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  • Writer's pictureNZUKO

Ikperikpe Ogu

The "Ikperikpe Ogu" is a war dance that is practiced by the Igbo peoples of the Bende and Cross River regions of Igboland (in what is now Abia State). The tradition originated from the militarized Ohafia, Abiriba and Abam peoples, who were traditionally renown throughout Igboland for their head-hunting abilities.

In the olden days of inter-ethnic warfare, the dance would be practiced before and after every military expedition, and was an opportunity for warriors to showcase their collection of human-head "trophies". The dance was said to instill morale within warriors and also make them impervious to machete-wounds and bullets.

In Ohafia, the Igbo equivalent of Sparta, young men traditionally gained community-widen prestige and recognition not through titles, but through the amount of human heads acquired in war.



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