Izeki Festival

The Izeki is a coming of age festival celebrated in Umoghun-Nokhua in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State in the Southern Nigeria. It comes up once in eleven or fifteen years. The participants are youths who are being inducted into one of the seven age groups in the community after partaking in community service (clearing and maintaining road paths to the farms, digging wells, building of houses etc) all their lives.

They celebrate their freedom on the day of the festival by enacting ancient war dance, brandishing cutlasses and guns to show their preparedness to defend the land against any external enemy as it was done in ancient times. They wear talisman and mark themselves with some black powder which is believed to protect them against accidental gunshot or any cut from cutlass during the course of their mock battle.

Once the festival is over, they will no longer participate in the manual jobs of the community, but act as supervisors to their successors, called Ihema.

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