By: Ikenna Aniakor
In those days and at time in, the ancient Igbos believes that there are four major deity, force or energy that sustains and preserve life:
1: Nkwo = Air
2: Eke = Light/Fire/Sun
3: Orie= Water/Rain
4: Afor= Land/Earth
The Nkwo deity is represented by a bird called Agu Nkwo. This bird doesn’t drag a prey with other birds, rather, other birds always keep its own share for him. His presence reminds the essence Igbos of the importance of air to humans and animals.
The Eke force represented by shinny python recreates, sanctifies and Purifies all the living things which the Chi + Eke has made. Thus, in some parts of Igboland like Idemili, this python is seen as sacred.
The Orie/water deity represented by Crocodile(Aguiyi) controls the sources of waters which preserve and gives life to every living things. The people of Agulu can testify to this.
Then the Afo/Land or earth deity represented by yam and palm-tree produce foods and crops to sustain humanity. The new yam festival (Ifejioku) is use to honor the land deity usually on Afor market day.
In Igbo cosmology, the Igbo believed that without the above four deities, man which is the 5th force and also the “beauty of life – Mmandu” can never exist.
FOR this reason(s), an Igbo man will always respond in agreement to any godly prayers by saying: “Isee” which means 5/five representing mankind that is being sustained by the aforementioned four deities: Nkwo, Eke, Orie and Afor.
However, our ancestors knows how to preserve their history, origin and existence through those four forces, so they went ahead to name their market days after these four deities and equally give such names to their children.
Even in the history of the Jewish people, most of their significant encounters with the divinity took place within the number 4+0: 40days and 40nights.
The world also has four cardinal points: East, west, north and south which also points to the ancient Igbo diety, force or energy that sustain life.