“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.”
Snaps from various trips on the road. To and from my father’s village and through the cities of Owerri and Abuja then finally from the plane on the way home.
Here is video footage of what it’s like to walk through a Nigerian market. This market was located in Imo State.
*Walk fast and don’t get hit by a wheelbarrow full of meat.
*The first price is not the best price. Bargain. Bargain. Bargain.
Watch and Learn.
Quick Run Down.
How Eke, Oye, Afor And Nkwo Nigerian Market Days Were Introduced In Igboland
While in Nigeria we discovered that there were certain days that the Market weren’t open. My sister and I assumed that it was Sunday and even Saturday. Oh no it’s much more complicated that!
Here’s the story (Source):
It was during the reign of Eze Nrijiofor I 1300-1390AD, the fifth Eze Nri in the line of succession. One day during his reign, four strangers came to visit him at his palace. When they arrived, these four wise men or ‘magi’ pretended to be deaf and dumb. They did not say their names or their mission to Nri. Each of them carried ‘nkata’-basket known as “Abuokpa”.
They asked for water to wash their hands and faces; and took the kola nuts that were presented to them. After chewing the kola nuts, they gave the King ite ano-four earthen pots and directed him to keep the pots in front of the Nri Menri shrine outside the ‘obu’-palace, with each pots facing the sun. ‘Eke’ who was their spokesman, told the Eze that the first pot was owned by him, ‘eke’, the second one by ‘oye’ the third by ‘afor’ and the last by ‘nkwo’. He told the Eze that the four pots were sent down from ‘Chukwu’-God Almighty. He instructed the Eze that he and his people whom he ruled should be observing those names daily as market days, during which they should be buying and selling. These market days are used in Igboland to count the native weeks-‘izu’, months-‘onwa; and year-‘aro’. Therefore, Eke, Oye, Afor and Nkwo (four market days) make one ‘izu’-week. He also instructed him that the first name that should be given to their male children should commence with ‘eke’, then ‘oye’, ‘afo’ and ‘nkwo’. That is why we have igbo names as Okeke or Nweke, Okoye or Nwoye, Okafor or Nwafor, and Okonkwo or Nwankwo. In the same order, female children should be given “Mgbeke”, “Mgboye”, “Mgbafor” and “Mgbankwo”. The message was preached throughout Igbo land by spiritual priests of Nri and they set up market squares in Igbo land.
Check out a few snaps from our day below and you can watch video footage here.
Home for the holidays. The best time to travel to Nigeria is Christmas.
I had planned on posting new entries while doing research in Nigeria for my next book, but the super slow internet connection isn’t having any of it. But no worries I’ll be back soon! You can follow me on twitter (@julietobodo) where I will be tweeting pics and trip updates.
Oh and Writer’s Retreat NYC is now available on Amazon!
Talk to you soon!
“In the US you tip everyone; even if they didn’t anything for you! You just hand money to everyone in the street!” Exclaimed my friend visiting from Europe. It’s true, we are tipping nation.
The issue of tipping is not something you think about when you pack up your suitcase and head to the airport. You land at your destination and decide to grab a quick bite. You enjoy your meal ( in Athens they drop of your check immediately and then just print out new tickets if you order more) and then BAM the check comes. Er 5%, 10% or even 20%? What do you leave? You scramble and end up either under tipping or over tipping either way you feel foolish.
Here is a great article from mint.com about tipping etiquette—>Tipping Etiquette Around the World
No more awkward moments at the café, cab or hotel! Now you can focus on taking lovely pics.