What is Iwa Akwa?
The Iwa akwa, also known as ‘cloth wearing’, means an initiation into manhood. It is a ceremony that entails the passage of a young boy transforming into a full- fledged man; and it is highly valued, respected and usually practiced by the people of Ehime Mbano, Ihitte Uboma, Obowo and Ahiazu Mbaise Local government areas, all in Imo state. The participants are usually mates of a certain age grade. The wearing of cloths has a symbolic representation. It is a symbol of coverage. It is assumed that they (initiates) were naked before but they are now covered.
The person “Wearing the cloth” is a senior friend, cousin, colleague and buddy. He’s just almost everything to me. So base on those settings, I couldn’t help but had to forfeit my programs just to be there for him.
This very ceremony happened in Ihitte Uboma LGA, IMO State.
It’s usually a two-day program, but for some traditional reasons, preparations and merriments had to start a day before the D-days.
Below is the provided cow for ceremony. He’s the first to do this in his extended family for the past 25years, so the joy and happiness had to lead to killing of cow decision.
Just like I initially said. It’s a two-day programmed ceremony; “the first day holds the initiation where the previous celebrants come to show their seniority to the younger ones, who are billed to be initiated into manhood. They assemble the prospective initiates at the Village Square.