Ezi and Ifite Sections
Awka town is topographically divided into two sections: Ezi and Ifite Sections. Ifite Section occupies the high land (Ngbogo) while Ezi Section occupies the low land (Ngbede) of Awka. An imaginary line drawn eastward between the compounds of Chinwuko Agbonma at Umuzocha and Mbonu Angunoby at Umudioka, entering into Umuzocha village and stopping at Nkwelle village, bisects the town into the two sections. The EA. Section ends at the Nise road, after the government station, whereas the Ifite Section ends at Ezu River, on Enugu road. Ifite Section consists four groups of quarters—Ayom na Okpala, NkweIle, Amachalla and Ifite—while Ezi Section consists of three groups of quarters—Ayom na Okpala, Nkwelle, Amachalla and Ifite – while Ezi section consists of three groups of quarters Amikwo, Agulu and Ezioka.
The Ayom na Okpala Quarter of Rite Section consists of four villages:
The Nkwelle Quarter also comprises four villages:
Today, Awka people can be found all across the globe many working as skilled professionals in a wide range of fields. As a result, there is a large Awka diaspora located primarily in the UK and in the USA. There, they have formed social clubs like Awka Union USA and Canada, Awka Town Social Community UK and Ireland and other community associations. These associations have been a way for people to enjoy their culture as well as to engage in community self-help projects.
- Umuayom, Umunnoke, Umuoramma and Umuokpu
- Achallaoji, Umunamoke, Agbana, Umudiaba
- Amachalla, Amudo, Umuzocha
- Enu-Ifite, Ezinato-Ifite, Agbana-Ifite
- Umudiana, Okperi, Igweogige, Isiagu, Obunagu
- Omuko, Umueri, Umuogwal, Umuogbunu 1, Umuogbunu 2, Umudioka, Umukwa
- Umuogbu, Umubele, Umuanaga, Umuike, Umujagwo, Umuenechi, Umuoruka
The Imo-Oka festival is a week long festival of masquerades and dances held in May at the beginning of the farming season in honor of a female deity who it is hoped would make the land fertile and yield boutiful crops. The festival starts with Awka indigenes visiting the community of Umuokpu with masquerades and it ends with the visit of the Imo-Oka stream on the final day which is heralded by a heavy rain that falls in the late afternoon.
There are four major events performed during the festival, the ede-mmuo, ogwu oghugha, egwu Opu-Eke and Egwu Imo-Oka. Egwu Opu Eke is a rich cultural dance performed by female worshippers of Imo-Oka shrine which includes priestesses and ordinary women alike decorated in colorful costume dancing in the market square in honor of the deity controlling the shrine.
The Imo-Oka festival showcases a variety of masquerades (mmanwu) from sinister ones which flog spectators to friendly ones which sing or dance. The masquerades are believed to represent the spirits of Awka ancestors coming from the land of the dead for the festival.
Take a moment to look at these pictures of the Awka area. You can click each image to view larger.