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It is a town situated between the Igbo and
The people of this town speak Enuani dialect which is Igbo and are known to belong to the proud Anioma family. Umejei, Edini, Obodo and Omuoha, the founders of the town are all known to have migrated from Nshi (Nri) and Isu in present Igbo land of the south-southern region. The name Umejei and Obodo are still borne in Igbo land of today though scarcely heard in Ibusa and other Anioma. In many several ways, certain Isu communities of the south-east have laid claims to the original home where Umejei, one of the founders of the town took off from. Not a single one of these communities have advanced strong historical discoveries supported by evidences to drive home their claims. The Ibusa people themselves appear to have over the time lost knowledge of the original home of their warrior founder, Umejei.
The people have mythologies of their origin supporting the claims of migrations from Igboland of the south-east. Evidently, their many of their cultures support this. The culture of “Ituni” rite during the funeral of a departed one is a clear testimony of this. “Ituni” requires materials such as goats and “Otogwu” fabric from the sisters of the deceased to accompany the remains to the world beyond.
There is also the “Ifejioku” festival otherwise known as “Iwaji”
which resembles those of the people of south-east of
However, the “Ibusa” as “manufactured” and forced on the people by
the British have over the time had its pronunciation transformed to “Igbuzo”.
Thus “Ibusa” is now “Igbuzo” Critics say the town christened with name
“Igbuzo” by its kiths and kin from the south-east rather than “Ibuzo” a
name by which the town was known by its immediate Anioma neighbours. “Ibusa”
or “Igbuzo” the town moves on with the social influences it has gathered
from the Igbo,
The Ibusa quarters or villages are named in Igbo languages and usually begins with the prefix “Umu” which means the children of. Umu-Ekea, Umu-Odafe, Umu-Wagwu, Umu-Isor are all quarters in the town. These villages may have developed like those of the distant south-eastern states. Consider too that Ibusa is a community by origin politically organized in such a way that it was kingless. The society being a democratic one was socially rested under the leadership of an able “Diokpa” This is to a large extent an Igbo idea. Many Anioma communities are like this too. Ibusa market days are named and counted just like in Igbo land. The people have since origin become familiar with Eke, Orie, Nkwo and Afor, market days in Igbo land.
Traditional wrestling bouts called “Mgba” in the local dialect of the people are still practiced in the town today may have been imported from the Isu and Nshi, the heartland of Igboland. It was in the course of the friendly bout that Umejei, one of the founders of the town killed his opponent and made to flee in an exile that landed him in today’s Ibusa. It is another way; the Igbo have influenced Ibusa people socially. The sounds of sweet music, wailing, cries, surprises and amusements that accompany the bouts all natural to the Igbo people of the south-eastern region.
The Edo people of
The traditional attire of Ibusa people just like the rest of Anioma people is
close to the
Some common words in Ibusa language is derived from
Centuries back, the Ibusa borrowed monarchical idea from the
Mention should also be made of certain cults like the Igbeh festival imported from Urhobo and Itsekiri of the Niger Delta regions. Adherents of this cult can still be found in the town today and are proud of it.
The Ibusa “Okanga” funeral dance recently described as the “running
funeral dance” because of its nature by one historian of the Ibusa origin have
affinity wit those of other Anioma communities chiefly Asaba (Ahaba) Ilah (Alaa)
and Okpanam (Okpam) a trio of the three proud communities of Anioma never
conquered by the
This is not to say that the cultures of Ibusa lacks uniqueness as their still certain common traditional features which finely separates the town from the rest of the world which is why the town is Ibusa.
By Emeka Esogbue
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