NEW YEAR FESTIVAL (ADUI IKU KWA) IN AVHIANWU – BARRI INAEDE
Adui iku kwa in Avhianwu clan Etsako Central Edo State is celebrated yearly across the four (4) clans in AVHIANWU namely IVHIUNONE, IVHIARUA, OGBONA (IMHAKHENA) AND URALOKHOR between March and April as the situation may warrant in each year to mark the dawn of a new Year traditionally. The literary meaning of “adui iku kwa” is waste disposal or cleansing of all past things and deeds.
Waste disposal is the process of getting rid of all unwanted products in our homes, society and environment. A day of adui iku kwa is a day that is compulsory for everyone to reconcile whatever differences they have with their neighbours. No one is expected to cross this day harboring hurts, grief, pains, offences, in their hearts. You may call it a Day of Reconciliation, settlement, revival, renewal. Adui iku kwa makes all things new again. Relationships rekindle, victims of broken marriages take advantage of this day to seek reunion.
This day is known for a day where sons in laws pay tribute to their fathers and mothers in laws. One visits his in-laws with gift, sometimes a bottle of hot drink or a keg of specially reserved palm wine and some cash (optional), and in company of his respected and responsible friends. The Peculiar soup for all family today is ogbolor (omhi akphe) and pounded yam. Parents call all their children at home and abroad to release the yearly blessings to them, sincerely from their heart. The content of this prayer is “goodness, mercy, favour and blessings on our way, we have disposed the evil waste, ……
It is a day of joy and celebration for all elderly men and traditional rulers for they have seen yet another year. This is why the sound of gunshot opened the day early this morning. This feast ushers the people into a new planting season. The people believe that though rain has not resumed in the region for planting, it may likely shower today to celebrate with the people and open the season for them. There are no particular rituals associated with this feast.
All sons in laws of Avhianwu do surely pays tribute to them on this feast.
On this day, all family used to pack all dirty clothes to the river to wash. All corners of the homes are properly swept. Just like the Bible says, old things must be passed away and new things must begin from this day. It used to be a day for tireless swimming, hide and seek fun play in the river for the teenagers, etc.
The song that is normally sing today when going and coming back from the river is ” Emor si vha gwe nor leh khu kpeh nor lamhi vha lor o, Agbado nukpe, gia kege gia”
The fruit that normally opted for today after visiting the river for the festival is VELVET TAMALIN (UGIEH). All the young people will pluck Velvet tamalin and take them home to share for loved ones. It’s really a festival of love for all sons and daughters of Avhianwu.
The greetings that is predominant in Avhianwu today is
Onortse onortse lor
Ewie wia lor
Mha du iku ebe lakwa.
Happy new year to all Avhianwu people
NEW YEAR FESTIVAL (ADUI IKU KWA) IN AVHIANWU – BEN IKHANE
The day of Aduiku’kwa starts with a night vigil by the Ivhiomu’kpes from Ebadi kindred in Ivhiunone. The eldest man in the kindred informs the extended family in Ebadi and the Ikhane family (the only branch of the Ebadi kindred in Ogbona) on the date of the vigil prior to the declaration of the new year. By midnight of that period all the Ivhiomu’kpes (makers of the new year) after keeping watch around the Ukpe shrine will invoke the gods to fashion a new year for the people of Avhianwu. They will make the necessary sacrifices and make series of invocations and supplications till the wee hours of the morning. Shortly before cock crow the Ivhiomu’kpes with a loaded dane gun match round (while sweeping off the old year and all its attendant negativities and evils) the old market square chatting some incantations. At the sound of the first cock crow the Dane gun is fired and the new year is pronounced. There upon all citizens take up the chant of Aduikwebe lakwa. Onotse onotse lo… This how the new year starts in Avhianwu clan. Presently, John Ikhane is the present eldest man of the Ivhiomu’kpes at the demise of the last one (Robert) whose funeral has not been done. Mattias Ikhane goes to Fugar yearly for this ceremony on behalf of the Ikhane family. Ben Ikhane attended the vigil as far back as 1992. There are many hidden things that are not meant for the public ear.
NEW YEAR FESTIVAL (ADUI IKU KWA) IN AVHIANWU – JOHN ANAWEOKHAI
THE OGBONA THAT FLOWS IN MY VENS (PART XVII)
Christmas and New Years were not only the seasons we celebrated with pump and pageantry. We celebrated new yam, Esi festival and new year too. Yes, New Year that is very distinct from that of the first of January. It is known as Aduikwu Kwa. It is celebrated about the month of February to April in the height of the harmattan season.
One striking thing about this festival is the level of prayers. Everybody prays on this very day. The greetings centre on prayers and pronouncement of blessings. It is generally believed that enmity must not exceed this day as those who hadn’t been in good terms all through the year are enjoyed to meld fences. There must be no carry over of anything untoward. It is a moment elders pronounce blessings on the younger ones. In fact, as you wake up, the first thing you hear in the morning is ONOTSE ONOTSE LO which translates, it is blessing upon blessing. ADUIKWE ‘BE LA KWA. Meaning, we clean ourselves of every stains of dirt. The surroundings are swept and kept clean to usher in the New Year.
One is of the thoughtful conviction that the level of the consciousness of the efficacy of prayer on this particular day can be harped upon by the believers among us to do something novel and win souls massively for Christ. Everybody is spiritually minded as the canine instincts in man are verbally exorcised and chased into the abyss. There is this general consciousness of the evanescence of earthly possessions and the limited impacts of individualism as everything gears towards interdependence and spiritual retrospection. It was very exciting as eligible boys and girls would go to the streams amidst sounding of metal gong otherwise known as Akpo gege. It is the season of velvet tamarin as it seen in abundance on the way to the stream. Frankly speaking, I have no idea of the essence of the stream visit as water was not fetched on the way back. nonetheless, I never saw any fetish undertaken during or after the stream visitation. I wouldn’t know if some incantations were made with libations poured before such visits but if the evidence of my eye is anything go by, everything was pure and clean though I learnt it was customary for girls to do the stream visit unclad in the olden days. It is celebrated on Ewor day with Omhi akpee.
The New Year celebration was also a moment age mates, especially, the women folks took stock of their financial year. This was actually done a day before the new year as they always met to share what accrued to them from their investments.
It must be acknowledged here that Aduikwu kwa provided apple opportunity for the council of elders in conjunction with The Okphe Ukpi to reflect on the preceding year in relation to culture and traditions, to do an exegetical evaluation and review some parts of the culture that are obsolete or that need restructuring. It is also a moment to review the constitution of the village. There was no need for new dress as the celebration was short lived and it was not as elaborate as Christmas or Esi.