REFLECTING THE ARRIVAL OF A NEW BABY IN ETCHE CULTURE!
The Etche's are a socially and culturally diverse people who make up the second largest population in Rivers-state, Nigeria.
They believe that childbearing is a sign of womanhood, and that failure to procreate is a sign of womanhood failure.
In my part of etcheland, pregnancy is not revealed until after twelve weeks of gestation, at which point they seek the assistance of a traditional birth attendant (TBA) for care and counseling. A new baby's arrival is usually a happy occasion. There is always a happy welcome music playing and the woman who delivered the new baby will be
greeted with Nnoo and other different types of greetings like Ekele
diri Chukwu (thanks be to God), Chukwu Emeka (God has done
great), Chi di Ebere (God is merciful).
As soon as the news of a safe delivery of a baby is broken, the ladies in the region would assemble and begin singing songs of delight and gladness,for example:
Erimeri na adi mma erimerie x2,
Onwu egbule nwayi n'afo ime ka omuora anyi nwa,
tara okporo, nuru mmii ngwo.
In translation, merrymaking is good,
let death not claim pregnant women, so that they can deliver
So that we can eat and drink..
Another popular song to greet the arrival of a baby is:
Onye muru nwa na ebe akwa,
Chioma (depends) muru nwa na ebe akwa.
Tewe uzuza, tewe oso,
Ka umu mmadu racha ya.
In translation: Who delivered the baby that is crying,
Chika delivered the baby that is crying,
Prepare uzuza and pepper soup,
for people to enjoy.
These are some of the interesting birth traditions in etcheland:
- The application of nzu
The child is welcomed into the world with immense excitement and jubilation and the women will assemble and begin singing loud and cheerful songs before entering the house and rubbing nzu on their necks as a sign of heart purity, goodwill and the welcome of
A delicious uzuza soup and
Pepper soups will be prepared for the newly delivered mother using special herbs, spiced with
uziza, utazi and lots of pepper and dried fish. These delicious soups work together to loosen and wash blood clots from the new mother's body.
Omugwo(post partum care)
Omugwo is an essential component of etche birth customs.
It takes into account the fact that a new mother may be overwhelmed and require assistance and care after giving birth. The mother,mother-in-law, or any close female relative of the family comes over to care for the new mother and her newborn for at least 6 months or more, according to the etche tradition.
During omugwo, the visiting mother is in responsible of cooking spicy yam pepper soup, hot water massages, and nighttime baby care so that the new mother may get some rest.
The naming ceremony is normally held between the 9th and 15th day after the child's birth. This is a manner of formally introducing the child to his family, friends, kinsmen, and the entire community.The officials are the paternal grandparents, whose job it is to deliver the child over to his or her father. Following that, kola nuts are broken and prayers are said on behalf of the kid. The prayers are an appeal to the gods to assist the kid on his or her life's path.
Names have great value and power in etche culture.
“Etche names are expressions of the nature of that which they stand for, not merely tags to identify one thing or person from another.” While etche names might simply relate to the circumstances of birth, such as a child born to infertile parents or the day of birth, they are more typically used to convey a theological message or a powerful reminder of a certain expected virtue to be ingrained in the child.
The foreskin that covers the penis is removed in this tradition.In etcheland,this is usually done around the 4th day.
Thanks and hope you learn something about the culture of etche people.
So I want invite @weirdestwolf @ebingo @bhoa @hokulor to participate in this contest.
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Very good writing, quite detailed for a short time. To consider that a woman has failed for not being able to conceive a child is pretty harsh. Many women cannot be blessed mothers by conceiving, but there are women of great courage who even under these conditions are exceptional mothers.
We must remember that in human nature anything is possible and a woman's infertility is something that often cannot be controlled. It is not the fault of any God, much less of the woman deprived of this virtue.
I am very curious about how the name of the new child is chosen because contrary to my culture the name is thought even months in advance.
It is very beautiful the etymological character given to the naming of the new child, it is a way to bring virtue to the new being that will be part of this world.
The support that the new mother receives at the birth of the child is something admirable, the fact that she is allowed to rest during the night and that she is given care during the first months is often necessary.
Good luck in the contest, your writing is very good and I liked a lot of the birth culture in your region.
Thank you very much,I really appreciate your comment.
Now to the point I made of,lack of conception been a pointer to failure in womanhood, this actually does not really hold true again due to globalization. We are all aware that globalization has made the people to
abandon their culture and replace it with other Western cultures. We must then note that,this current phase of globalization has further alienated
the people from their roots due to the impact of
information and communication technology on us.
Now,to the naming ceremony,etche
names can simply be gotten from the circumstances surrounding the birth of the child,as
in the case of a child born to parents who had been
unable to conceive, or could simply be in reference to the day of
birth of the child.
But with traditional african rites,At birth, an etche child is devoted to a god known as "chi", who is in charge of the infant's guidance and protection.
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Am seeing another view of things, am learning new things everyday, do the naming in this culture are always after 9th to 15th days. Wow, also I saw something about womanhood and child bearing, that means if a woman can give birth, she is a failure, do heart breaking
Yeah...that's culture for you sir,it is diverse and specific for a particular group.
That's true though culture is diverse. Another point 🤔🤔
As a Yoruba guy, I have no idea what a lot of these things are.
Abeg, what's uziza and utazi?
The uziza seed(earthy pepper/Ashanti pepper) is a
hot and distinct leaf mostly used in cooking pepper soup. The flavor is distinct. Think it is called "Iyere" in Yoruba.
Utazi /Otazi leaf is heart shaped leaf with a
somewhat bitter taste(not as bitter as bitter leaf) and is
usually eaten raw.
What leaf do you use for this purpose in your tribe?
9-15 days is quite far. Probably because the normal duration I know of is 7 days after the baby is born.
But this is for which tribe?
The omugwwo aspect is a funny one where the visiting parent has to go through the process of cooking. They have to prepare spicy soup and indeed there must be lots of pepper for the nursing mothers.
You people don't do similar in your culture?
Nice to know about your culture,
So true these names signify the personality of a kid. They influence the character and mood of the newborn.
Can I make a suggestion @coolkris use the free image sources instead of stock images.
Unsplash and pixabay are more preferable.
Thank you very much for appreciating the post.
And thanks too for your suggestion...noted.
😊 I am glad that you accepted it.
The Etche culture is truly unique. Unlike the use of powder in other cultures, they use the uzu and I notice from your article how special care is giving to the mother after delivery, which is a nice practice. It's good learning traditions of others
Thank you very much sir
Thank you very much bro
Is Nzu not powder? Or are they different from powders? And why is Nzu sounding like the Nzuzu soup that is prepared during the party? 😂 Sorry for my many questions o
Seems the Etche culture is almost same with the Igbos, nice culture.
Your entry is educative, all the best in the contest.
Thank you very much for appreciating my post.
Etche is pretty much the Igbo speaking part of Rivers state.
So most of our cultures are similar to that of the Igbo's.
Oh I see, I've never heard of the Etche before but I'm glad to have read your post exposing a part of it. Well done