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Aguleri, meaning "Agulu of Eri", is a town in southeastern Nigeria. It is a major cradle of Igbo civilization, and the first settlement of Eri (Eri-aka) was in Aguleri. Its Ezeora dynasty, which has produced 34 kings to date, is one of the oldest in eastern Nigeria. Aguleri is located in the present Anambra State, and forms part of Igboland. The town has a population of about 890,000.
Aguleri was established on the shores of the Omambala (Anambra) River, which is a tributary of the Niger River. Oral tradition history traces the origin of Aguleri to a man named Eri, who according to its first close ethnographer, Jeffreys 1934, The Divine Umudri Kings of Igbo land. Dissertation, I.A.I archives, came down there from the sky, where he found himself in a floodland morass. He begged the Great God [Chukwu] to make dry land, which Chukwu did and Eri then sat upon it. Eri and his family thus founded this community, located at the northernmost end of a line of hills that here meets the vast Anambra floodplain. (Post-Colonial "histories" trace origin to "the lost tribes of Israel".)
As little written evidence exists today, it is difficult to authenticate exact origins of the ethnic groups making up Aguleri.
Aguleri is currently subdivided into three main quarters: Igboezunu, Ivite, and Enugu na Eziagulu (Ugu na adegbe) with component families replicated both in Aguleri Uno and Aguleri Otu.
In the Igbo culture, inheritance of property is based on the order of birth—the first child is always first to choose property. Hence, the villages in Aguleri are: Homeland (Enuobodo), Igboezunu-otu, Ivite-otu, Eziagulu-out, and Enugu-otu, riverine or Aguleri-otu, located on the lower part of the Omambala.[clarification needed]
New settlements called Ndi-Uka (Mbito) were founded by early Roman Catholic missionaries. Amaeze (Otuocha), founded by Eze Idigo II (Eze Rapheal Anakwuba Idigo), now exists as the urban area of Aguleri.
Agueri is located on the banks of the Omambala. The town is located south of the Igala towns (Kogi State) and the Anam towns; north of the Igbariam and Nando towns; and west of the Anaku and Omor towns, which are east of Umuleri and Nsugbe.
The town has the following traditional governance structures:
- Ndi Ichie (Elders in Council) and cabinet chiefs
- Ndi Ojiana
- Other lower age grades
Ndi Ichie is the highest decision-making body of the community.
Aguleri has many sacred public squares designated for different traditional purposes known to ndi Aguleri (people of Aguleri). In line with the Igbo calendar, the town observes a four-day week – Eke, Oye, Afo, and Nkwo – instead of the seven-day week (Sunday through Saturday).
The town has an official post office at Amaeze Aguleri.
Markets and Commerce
The Aguleri soil is very fertile. Farmers cultivate different kinds of food crops, both for commercial and subsistence purposes. Aguleri is known as the food basket of Anambra State.
Culture and Festivals
The Ovala festival is a royal festival celebrated on the first Eke market day of the year. It attracts dignitaries from all walks of life. Neighboring village heads also visit to pay homage to the Igwe of Aguleri on this day.
Alo mmo is the yam festival.
Uta Oba is a cultural festival.
Other Aguleri cultural festivals and tourist locations include:
- The shrine of Blessed Iwene Tansi, Igboezunu Aguleri
- Ovilivo spring water (Blessed Tansi water), which attracts visitors from all over the world
- Ijele masquerade
- Ajana-Ukwu and Igu aro festivals, Aguleri
- Akwuneche enyi masquerade
- Izaga masquerade
- Agbanabo Izu-na-Omambala (Confluence of Izu and Omambala rivers) at Aguleri
- Obu-Gad at Enugwu Aguleri
- Ini Eri (Eri Grave) at Aguleri
- Olili Obibia Eri (Eri Festival) in Enugwu Aguleri, which attracts thousands of visitors annually
- Agwuve Trinity Tree at Enugwu Aguleri
- Igu-Aro, the major kingship festival in Aguleri
- Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, a Catholic priest and monk
Institutions of learning
- Fr. Joseph's Memorial High School, Aguleri
- Justice Chinwuba Memorial Girls High School
- Enugwu-Otu High Secondary School
- Eziagulu-Otu High School
- Michael Tansi Memorial Secondary School
- Encristo Grammar School
- Eddynumbers International School
- Obiadada International School, Ama Eze Aguleri
- Icon International School
- Daba-awu Grammar School, Aguleri
- St. James Grammar School, Aguleri
- Father Tansi Memorial High School, Aguleri
- Martyr Dei Model High School, Aguleri
- Pope John Paul II Primary and Secondary School, Enugwu-Otu
- 2006 official Nigeria census
- "ABOUT AGULERI". agulerifoundation.org. Aguleri Foundation North America, Inc. Aguleri Foundation North America, Inc. is a registered trademark. All text, images, graphics, HTML programming, meta tags, etc. are copyright to Aguleri Foundation North America, Inc. and are protected by international copyright laws. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- Okonkwo, Nwabueze, Aguleri marks 108th Ovala festival in style, Online Nigeria, retrieved 18 November 2017