THE ANAMBRA STATE MUSEUM – 1981
The story of archaeological finds in Igbo-Ukwu is so very well known. It was collectively assumed that the total finds so made is a fly by an eagle compared with what potentially is lying under Igbo-Ukwu soil untouched. Most ancient homes in Igbo-Ukwu town had artefacts no less beautiful than the finds themselves. Again, the archaeological finds from Igbo-Ukwu were stored in the National Museum, Lagos, although the prototypes were said to have remained in Britain with the British Museum. The need for the return of the artefacts to Igbo-Ukwu was on the rise. It was on this premise that the Igbo-Ukwu people put up a request that was approved by the Federal Military Government in 1975 for the approval of building a Museum in Igbo-Ukwu. The land was acquired, surveyed and handed over to the Federal Government for this project. Several appeals were made afterwards, to no avail. The land acquired for the Igbo-Ukwu museum was at the part of Ngo village, in Igbo-Ukwu, called Umuezenwaka. The approval and movement to the site for construction work were materialized in 1981. The Government brought the building to the DPC level in 1982, and seemingly, abandoned the project.
Consequent to the inaction of the government, the Igbo-Ukwu people resorted to self-aid. The museum was hence built through the philanthropy of one man, by name; Chief Timothy Chukwubunna Umenweni, Ikenga Igbo-Ukwu. The building was completed and handed over to the Igbo-Ukwu community on the 29th day of December 1989. The museum was later officially pronounced an Anambra State Government property in May, 21st 1997 by Group Captain, Rufai Garba FSS, MSS, PSC (AMNIM), who was then the Military Administrator of the State.
As planned, the artefacts in the museum were collected through the efforts of indigenes and the local inhabitants of the community. More artefacts are collected as they emerge from the bowels of Igbo-Ukwu. The antiquities that have been collected in the museum include: –
Ofo, Oji, Ikenga, Ogwugwu-eke deity, Agbala deity, Mpata, Okpoga, Nzu, Oji osisi, Ekpili, Ubo akwala, Okpokoro, Oyo, Ritual pot, Ekwe, Ceremonial metal staff, Dane guns, Bufalo horn, Uli-oku, Udu, etc