Culture as the name sounds simply means the totality way of people’s life which is determined by the environmental factor around them which includes:
·        Modes of dressing
·        Greetings
·        Dancing
·        Behaviors

·        Eating
·        Belief
·        Languages
·        Values 
Culture can also be defined as the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
Culture as we all know is very dynamic-changes from time to time, it is also learned and can differs from one place to another.
During the period under review (1941-1960), Nigeria in general and Edda in particular knew nothing about the embalmment of dead persons.
Having said that burial culture differs from one community to another, I will now restrict my work to Edda burial culture.
According to Chief (Osuu) Robert Omaka Anya who is presently hundred and thirty years old (130 years) as at the time of writing this my work, said that as soon as man dies, message will be delivered to his relatives within and outside the village. On the reception of the message, the relatives of the deceased person will immediately converge to make arrangement for the burial.
Chief (Osuu) Robert went further to say that if a man is confirmed dead he will be burial almost the same day or the next day as people knew nothing about embalmment and as such could not preserve corpse in the mortuary as done in the contemporary society.
During the period under review (1914-1960), four categories of burial rite in Edda were given to dead people according to their age grades and life conditions. Which were:-
1.                  The ‘ANUMKPU’ age grade (which were the highest title holders in Edda community.
2.                  The ‘EME–EKWE’ age grade (which were the second highest title holders in Edda community.
3.                  The ‘ONARA UBI’ age grade (which were the third and last title holders in Edda community) and lastly
4.                  The ‘LEPERS’ (who were usually excommunicated in the community due to the contagiousness of their disease.

            If an ‘ANUMKPU’ (the highest title holder in Edda community) dies, the relatives of the deceased:
·        Children
·        Kinsmen
·        Brothers
·        Sisters
Friends and well-wishers were usually in the village, hence there was no need for further delay. The first son of the deceased person will meet their kinsmen with a bottle of hot drink or a pot of palm wine to inform them about the death of his father.
Immediately the death was confirmed, tradition demands that his wife/wives will put on sackcloth and have her/their hairs cut as a sign of mourning. She/they will be restricted from bathing, drinking or eating anything until the corpse has been lowered to the grave.
Tradition demands that his grave must be dogged inside his house and a talking drum (Ikoro) will be ordered to be brought down inside the compound of the deceased and is beaten from time to time to announce the departure of an important personality in the society or village or even community.
The digging of the deceased grade was usually done by four (4) or five (5) able bodied men appointed by his immediate family, compound or his kinsmen.
At this juncture, the corpse is taken to the village square for proper burial rites as demanded by the tradition.     
In the course of burial ceremony, the relatives of the deceased that is:-
i.                    The sons
ii.                 The daughters
iii.               The brothers
iv.                     The sisters and     
v.                        Maternal relatives.
Play some vital roles
The first son was expected to preserve the following under listed items:
·        Two pieces of traditional cloths
·        A pot of palm wine
·        A bottle of hot drink
·        Ogene or Ogele
·        Apar
·        Two eagle feathers
·        Nkpola-ocha (money formed with rod)
·        A he-goat
·        A cock
·        An Okpuagu (chieftaincy cap)
Other sons of the deceased were expected to present similar articles except off course:
·        A he-goat
·        A cock
·        An apar
·        An okpuagu (chieftaincy cap) and
·        Eagle feather
The brothers of the deceased person were expected to present the following items:-
·        A bottle of hot drink each
·        A piece or 2 pieces of traditional cloths
The sisters on the other hand were expected to present the following items listed below:-
1.      Mat (ute)
2.      Earthen pot (‘oku’)
The significant of these two items presented from the sisters of the deceased was in consonance with the ancient belief of life after death. Those two items were meant to enable the deceased sleep on the mat, wash and bath with the earthen pot (‘oku’).
            The daughters, if married with their husbands will present the following:-
·        ‘Oku’ (Earthen pot)
·        ‘Ute’ (Mat)
·        Two (2) pieces of traditional cloths
·        A bottle of hot drink
·        A pot palm wine
If he had grand children, they will in turn present ‘Nkpola-ocha’ (money).  
The wife/ wire will bring an ‘Odo’ (A traditional paint red in color).
At this juncture, two men will be called out to collect and take can of all these offers received and it will be announced to the pubic.
At this time the elders of the village incorporation with the first son of the deceased and one of the deceased kinsmen will seat for private discussion an how to share all those items in accordance of the traditions demand. At the end of the private meeting or discussion, the woman who sees the affairs of the deceased man right from the time he was alive mostly at his sick bed till death will be given two (2) pieces of traditional cloth, one cloth for ‘Ikoro’ (talking drum), one for village square and one for his yam barn
After all these, few yards of cloth, ‘Nkpola-ocha’(money), ‘Ogene or ‘Ogele; ‘Okpuagu’ (chieftaincy cap), Apar, and eagle feather goes into the grave with the corpse.
NOTE:  The above mentioned items are used in the next world as follows:
·        ‘Nkpola-ocha’ (money) for feeding
·        ‘Oku’ (earthen pot) for washing and bathing
·        ‘Ute (mat) for sleeping
·        Okpu agu’ (chieftaincy cap) and eagle feathers for dressing.
·        Cock and he-goat to breed in the spirit world.
·        Wine for merriment
Then traditional demands that the deceased must also he dressed as follows.
·        His body robbed with ‘Odo’ ( a traditional paint red in colour)
·        Covered with two (2) piece of cloths
·        Cover his head with ‘Okpu agu’ (chieftaincy cap).
·        Chained his two hands with ‘Nkpola-ocha’ (rod used as money)
·        Pined his head with the two eagle feathers
·        Finally wrapped his whole body with ‘ute’ (mat)
At this juncture, where the real sacrifices takes place, the women including his wife/wives and all the under aged youths (uninitiated) are send inside the village or compound. Before the deceased will be taken to the grave, his age grade members the ‘Anumkpu’ will come out with their staffs. Two among them will stand by his head side, cross their staffs which is known as (Igwa aka’) and his body is left open for ritual scarifies as culture or tradition demands. After all this, his body will never be allowed open again, and the deceased is now taken to the grave then his first son is called to put some sands into the grave when the deceased is lowered to the grave with a fare ware speech- rest in peace. This is also done by other members of the family and relatives including friends, then his grave are covered with sands.
At the end of this, all the remaining items are handed over to one of his kinsmen and he is expected to present them in the next seven (7) days time which is the second burial ceremony.
NOTE: Those that dig the grave including the deceased wife/wives are not expected to eat or drink anything and even bath until the deceased is lowered to the grave.
            Four days later, second burial starts and his wife/wives were expected to prepare pounded yam and pepe soup. Shutting of guns, presentation of cola nuts, bitter cola and drinking of wine were the order of the day. The pounded yam will be divided into four and is deposited at his grave with the soup, bitter cola, cola nut shell and wine (hot wine). This means that the deceased should never feel hungry again even in the next world.
            When the corpse was finally buried, the properties of the deceased will be shared among his male children or among the houses that made up of the family if he was a polygamist. But if he was a monogamist, all his properties will be shared only to the male ones as tradition demands.
NOTE: The culture or tradition had little or no regard for female children and consequently could not partake in the sharing of the properties.
            Seven days later, the grave which was invariably dogged inside the deceased house will be scrubbed or leveled down as recommended by the tradition so as to enable the members of the family live comfortably in the house.
            A month after the burial, the ‘Ikoro’ (talking drum) will be taken back to the normal place of storage (obi ogo) as recommended by the tradition. It is imperative to note that there were certain traditions associated with the taking out and bringing in eh ‘Ikoro’ (talking drum) which include mostly preparation of massive quantity of food which was usually pounded yam and soup.
            This food was only enjoyed by the highest title holders or elders in the village and must be prepared with cock and he-goat accompanied with pots of palm wine.
            A year later, the burial ceremony continues with a lot of activities like:
·        Preparation of a great soup with pounded yam  
·        Shutting of guns
·        Masquerades of different kinds ranging from:
·        Okere –nkwa
·        ‘Obinikornkor
·        ‘Ota ekirika’
·        ‘Ife –ocha
·        Olaka ekpirikpa and
·        Oko-Oku     
NOTE: ‘Oko-oku’ is the final burial ceremony that is accorded to a wealthy deceased ‘Anumkpu’ (highest title holders)
·        He was one of the oldest man in the village
·        He was one of the highest title holders
·        He had one of the biggest yam barns
·        He had one of the biggest oil palm tree garden
·        He had fulfilled all the traditional rites as required or demanded by the traditions
·        Killing of a horse on his father’s burial.
NOTE: A man must meet all the above mentioned conditions before being regarded as an ‘ANUMKPU’

According to Chief Godwin Isu Eseni who is presently at the age of hundred years (100 years) as at the of this work, said that those who receive this category of burial rites were regarded as the ‘EME-EKWE’ age grade                                                    .
This category of men had the second to the highest title holders and was also highly respected in the society.
If a man under this group is confirmed dead, he receives almost the same burial rites as that of the ‘Anumkpu’  (the highest title holder) but there are always a striking difference as recommended by the tradition of the land.
Some of these differences were:-
·        His corpse was not allowed to be taken to the village square for burial ceremony rather will be celebrated in his compound.
·        He will not receive the second burial rite that was given to an ‘Anumkpu’ (the highest title holder) after seven weeks of his death.
o   He was among the second oldest men in the community
o   He was among the second highest title holders in the society or village
o   He had second to the highest oil palm plantation.
o   He had fulfilled half of the traditional rites as required by the tradition
o   He had the second to the biggest yam barn in the community
o   He must pay his tax.  

            According to Chief (Osuu’) James Arua Eseni who is now presently at the age of hundred and twenty years (120 years) as at the time of writing this work, said that this category of men in the society who receive this burial rites are regarded as the ONARA UBI age grade.
            This category of men is the least title holders in the society and the youngest. They performed various duties in the society like.    
            Clearing the road paths that leads to:-
ü  The
ü  Streams
ü  Market
ü  Schools
ü  Hospitals
ü  Public places (village square)
In addition to this contributions, Osuu David Eni Agwu, who is presently at the same age with Chief Godwin Isu Eseni  that is hundred years presently said that if an Onara ubi’ dies no burial rite was accorded to him. He was buried immediately confirmed dead.
The immediate family, friends, well-wishers and neighbors will stay and mourn for him while other villagers may even go about their daily business.
·        He was among the youngest age grade in the society
·        He was among the least title holder in the village
·        They are made up of married and unmarried youths.
·        They do not have any oil palm plantation
·        They do not have any yam barn.
·        They  must pay their  tax.     

            According to Chief (Sir) Anthony O. Anya who is presently at the age of hundred and ten years (110 years) as at the time of this work said that this fourth and last category of burial rites were given to LEPERS. He went further to stress it that this category of burial rite was very sympathetic, sorrowful and uncompassionate.
            The Lepers’ who lived the same place with their members or fellow lepers at the leper colony had nothing in common with the people in the society. They were excommunicated and made to remain uncommucado because of the contagious nature of their disease.
            Consequently the society does not contribute meaningfully during and after their dead because they are mostly pushed to the bush areas as their place of living.
            If a leper is dead, the immediate family alone will arrange for the burial of the man in the bush after receiving a message on the demise of the lepers. He will be burial in the bush without any burial rite.
            Also speaking, he further made us to know that some lepers who where tired of this world of uncertainties or feels to die could not wait until they gave up to the ghost. Instead they will contact their immediate family in the society to dig their grave for them,
            Hence the grave is done, a wine will be given to him to drink to stupor (a state of unconsciousness) and sweet songs will be given to lead him to the grave yard. On getting to the grave yard, he will climb down inside the grave with the help of a ladder and he made his last speech by saying “my people do not listen to anything but do it because it is what you suppose to do” (that is even though he is shouting they shouldn’t listen to his shout but do the right thing which is to cover him with sand) immediately the corpse is covered with sand by the entire family that comes the end of an innocent man.
·        They live in a separate territory called leper colony
·        They do not have anything in common with the society or village entirely.
·        They were burial in a bush areas.

·        Chief ‘Osuu Rober Omaka Anya (The Burial of the ‘ANUMKPU’ The highest title holder in the village)
·        Chief Godwin Isu Eseni (The Burial of the ‘EME-EKWE’ the second highest title holder in the society)
·        Chief ‘Osuu’ James Azua Eseni (The Burial of the ONARA-UBI’ the youngest and last stage of Age grades in the community)
·        ‘Osuu’ Joel Agwu Nnachi (The Burial of the youngest and last stage of Age Grade in the community).
·        Chief David Eni Agwu (The Burial of the ‘EME-EKWE’ age Grade, the second highest title holder in the society).
·        Chief (Sir) Anthony Oko Anya (The Burial of the last category of burial and leper colony).     
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