One Custom. One Tradition. One Culture
Ngwas have one custom, tradition and culture which we now refer to as ‘Ome na-la-Ngwa’. He believe in the supreme deity (God), but he equally believed in the lesser deities, for example: Ala (mother earth) Ofo-La Ogu (god of right doing) Ihi Njoku (god of yam), and amadi-Oha (god of thunder). His music include Ekeravu for adults, Anyantolukwu for young girls. Ese dance for a deceased noble man and warrior. Ukom for the deceased noble woman. Wrestling was the most popular game in Ngwa-land. Other cultural festival were Ikoro and Ekpe dances. Iru-Mgbede for unmarried young ladies.
The Ngwa man as a farmer, had great regard for land. Some acts and behavior were regarded as taboo against the land. Such acts included sexual encounters in the bush, sex or marriage with close blood relatives, sexual encounter with your father’s wife while your father is still living, disrespect for the elders, killing by poisoning. Phrase such as ‘Iru-ala’ were used to describe any of the above acts. To appease the aggrieved land forms of sacrifice were carried out known as “Ikwa-ala”. Land was the source of wealth of the Ngwa man and cultivation was tied to the availability of labor. The most dependable source of labor force was the womenfolk, hence the average Ngwa man of the immediate past was a polygamist. The attachment to the land as the principal source of livelihood placed the Ngwa man of the in serious handicap especially in times of disturbances involving moving away from his habitat.
Before the advent of the British rule, the highest political unit of the Ngwa man was the village. The village government consist of two basic institution the council of Elders to which the heads of the different constitution families and often members of the most senior age grade were represented, and the villages assembly open to all adult males. The council of elders which was the executive and judicial authority of the villages often met at the village square ‘Ama-Ukwu’ at regular intervals and during an emergency to discuss matters of administrative, economic, religious, social and judicial importance.
The chairman and summoner of the council as the Onyenwe-ala. In the village assembly, the council of elders would form the executive. There were other source of judicial authority form which justice could be expected. These were the Juju shrines and the oracle cults, prominent among them was the ‘Chukwu-Abiam’ long Juju at Arochukwu and the ‘Igwe-ka-Ala’ at Umunoha Mbaise. Provincial administration was abolished at the end of the civil war. Some of the changes made after the civil war to bring the government closer to the people included the third tier system. The presidential system had previously been applied at only the federal and state level of government, but now extended to local government levels.
The creation of states brought life to Abia state comprised of Aba zone, Umuahia zone and Afikpo zone, with the capital at Umuahia. Today, the Ngwaland comprises of seven Local government areas; Aba North, Aba South, Isi Ala Ngwa North, Isi Ala Ngwa South, Obi Ngwa, Osisioma and Ugwa na Agbo local government areas.