Africa is full of cultural diversities, and Nigeria is no exception. Within each ethnic group in Nigeria lies diversities that give us a rich cultural heritage.
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An aspect of cultural heritage that makes domestic tourism within a delight is myths. Most tourist destinations in Nigeria have a myth or story attached to them. Myths were how our ancestors understood the wonders of nature around them. They ascribed deities to most phenomenons and enforced traditions with mythical stories.
One example of this is the Okpu Achi Tree in the centre of Abariba which is believed would flood the town if it is ever felled. In that same town, there is the legend of the Ishimokoto River (the Green river). This believed it to be so mystical that when foreigners tried to leave town with a bottle of water from the river, the bottle broke apart and the water flew miles back to the river. Not to mention the village Slit Drum, the Ikoko, which has its own tale narrated by the village chief to tourists. Stories like these are bound to intrigue anyone into wanting a visit to Abariba Town.
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Another example lies in the traditional belief system around the Arochukwu Slave Trade Route that made the transatlantic slave trade from present day Abia State possible. The 18th century Igbo slave trade trail starts from the Blue Azumini River where there was a slave holding quarters, to the Temple Complex where the interior slave trade market dealings took place.
We can see the articles traded for human lives at the House Museum of Okoro Oji in Arochukwu. Persons accused of crimes were taken to the Ibin Ukpabi Shrine to be judged by Chukwu. If found guilty, they would enter the caves and never return. This belief was why the selling off of people through the tunnels of disappearance wasn’t immediately suspicious during that era. History mixed with culture makes the Long Juju Slave Trade Route in Arochukwu a popular destination.
Abia State is full of cultural heritage worth exploring. So don’t just visit for the museums and the natural attractions; include cultural tourism into your itinerary.
Harnessing Cultural Heritage for Tourism Development in Nigeria: Issues and Prospects by Bankole, Adeyinka Oladayo, PhD
Abia State Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiriba
The Nigerian Hinterland Slave Routes Project by Johnson A.K. Njoku
Featured Image Source: Pulse NG
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