List of Osu Villages in Imo State

In some Igbo communities, there is a custom known as the Osu caste system that dates back to the pre-colonial era. The African Traditional Religion predominated before colonial times, which led to the foundation of Christianity in Southern areas of Nigeria (ATR).

List of Osu Villages in Imo State

There were freeborn people in pre-colonial Igboland known as Nwadiala, who were considered to be masters, and Osu, who were considered to be slaves and devoted to serving the local deities.

Osu could also refer to those who disobeyed the gods and were exiled from society to appease the gods’ wrath. In the states of Imo, Anambra, and portions of Enugu, Abia, and Ebonyi, the Osu caste system predominated.

The Osu caste system dates back to a time when the Igbo city-states were governed by the earth’s natural laws, known as Odinani. To ensure that the nation would be happy and prosper in the land that Chukwu, the Supreme God, had granted them, the deity known as Ala imposed regulations on the populace.

To avert the earth Deity’s wrath and to stop the abomination from spreading among the state’s population, offenders who were discovered to have committed serious abominations were exiled. They called these outcasts Osu.

They were either sold into slavery to other men or given to particular deities who were thought to demand human sacrifice during festivals in order to purge the country of abomination, which resulted in the people buying a slave.  Ostracism plays a major role in one perspective on the history of the Osu caste system. When an individual or group of people who disobey a king’s orders or a community’s choice are expelled from the community, the victim and his offspring become known as Osus.

This is a list of Osu Villages in Imo State:

AZUZIAHI-EZIUDO
a community in Imo State’s Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area.

UMUOMA
a community in the Imo State municipality of Onicha town’s Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area.

AMAUDI
a community in the town of Obizi, Imo State’s Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area.

AZUAHIA
a community in the town of Obizi, Imo State’s Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area.

UMOSISI
a community in the Obizi town municipality of the Imo State’s Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area.

OBOKWU
a community in the Obizi town municipality of the Imo State’s Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area.

UMUIRE
EZIAMA-OBIATO

an area in Imo State called Mbatoli Local Government Area.

NNEATO UGWUNEZEUGWUNEZE
an area of Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government.

UGWUALA
an area of Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government.

UMUEGBE
an area of Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government.

IKPEM
a community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

IDEM
a settlement in the Anara community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

AGUNA
a settlement in the Anara community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

UMUNEKE
a community in the Anara Community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

DURUNAEZIKE
a settlement in the Anara community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

UMUOLUWE
a settlement in the Anara community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

UMUEHIE
a settlement in the Anara community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

UMUAGWU
a settlement in the Anara community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

DIALUM
a settlement in the Anara community in Imo State’s Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.

EBEOKIMMA-DIBIA
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

EGBE-OWERRE
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

ISIEBU
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town

UKWUAKWU
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUAGWUNTA
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUAGWUUKWU
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUCHIOMA
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUDUR
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUDURU-ORJI
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUDURU/NNEJI
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUEBOISE
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUEGBE
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUEKE
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUELEMA
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUEZEALA
a community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State’s Umuduru Town.

UMUICHIE
a community in the Imo State local government area of Isiala Mbano’s Umuduru town.

UMULUWE-AJIRIJA
a community in the Imo State local government area of Isiala Mbano’s Umuduru town.

UMUOGWUMA-UMUNWAEBO
a community in the Imo State local government area of Isiala Mbano’s Umuduru town.

OKOHIA
a settlement in the Imo State local government area of Isiala Mbano’s Osu-Owerre community.

CONCLUSION

This Osu caste system practise fueled animosity against the Osu. Social interactions between the Osu and the freeborn Nwadiala were strongly discouraged. In pre-colonial Igboland, those who were classified as Osu typically lived separately from the rest of the populace. This alienation prevented people who were classified as Osu from holding certain roles in the community, possessing real estate, and removing certain other obstacles.

As a result of this custom, the freeborn, or Nwadialas, were prohibited from marrying an Osu since it was believed that such a union would result in bad luck like sickness and death. Additionally, it was believed that the lineage of the freeborn was contaminated by marriage to an Osu because such a union would result in the lineage acquiring Osu status. Numerous marriage proposals between the Osu pariah population and freeborns were always thwarted by this tradition.

The Osu caste system has been the subject of various legal battles, though, as a result of the expansion of western education and Christianity in the Igbo states where this practise is practised. The Osu caste system was outlawed in 1956 by the Government of Eastern Nigeria, and those who were considered Osu were declared free, including their progeny. Sadly, there was a gap in the implementation. The Osu caste system has been asked for to be abolished by traditional leaders, politicians, religious groups, and other related institutions in modern times.

Fortunately, there have been some good developments, like the occurrence of freeborn-Osu marriages and the decline in social prejudices against those who identify as Osu in the Southeastern states where the Osu caste system was prevalent.

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