The Nri Kingdom of Umueri

The Nri people of Igboland have a creation myth which is one of the many creation myth that exists in various parts of Igbo land. The Nri and Aguleri people are in territory of the Umueri clan who trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king- figure “Eri”. Eri’s origin are unclear, though he has been described as a sky being sent by Chukwu (God). He has been characterized as having first given societal order to the people of Anambra. The historian Elizabeth Allo Isichei says “Nri and Aguleri” are part of the Umueri clan, a chister of Igbo village groups which traces its origin to a sky- being called Eri. Archeological evidence suggests that Nri hegemony in Igbo land may go back as far as the 9th century, and royal burial have been unearthed dating to at least the 10th century. Eri the god- like founder of Nri is believed to have settled in the region around 948 AD with other Igbo cultures following after in the 13th century. The first Eze Nri (King of Nri), Ifikuanim followed directly after him. According to Igbo oral tradition, his reign started in 1043 AD. At least one historian puts Ifikuanim’ reign much later, around 1225 AD.
“Each king traces his origin back to his founding ancestor, Eri. Each king is a reproduction of Eri. The initiation rite of a new king shows that the ritual rite of becoming Exenri (Nri priest- king) follows closely the path traced by the hero in establishing the Nri kingdom”.
The kingdom of Nri was a religio- polity, a sort of theocratic state, that developed in the central heartland of the Igbo region. The Nri had seven types of taboos which include human (such as the birth of twins), animals (such as killing or eating of Phytons), object, temporal, behavioral,speech and place taboos. This meant that while certain Igbo may have live under different administration, all followers of Igbo religion had to abide by the rules of the faith and obey its representative on earth the Eze Nri.

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (July 19, 2015). The Nri Kingdom of Umueri. OldNaija. Retrieved from https://oldnaija.com/2015/07/19/the-nri-kingdom/


  1. NRI is nt d head of d IBO’s Enugwu Aguleri is d head. it has Neva changed n it will Neva change. IBO’s hve king which dates bck to mgbe-eri. plz don’t confuse d ibo history, bbwit straight wit it n b truthful bout it.

    1. Sir umueri accient clan remains the head of Igbo clan where eri and his children settled before Nri people migrated to present agu ukwu nri

  2. Ancient Umueri Clan In Omambala Remains The Chief Host/Head Of Igbo Still Keeping DABAWOR SACRED FOREST Ugume Umueri Where Eri Lived With His Children Before Nri Ifikuanim Migrates To Agu-Ukwu And Settled And Others. Eri Is Called A Priest King

  3. I think this is where the Igbos are Jews belief emanated from. Since in the book of Numbers in Biblical writings Eri and Arodi (Aro) are among the many clans in the gynealogy of Moses.

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