Nri is the ancestral home of all Igbos. It is an ancient Igbo city-state in Anambra State. The Kingdom of Nri was a center of learning, religion, and commerce in pre-colonial times. Historians have compared the significance of Nri, at its peak, to the religious cities of Rome or Mecca.
It was the seat of a powerful and imperial state that influenced much of the territories inhabited by the Igbo of Awka and Onitsha to the east; the Efik, the Ibibio, and the Ijaw to the South; Nsukka and southern Igala to the north; and Asaba, and the Anioma to the west.
The rulers of Nri did not use military conquest, but used religious authority and control of commercial routes as tactics in the spread of their city-state. Politically, Nri is known to be the most ancient origins of the Eze kingship in Igbo societies.
So, we present to you 7 important things to know about Eze Nri as follows:
Eze Nri, is believed to be a spirit, and therefore in his spirit state does not need to worship deities or idols.
Before his coronation as king, each Eze-Nri is celebrated alive as a living dead to succeed a departed king. In that time, all the funeral rites that ought to have been accorded him whenever he dies would be accorded him as part of his coronation.
As soon as a man is identified as the chosen replacement to the departed king of Nri by the gods of Igboland, he will be subjected to this ritual of severance with mere mortals as part of his coronation ceremony.
During ritual of severance with mere mortals, the new Eze-Nri will be automatically estranged from his immediate family.
His wife is made by order of the chief priest to commence mourning while he is still alive.
In the same vein, his own children will now have limited access to him since he is now a ‘living dead’.
Soon after he is enthroned, the new Eze-Nri is made to start up a new life by marrying a new wife, who will in turn give birth to the heir-apparent.