ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- In the heart of Ogu kingdom, situated in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers State, an age-old tradition was revived on Saturday, which is ‘the sacred ceremony of Iria’.
This time-honored ritual symbolizes the passage of young girls from virginity into womanhood.
This is even as the Ogu council of chiefs bestowed certificates upon the initiated virgins, affirming their successful navigation through the prescribed tests.
Iria holds a profound significance as a rite of passage, accompanying the onset of puberty and the physical maturation of young girls.
The initial step involves a meticulous examination by the town’s women to verify the candidates’ virginity. Subsequently, the approved virgins undergo a period of seclusion for specialized training in the nuances of womanhood.
Upon completion of this transformative process, the accomplished young women are presented with certificates, signifying their readiness for adulthood and marriage.
This venerable tradition, deeply rooted in OKRIKA Ijaw culture, traces its origins back to the 17th century, showcasing the enduring cultural tapestry of Ogu town.
The Iria ceremony remains a testament to the preservation of heritage and the celebration of a pivotal juncture in the lives of young women in the Ogu community.