In the city of Obinwanne Umuaka the annual Owuu festival has started in earnest.
Obinwanne Umuaka is one of the communities in Umuaka. Umuaka is a community under Njaba Local Government Area, Imo state.
You must have heard of Njaba python (eke Njaba). Umuaka is one among the communities that also deny it’s citizens the right to kill pythons.
The Owuu festival is usually organised or celebrated every year within the months of June, July and August.
Before the commencement of the festival, a pre-Owuu celebration will be made in respect of the forthcoming occasion.
This pre-celebration is commonly referred to as ‘itu nkwa‘.
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It comes first to announce the dates for the forthcoming Owuu festival.
This Obinwanne Umuaka community festival usually happens every once in a year and to the people of Umuaka, that period of the festival is also a festive period.
Some classify it as a Christmas season in the same year Christmas will be celebrated.
Though no new born baby is born as a reason for the celebration of the Owuu festival just like we have it in the real Christmas celebration.
It is just a common culture that binds people of the area together.
Owuu festival of the Obinwanne Umuaka community is designed to bring people of the locality together.
The occasion is categorised by the involvement of both old and young.
Brief Origin of the Owuu Festival
The Owuu festival celebrated today in Umuaka is also celebrated in other communities in Imo state like Orodo, Ekwe, Amurie Isu-Njaba, Umundugba, Amandugba etc.
The celebration has been in existence since the time of their ancestors.
Owuu festival was initiated by their ancestors to enhance the relationship existing among villagers.
Owuu Festival Not a Fetish Activity
There is an age long speculation that the Obinwanne Owuu festival is characterized by fetish and demonic activities.
To clear the air on this note, this activity (Owuu festival) is completely a people’s way of life.
The festival does not give room for the use of idols or the involvement of barbaric or demonic activities.
People are advised to go about their normal activities and come back later in the day to celebrate the occasion.
Interestingly, the Owuu festival lasts for more than a month and within these months, you are expected to be on good terms with everybody.
Benefits of the Owuu Festival
The Owuu festival binds people of Obinwanne Umuaka together.
It also gives room for reconciliation among brothers.
The festival upholds the culture of the people of Umuaka.
Owuu festival equally serves as an object of identity among the people of Umuaka.
It also provides an opportunity for one to have a share in the food of his neighbour
What Happens During the Owuu Festival
During the festival, no one is expected to fight or quarrel with anybody.
It is also a moment when brothers will value the importance of having a brother in the society.
It is a moment when neighbours will share with neighbours food and other belongings.
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During the Owuu festival, women or girls are not expected to walk alone on the streets else they will be mercilessly whipped by parading masquerades.
People gather at the village square and get entertained by different people with different dancing styles also with their heads and bodies covered with white-transparent-linen. (White garment).
Lite-masquerades (Ogudo as it is called in Umuaka) also join the people on white garments to entertain the people gathered for the occasion.
The Owuu festival as celebrated in Obinwanne Umuaka is not a fetish activity.
It is a cultural activity that binds people together and is usually celebrated every once in a year.
|Lite-masquerades (Ogudo as it is called in Umuaka) also join the people on white garments to entertain the people gathered for the occasion.|