Where a significant river or water body is found in the Igbo land, river gods and goddesses go there as well. The river gods and goddesses are sometimes assumed to be among the most powerful metaphysical beings in the world.
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People who venerate them believe that they possess powers of fertility, sexuality, wealth and beauty. Therefore, this article will expose us to some of the most popular river gods and goddesses among the Igbo people of Nigeria.
The Njaba is popular among the southwestern Igbo communities that he outranks Ani the mother goddess of the earth. Njaba is often depicted as a male and is believed to reside in the Oguta Lake in the IMO state. The Python is the symbol of Njaba in the area, which forbids people to eat or harm the massive snake. Whoever kills the snake either knowingly or unknowingly is bound to give it a burial fit for a human.
The Imo mmiri is believed to reside in the popular Imo-River which runs between Imo state and Abia State. This particular goddess is associated with the Long Juju shrine of Arochukwu, the most popular and powerful shrine in Igbo land.
The Oshimiri is the goddess of the Niger River. She is known for her fertility powers and ability to make people wealthy.
The Idemili is the river goddess of the river that runs through the Idemili local government of Anambra State. Idemili means the “pillar of the water”, which refers to the spiritual force of the water spirits. Like most river goddesses, Idemili is also a fertility goddess. Pythons are scared of her and communities that depend on her as known as Eke Idemili.
This is the spirit of the Omambala (Anambra) river which runs through northern Anambra State in Anam and then into the Niger River.
The Ota Mmiri spirit resides in the Otamiri River, which runs through Imo State and particularly, Urata-Igbo communities where the Mbari shrine is dedicated to his mother (Ani) the earth goddess.
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