The IKORO Symbol
“The Ikoro” in Igbo Land is a big wooden musical instrument (MUSICAL WOODEN GONG) very similar to “Ekwe”. While Ekwe is a smaller wooden musical instrument (wooden) that can be easily carried by hand, the Ikoro on the other hand cannot be easily lifted even with the strength of 10(ten) strong men. The Ikoro is usually installed in the “Ikoro House” at the Meeting Square or Market Arena in Igbo Land, (in Obowo) where if it is beaten the sound will reach/circulate to the entire village.
The Ikoro in any particular village or community is a symbol of unity, it is only sounded when a great festival or when there is Special Information that requires the attention of the whole community. And whenever the Ikoro is beaten/sounded all adult males in the village/town must assembly immediately to know the reason why the Ikoro sounded. In Obowo is installed at the special seating place/arena of “Ndi opara” (the representatives /descendants of the first son of the community.
The installation of a New Ikoro at Avutu Obowo
Recently, in Avutu Obowo on the 5th day of September 2022, a newly, artistically well-carved Ikoro with a very big wooden trunk (from the trunk of a hard wood, usually Achi Tree) was installed at Eke Avutu Market Square. Our UCC staff was informed that it took over 10 months to carve this Ikoro Avutu. The old Ikoro Avutu had lasted more than 100 years and was no longer serving its purpose. The Avutu Community has expanded and developed far distances from the Eke Avutu.
Installed at the “Ikoro House at eke Avutu, the location being the seating arena of “Ndi opara Avutu”,which is Umuagagba clan. The Ikoro was not carved in Avutu but must be ushered and installed in the community on a particular day amidst a traditional ceremony.
The traditional /cultural ceremonies of the installation began with Ndi Eze Avutu announcing to the entire community that a New Ikoro will be installed because the old one has gone bad On the day of bringing in the new Ikoro into Avutu, all the male reincarnated “Di-alas” of the Avutu of all ages were required to vacate the town to another town/village. This is because the Ikoro usually is installed by “Non reincarnated Di-alas called the Mbiaras”. And so, it happened at Avutu on the September 5, 2022. That day was the “Eve of annual Egbe Nkwu Festival”, which came up on the 6th of September 2022.