Wednesday 4 May 2016

What is this about Kolanut in Igboland? By McPhilips Nwachukwu

For instance, numbers like 3, 6, 5 and 4 are very symbolic in the people's cosmological belief. Some of these numbers, for some communities and villages represent different values. In some cases, strength, abnormality or number of constituents of a community.
So, while some villages may eat a kola nut with six lobes as a signifier of good fortune, another village may abhor it because it is a head counter of their village.

However, it is an unanimous view among the people that a three lobed kola is a kola of strength.So, a visitor, whose lot it becomes to be honoured with this kind of kola, which comes out rarely, is seen as such, a hero, a man of strength, Dike, as the people would, say.

Also, kola nut without lobes is not allowed to be eaten because for the people, it represents abnormality. It is called "oji gbara kpurukakpu", meaning kola without lobes. The moment it is noticed that a kola has no lobes , it is immediately withdrawn and replaced with finer specie with lobes.

In the same way that kola
nut is used in peaceful ceremonies, so also it is used in mediating crisis situations. It is perhaps in this way that the symbolic nature and role of kola nut becomes very manifest.

When two villages or families or husband and wife are at war or into disagreement, kola nut is taken to the traditional head of one of the offending parties as an appeal for cease fire, reconciliation or declaration of war.

It is a common saying among the people referring to somebody or a village, that " "achigara ya or ha oji", which means that "kola nuts are take to him or them" a situation that may arise say, from a person or village alleged of crime, adultery or poison.

The essence of "achigara ya oji" or "kola nuts are taken to him" becomes an instrument of summons to the accused to come and prove his innocence before the accuser.

*Culled from

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