OHIAKA or OHIALA (Story telling)
Chief Musa Adegbe at January 28th, 2014
OHIAKA-FOLKLORE (Also known as OHIALA in some part of Igala Land)
Ohiaka literally means history or events of the past that are usually related to the young ones as part of entertainments for both elders and children every evening. It contains part of the folk tales or imaginary stories of the ancients that are uniquely educative, reformative and informative to the youths. It consists of long and short interesting stories that are usually related to the children by elders in the society or renowned chroniclers of Igala history. It also consists of oral history and oral chronicles of the Igala society that is a kind of historical narrative that teaches the youth values of the society. Each of these literary forms or linguistic characteristics are significant aspects of the people’s culture.
Interestingly, Ohiaka is relatively similar to Alo as both are related or taught to the children at night and both consist of short and long stories. However, the Ohiaka is stated in this way: –
‘Ohiaka mi Kwa Kwa Kwa, I li ojienwu kiya ne n, i liya noji angeje’.
Meaning: – “my long beautiful and interesting story is about the clever Tortoise.
This introductory aspect of Ohiaka forms the basis of a popular idiomatic expression that goes like this:
‘Ohiaka kima kwoji angejen’. Meaning:- “the tortoise is a popular actor in Igala ancient stories ‘folktales’.
Ohiala literally means history. It means the reporting of events that are particularly connected to the past. In essence, Ohiaka is a very old traditional story of the Igala people that is usually passed onto the youths in a spoken form. It can equally mean one’s biography, the history of animals or interesting events in the life of man.
One distinctive feature of Ohiala is that its stories are not imaginary; rather, they are honest and accurate or precise accounts of the past events. Renowned Igala folklorists usually relate these stories to the people especially the youths.
In a nutshell, Ohiala is synonymous with history in all its ramifications i.e. it has to do with stories that are concerned with people, situations or things that existed in the past.