Iwa Akwa is an age long tradition of Igbo people celebrated in many Igbo communities. Iwa Akwa ‘Clothing’ is a festival of initiation celebrated to mark the Rite of Passage into manhood. In most Igbo communities for one to be recognized as a man, he most undergo Iwa Akwa initiation ceremonies.
For those who wish to witness this ancient, vibrant and most youthful festival, Below are some of the communities to lookout for.
Ugbo, Enugu State
Iwa Akwa in Ugbo also known as Aju Festival is the most cherished of all events in Ugbo and the most famous festivals in Enugu state. Aju, which is celebrated once in three years between the age of 21 to 24 years is a week long festival that attracts tourists and spectators from all over the country and beyond to Ugbo.
Obowo, Imo State
Iwa Akwa is the most celebrated festival in the entire Obowo community. Every male child of Obowo looks forward to this adult initiation ceremony as well as becoming part of an age grade system. Every Obowo male is easily identified via his age-grade, this ancient festival which is celebrated once in three years mostly between December and January is one festival to always look out for as it is both colorful and entertaining.
Ihitte Uboma, Imo State
In Ihitte Uboma, Iwa Akwa is celebrated every two years between the age of 25 to 26 years. The festival has over the years put Ihette Uboma in world map as one of the most prominent destination for cultural tourism lovers.
Photo Credit: Smartshot Photography.
Ehime Mbano, Imo State
Ehime Mbano is one of the communities that celebrates Iwa Akwa, the festivals which is celebrated between the age of 21 to 26 years is the biggest festival celebrated among the people of Ehima Mbano in Imo Staye. Iwa Akwa attracts tourist from every part of the country who come in their numbers to witness the festival.
Obeagu, Awgu, Enugu State
Obeagu, a sister community to Ugbo is another town that celebrates this prominent Iwa Akwa festival, popularly referred to as Ifu na Akwa by the indigenes, the festival is celebrated once in Six years between the age of 24 to 30 years usually during Easter period.