Kola nut and Tradition
Kola Nut and tradition
Kola nut is called "Oji" in Igbo land of Nigeria. It is both important for customary celebrations as well as helping the physical body in combating sleep in a very natural way. Kola nut is produced by kola nut plant which grows as a big tree in tropical forested region of West Africa. This kola nut can be eaten by anyone and it has no side effect under normal circumstance. Apart from the fact that it is used symbolically in Igbo land, I use it to keep myself awake any day I miss my sleep or if I want to stay awake to do some pressing assignment. I recommend the kola nut to people who drink coffee in order to stay up to work. Kola nut has greater advantage over coffee because its action is very natural and not noticeable while for some people such as me would have headache as the after effect of coffee drinking. Kola Nut comes in different color but more predominantly in two colors as shown here. There are two types of Kola nuts namely Kola Acuminata and Kola Nitida which are called translate to Oji Igbo and Gworo. It is interesting to know that both do the same work but both are cannot in their essence represent true meaning of what kola nut are used traditionally for in Igbo land.
Traditionally Kola nut is regarded as a sacred nut which is used to communicate with the gods being that it was chosen by the elders as the head or king of all seeds. As a sacred nut it is used in so many ways as mediating factor whereby it becomes necessary to present it first in every occasion. As a mark of respect kola nut is broken with knife. Once kola nut is broken, shared and eaten the ceremony then starts. There is no important gathering in Igbo land that can take place without the breaking of kola nut. It is used in traditional marriages, peace making mission, meetings of the elders, and even when a visitor comes to someone’s home the guest will not say his mission until after the kola nut has been presented to him. The presentation of kola nut is followed immediately by prayer which in traditional pattern is libations. In the prayer our forefathers are beaconed to come and participate in the eating of the kola nut, guide and protect in the mission that brings the people together. After the prayer the kola nut is broken shared and every body eats.
In the olden days it takes awhile before kola is broken. The reason is that kola nut used by tradition is multi-cotyledon. As such every kola nut has meaning despite the fact that the person who presents the kola nut does not check how many divisions a kola nut has by nature. Nonetheless the elder must check each kola nut and interpret their meanings before they are finally broken. As the saying goes “the words of elders are words of wisdom” while in most cases their interpretation are regarded as superstitious they turn out correctly. If you are interested in buying go to http://www.free-est.com/afproduct.html.
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Bitter kola is another type of kola found in Igbo land of Nigeria. Its biological name is Garcinia kola. Like the kola nut it is produced from a big tree. Unlike the kola nut it is monocotyledon. Although it is eaten...