Making of ÂTTAH of Igalaland

THE MAKING OF ATTAH IGALA: PART ONE ~ The procedures are handed down from generation to generation; I urge you to keep up from part one to the last. The source will be made known in the end. The making of ATTAH formally starts with the presentation of the Prince who is selected by the Igala mela king makers to be the successor to the departed ATTAH of a cow whisk, the symbol of a title holder. From this time he ceases to be referred to as Chief rather he is called AYIDOKOANYA(Attah select) and greeted “Todo”. Hence, the Preliminary of becoming an ATTAH. After the ceremony of cow whist presentation, a new home is built for the Ayidokoanya by a group of young men which is usually a tars house in which Ayidokoanya spends a night to be set ablaze a day later:the house is expected to be his last property on earth. This ceremony is central as the Ayidokoanya is not to have personal property on becoming an Attah. After the ceremony, the Ayidokoanya who is bowed, with his guards and the IKABO(the traditional messengers to the Attah select) will set on a journey to Idah which traditionally will be done on FOOT; this is done with the view of instilling in the Attah, a strict adherence to the norms of our society, and prepare his mind for the responsibilities ahead.
THE MAKING OF ATTAH: PART TWO. The first point of call in Idah by Ayidokoanya is the Achadu’s Palace where his ears will be pierced by the Iye Okpo. He is expected to stay there for about three months to enable his ears heal up; there again, he will be taught the dos and the don’ts of an Attah-on leaving the palace, the Ayidokoanya will be called to pound yam for the Achadu: the significance of these ear-piercing and yam pound could be traced to back then when Ebulejonu as Attah had her ears pierced and had to feed her husband (Achadu). From the Achadu’s Palace, the Ayidokoanya with his entourage will move to Ojaina to be met at Ojuwo Ukopununi by Egwola, the custodian of the royal burial ground. Here, the ceremony is performed in Egwola’s house close to the burial ground, particularly in his reception Hall(Atakpa) where special coronation stool will be mounted and the Ayidokoanya is asked to sit on an ordinary seat until some incarntations and sacrifices are made after which the Egwola will walk to the Ayidokoanya, grab him by left hand and drag him to the deceased stool on which he will then sit.At this point,the Ayidokoanya ceases to be greeted (todo) but (Agabaidu).Wait for Part Three.
THE MAKING OF ATTAH: PART THREE ~ Still at the Egwola’s palace, a calabash containing some beads tied up in nine short strings will be brought forth while Egwola ties five of the beads to the Ayidokoanya’s left hand wrist and four to his right-this beading ceremony means the first conferment of authority on the Ayidokoanya and proclaim that an Attah has been born. The royal stool is then brought and the Attah will sit on it to be dressed in his full regalia which include, the royal necklace “Ejubejuailo”, and the crown, “Ikebe with Omnyere”. As soon as the crown is placed on his head, the warriors will fire the first gun in salutation. At the end of this ceremony, the Attah will ride on horse, back to Ojaina, where he will meet the Ohiojas (Ifa Priests), who predict what the reign of the Attah will be. Next is the choice of Attah’s burial spot at the royal cemetery; here, a sharp knife is handed over to the Attah who cuts and pegs a tree branch at the point of his choice in line with the other royal graves at the cemetery. This point, he informs the Eirola, his intended final resting place. The head of Adokpulu Clansmen will then come with spear and strike the ground very close to the marked point, say some incantation and then command all trees to change direction as the place has been marked to house the body of an Attah (history has it that these commands had never been disregarded. The Attah will leave the cemetery on horse and he is not to look back; the next time he visits the cemetery will be his burial. PART FOUR loading, don’t miss out. Thanks.
THE MAKING OF ATTAH: PART FOUR. If you missed 1,2 & 3, search them and catch up with us. After choosing his spot for burial, the Attah will then move to Erane Shrine, where he is confered with his political and spiritual powers over the entire Igala Kingdom. At the Shrine, he is met by the Achadu, all the beaded Chiefs of the land, the nine royal masquerdes and a teaming crowd from all corners of the land. As soon as the Attah dismantles from the horse, the Achadu shakes and embraces him, while other Chiefs prostrate and greet him, (Agbaidu).The ceremony of confererment on the Attah, the political and spiritual powers is administered by the Achadu who says; “Your wishes are our command,the success of your reign is your guider”, the people will respond saying, “ojo kirata, gbadu, okega guagwu, fidi”.This marks the end of coronation and the Attah will enter the palace for the first time as Attah. Tradition forbids Attah to return to the palace quietly rather, it should be triumphant. To this end, the Attah will then perform the Ocho Attah into the palace-a triumphant means to dictate the affairs of the Igala people for the rest of his life. The first excercise to perform in honour of the departed wake keeping lasts for seven days after which Ayidokoanya will proceed to perform some sacrifices to appease the Almighty God to bless the soul of his predessors. PART 5 loading…


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