Tears As American Families With Igbo DNA Receive Tribal Names At World Festival In US

There were emotions at the 9th Igbo World Festival of Arts and Culture in Staunton Virginia when Americans whose DNA match the Igbo tribe received tribal names to reflect their ancestral home.

The 2-day event which was organized by the Council of Igbo States in America held between July 29 to July 30, 2022 at the Igbo Village of Frontier Museum.

The event is an annual event initiated nine years ago to unite Igbos in diaspora and those in Nigeria.

But the 2022 edition was wrapped with an intrigue which included naming ceremonies for Americans of Igbo descent, the organizer said in a statement sent to THE WHISTLER.

CISA said, “Many African Americans were in attendance for the emotional re-union of the cross Atlantic brotherhood. Their families whose DNA testing confirmed their Igbo ancestry received Igbo names based on the 8-day Igbo market week, re-connected with their Igbo brothers and sisters and were officially welcomed back to their Igbo ancestral homeland by elders and traditional title
holders.”

It said in the statement that the reconnection of Americans of Igbo descent tells the story of Igbos that separated from their homeland through slavery and resettled in America.

According to the organisers, the Igbos who are now “African American descendants have traced their roots back to Igbo lineage and are reconnecting with their living relatives in Nigeria and Diaspora.

The reconnection remains one of the most avowed emotional high points for many in attendance.

“Emotional tears were seen in the faces of many that the 400 years old shackles have been broken. It reflects to a large extend the final step in a quest to discover and reconnect with relatives separated by time, space, and distance dating back to the era of slave trade,” it added.

The festival also featured world class musical talents, exhibitions, costumed cultural performances, symposium, interactive art, traditional cuisines, fashion show, marriage traditions, masquerades, and carnival rides.

Also there were display of masquerades as well as legendary Igbo dances like the Ohafia/Abam war dance, and the youthful Atiliogwu acrobatic displays entertained the audience.

Dignitaries who witnessed the reunion were: “Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Uzoma Emenike, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to United States, represented by Mrs. Tarela Njokanma and Mr. Anthony Alonwu, Rev. Dr. Albert Sampson from Chicago, who was ordained by Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr., former Haitian ambassador to United Kingdom Ambassador. Jean Pillard, John Avoli, of the Government of Virginia, Chairman of World Igbo Congress, Professor Tony Ejiofor, HRH Eze Chibuzor Ngwakwe, Igbo Council of Traditional Title Holders (ICOTTHUSA) and delegates from Jamaican, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and Barbados communities. “

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