Idoma Youths reject proposal by New Och’Idoma
Inhabitants of the Idoma ethnic group have shoved against the proposition by the new paramount leader of the Idoma nation, HRM Elaigwu Odogbo (Och’Idoma V) to alter the red and black traditional attire of the Idoma people.
It was gathered that the proposal by the New Och’Idoma was made at the just-concluded convention of the Idoma Association in the USA.
The royal father was said to have suggested a new attire to include the blue and white attire of the Igede-speaking people of Oju and Obi.
To the Idoma, this traditional fabric, defined by bold stripes of red and black, is a symbol of unity—red, for the strength and resilience of the people, which proved irresistible for rival tribes or races seeking to displace the Idoma from the Benue basin where they settled, and black, a reference to the pastoral nature of the people who depended on the earth for many purposes.
His proposal has been strongly rejected by Idoma people, especially the youths.
This development has provoked mixed reactions from natives of Idoma who described his proposal as anti-Idoma.
Many people have warned the monarch not to change the age-long tradition that has been existing before he was born.
The Idoma attire is honorable and it is a notable symbol in local meetings. It is important for every member of these local meetings to wear either a muffler, cap (for the men), or headgear (for the women), failure to appear in the regalia attracts fines or sometimes penalization.
The Idoma attire is also a fashionable item and can be worn at any time of the day to any event of choice.
The Idoma traditional attire is popularly called, “Apa” by many parts of Idoma land, and “Edema” by the Edumoga people. The “black” colour on the Idoma attire symbolizes the “earth and burial shroud,” while the “red” colour signifies “royalty or red feather.”
The red feather is often fixed on the head of the traditional leader.
“Opa” is also an Idoma traditional attire worn during burials. This “Opa” is mostly worn by chiefs and those who are buried. The “black” signifies mourning and the “red” signifies “Alekwu,” which means, the dead must be respected.
Idoma attire can be sewn in different forms: it can be sewn into wrappers, gowns, skirts and blouses, Kaftan, caps, and mufflers. It can also be used as decorations during any festivities.
The Idoma people will always be known for their identity with their cultural colours, “Black and Red.”
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