History

Back in History: Eze Nri Ifikuanim the Priest-King of the ancient Nri kingdom of Igboland

Eze Nri Ifikuanim
Eze Nri Ifikuanim, the Priest-King of the ancient Nri kingdom of Igboland, was a highly intelligent and scholarly King who traded with other kingdoms, including Egypt, Ethiopia, India, and as far as Babylon in the Middle East.
During their stay in Egypt, Eri became the high priest and spiritual adviser to Pharaoh Teti, the 5th dynastic king of Egypt around 2400 BC. During the Exodus, which marked the beginning of mass movement of the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Eri was among the tribes that left Egypt following the injunction from God to the Israelites as recorded in Deuteronomy chapter twenty-eight from verse fifty eight to sixty eight (Deut. 28:58-68).
Some of these tribes founded settlements in the Southern part of Sudan where they established the “NOK” culture which is similar to that of other cultures like Nri, Samoa and Jukun in Northern part of Nigeria.
Others who could not remain in Southern Sudan travelled further south till they arrived at the confluence of Ezu and Anambra rivers and settled there.
When Eri arrived at the confluence of Ezu and Anambra rivers, he had two wives first wife begot him five sons with Nri as the first son.
According to Igbo oral tradition, his reign started in 1043 and ended in 1089 when he died.
In 1959, his grave was unearthed by British Archaeologist Charles Thurstan Shaw (1914–2013) who discovered a burial chamber with remains adorned in robes, bronze crown, scepter, staff, and breast-plates adorned with precious stones that were evidence of a sophisticated Igbo civilization from the year 948 A.D.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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