ozu" and in the first of the two funeral ceremonies, in the language of the people called "Ikposu-Ozu". The Akwa-Ocha is a necessary traditional item required to bury the dead. Dedicated mourners closely related to the deceased are expected to tie the fabric around their bodies while "Itu-Uni" is often conducted with "Akwa-Ocha". A deceased may also be laid to rest wrapped in Akwa-Ocha as a traditional rite and respect. An Anioma indigene that is/has taken up a chieftaincy/traditional title may also be expected to appear in Akwa-Ocha attire. Such is the relevance of Akwa-Ocha to the people of Enuani and Anioma in entirety.
By Emeka Esogbue
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