The Great and Emerging Kingdom

Eze Nri

The eze Nri was the title of the ruler of Nri with ritual and mystic (but not military) power.[10] He was a ritual figure rather than a king in the traditional sense. The eze Nri was chosen after an interregnum period while the electors waited for supernatural powers to manifest in the new eze Nri. He was installed after a symbolic journey to Aguleri on the Anambra River. The authorities must be notified prior to commencement of this journey to obtain the Ududu-eze,the royal scepter. There, the process of paying of homage to all the necessary shrines/deities in Aguleri by the new Eze Nri, visitation to Menri’s tomb at Ama-Okpu, collection of Ofo, purification of the virgin boy to receive the clay from the chosen diver from Umuezeora in Aguleri, sitting on the throne of Eri at Obu-Uga in Aguleri by the new Eze-Nri before going back to Nri on the seventh day to undergo a symbolic burial and exhumation, then finally be anointed with white clay, a symbol of purity. Upon his death, he was buried seated in a wood-lined chamber. The eze Nri was in all aspects a divine ruler.

Brief History

The Nri kingdom is a kingdom within the Igbo area of Nigeria. Nri and Aguleri, where the Umueri-Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umu-Eri clan, who trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure, Eri. Eri’s origin is unclear, though he has been described as a “sky being” sent by Chukwu (God). He is credited with first giving societal order to the people of Anambra. Nri history may be divided into six main periods: the pre-Eri period, the Eri period, migration and unification, the heyday of Nri influence, decline and collapse and the Socio-culture Revival (1974—Present).