Nri; town, 20 miles south-east of Onitsha and three miles south-west of Awka, Anambral State, once a citadel of Igbo civilisation. Until 1911 when the British colonial administrators forced an Nri king to abrogate all codes of abomination nso ani binding the Igbo villages in Nri hegemony, Nri had the political and spiritual ascendancy in Igboland.

After most other Igbo villages and towns took to Christianity, this little town still preserves some of her rich cultural and spiritual heritage. In 1972, the town witnessed the birth of Odinani Museum where some of the artefacts of ancient Igbo culture are permanently preserved. The museum Is opened owing an archaeological excavation at Ukwu by Professor Thurstan Shaw, formerly of the Department of Archaeology, University of Ibadan, and an anthropological study of Nri culture which is associated these objects by Mr. M. A Oriwuejeou of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. The site of the museum, quite striking and inviting in the 1970s is on a hill side flanked on both sides by forests. There are bronze bells of various shapes, dug up during house-building process and others have been collected from titled men. Other bronze objects are amulets, anklets and pendants. Different agricultural iron tools and ritual objects of iron are to be seen. These ritual objects include spears, knives. Visitors’ book shows that up to 10,000 persons visited the museum between March 1972, when it opened, and December 1974, including people from different parts of the world 1.

1. Daily Times, April 24, 1975

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer