the most revered asset of any clan in Onitsha and even elsewhere. It
is a medium of purification consisting of the clan's founding father's
great ofo placed atop his sacred treasure box containing very holy objects.
The bearer of the Nze in any group is the highest man in that group.
The Obi of Onitsha bears the Nze of the royal clan whilst the Eze Idis,
(Clan or village kings) bear those of their villages or clans.
The highest Nze
in Onitsha are those of Obior, Umu Ezechima and Ogbolieke. This is why
the bearers are above, ozo and ndichie title-taking are not accorded
second burial. In short, they are described as being above new masquerade
rite (mmuo ofu n'ite). It ought to be stressed that the language ada
apu mmuo ofu (superority to muo ofu rite) is idiomatic and does not
mean that such a family can take ozo but would not be honored with mmuo
ofu at their funerals it simply means that members of such a family
will not take ozo and will not undergo second burial.
Ozo and Mmuo ofu
it must be stressed, go together like bread and butter: it is only,
ozo men who are unfortunate enough to die before their Diokpa that would
not be accorded mmuo ofu rite at their, second burial.
Those that are above
new masquerade rite in the whole of Onitsha are umu Okposieke, Obior
people and the Obi.
Ozo men become Agbala
Nze after purification at the Nze. This means they have become servants
or Spouses of Nze, which embodies Purity. Truth and Justice which ozo
men at initiation vow to upho!d in their lives.
Male members of
the families that are above Mmuo ofu rite are Nze themselves meaning
divine Kings. They do not have second burials because the Onitsha people
believe that when such people die they enter straight into the spirit
land. Others need second burials because their spirits hover around
browsing on Okazi (a green leaf used in making soup).
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