Matrilineal Traditions: The Resilience of 'Ikwu nne' in Ohafia, Nigeria | #NwokeukwuMascot

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Umuahia, Abia state - In Ohafia, a town situated in Abia state within Igbo land, the significance of 'Ikwu nne' (mother's lineage) surpasses that of the father's. There exists a prevailing belief that a child's allegiance lies primarily with their mother's family, referred to as 'Ndi Ikwu nne'.


This tradition upholds a matrilineal structure, wherein individuals are recognized as members of their maternal kin group and inherit property accordingly. Legend has it that in the bygone era of Ohafia, when inheritance was patrilineal, a man inadvertently caused the demise of one of his kin. Seeking sanctuary within his father's lineage, he was met with rejection.


Turning to his maternal family, however, he found refuge and protection. In a poignant gesture of solidarity, one of his maternal aunts even made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure his safety. Moved by the unwavering support of his maternal kin, the man made the decision to bequeath all his possessions to them prior to his passing.

This narrative cemented the belief among the Ohafia populace that a mother's role reigns supreme, encapsulated by the concept of 'Nneka'. Presently, this matrilineal custom remains deeply ingrained within Ohafia society.

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