To preserve the history, culture and traditional heritage of OBOWO people for posterity and to establish a Cultural Center for this purpose.


In 2014, a select group of very special people made a pledge to keep the history and culture of OBOWO Community alive. Led by a worthy son of Umuariam and driven by the belief that without an understanding of their history every generation must start over, this group decided to preserve the important heritage and lessons from the past so that Obowo children as well as visitors alike will have something to look forward to and learn from.


To achieve its mission, UHURI Cultural Center is divided into the following categories; each serving specific functions and objectives.

Heritage Identification and Preservation Division:

The heritage identification and preservation division is charged with identifying Obowo heritage resources such as sites, trails, historic buildings, artifacts, activities and structures that are culturally and historically significant. This division is further charged with preserving and designating such identified resources as part of, and necessary for integration into the broad range of plans, programs and activities that shape Obowo community over time. In collaboration with the acquisition divisions, the division shall maintain archives accessible by the general public.

Acquisition and Maintenance Division:

The acquisition and maintenance division is to acquire and maintain culturally and historically significant artifacts; including those resources identified by the heritage identification and preservation division, where feasible. The division shall further obtain and document the community’s oral and written history especially through interviews of elders and rulers with deep knowledge of significant historical events and Obowo culture. The artifacts and information so obtained shall be maintained at a Center designated for the purpose and accessible by the public and visitors. Tourists, as well as individuals conducting heritage research or those looking for more information on Obowo community shall find helpful resources at the center.

Activities and Programs Division:

The activities and programs division is responsible for encouraging the sustenance of Obowo culture and heritage beginning with, and through programs and activities reminiscent of bygone years such as folklores, concerts, cultural music, drama and poetry. This division is equally responsible for promoting annual cultural activities such as IRI-JI, NTUMAKA and other festivals as well as the Age grade system and the associated IWA-AKWA ceremonies.

Ancestry and Lineage Division:

This division is to identify the ancestry, lineage and family heads of each Obowo village family units with a view of establishing a traceable family tree of each community as well as uplift the tie that binds the natives together.  The division shall maintain a registry of each family unit and encourage each family to update the information with any addition to their members on annual or bi-annual basis. The updates should include any deaths among the family members within the period.

IT/Documentation and Production Division:

This division is responsible for the archival and documentation of all activities and programs of the Cultural Center for the public and future generations. The division shall prepare flyers, brochures, pamphlets as well as other publications that will enhance the image of the Center and disseminate information on the Center’s programs and activities to a wider community, both national and international.

Public Affairs and Communications Division:

This division is the public face of the Cultural Center and shall endeavor to project a positive image of the core objectives of the Center. In doing so, it shall ensure the Center is not subject to any political influence or undue pressure from any group or individuals. As the name suggests, this division shall seek to liaise with and obtain support from individuals, governments, organizations and entities both nationally and internationally that share in the visions of the Center as well as the core objectives of UHURU Cultural Center. In addition to the above, this division is charged with the development, organization and publication of annual or bi-annual plan of programs and activities for the Center as may be necessary. Organizing Programs such as symposiums and lectures on Obowo Culture and traditions are envisaged as part of the core functions of this division.


Meaning and Symbolism.

Uhuri is not a kindred in Umuariam or a village in Obowo. However it is the main square of Umuokoro community- (the opara Umuariam). In the cosmos, it represents the gathering of a people. Legend has it that it (Uhuri Umuokoro) is the site where a notable Obowo village(Avutu) rested after the migrants left their kindred somewhere in Mbaise before being directed eastwards to their present abode in Obowo. Uhuri Cultural Center is engaged in deeper research about this legend and other legends about the history of individual Obowo village migrations. Notably, Uhuri Umuokoro square was one of the foremost Nigeria voting sites as indicated in the INEC register and its forebears.