Otutunzu Shrine: The Sacred Temple for Ritual Coronation of Igbo Monarchs and Hegemonic Endeavours in Traditional Religion
Francis Chuks Madukasi, PhD
Department of Religion & Society. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam Campus, PMB 6059 General Post Office Awka. Anambra State, Nigeria.

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In every tradition, empire or kingdom there is a traditional mystical force that binds or welds every royal families together be it Europe, America, Asia and Africa. In Igbo tradition, coronation of kings is viewed as a kingly festival especially when it comes to coronations in Eri kingdom. In the coronation of any new king within the communities that make up Eri kingdom, especially Nri without “Ududueze” the covenant pot of clay, the coronation will not take place. The mystery behind this is still unknown. In Igbo tradition, this symbol of kingship act as a spiritual conduit that binds or compensates the communities that make up the Eri kingdom through the mediation for the loss of their contact with their ancestral home and with the built/support in religious rituals and cultural security of their extended brotherhood. As a point of emphasis, ‘Otutunzu shrine’ is a shrine strategically and naturally located at the confluence of Omanbala and Ezu rivers respectively and no citizen of Aguleri is allowed to fish in this particular location of the river because ‘they believed that the fish of the river were the children of the goddess of the river’. This paper explores the reasons and the mysteries why the indigenes are prohibited from fishing in this particular spot. This paper also focuses on how the ritual of coronation of Igbo monarchs are carried out especially the Nri coronation and why the renewal of covenant relationships between communities are done in this sacred space in order to reunite their intimate brotherhood and to show how the Aguleri community uses this temple to show her hegemony in Igbo land and consequently commemorates Eri as their great ancestor.


Ancestor, Brotherhood, Coronation, Deities, Kingship, Otutunzu, Obu-Gad, Rituals.


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