By REMY ILONA on 30/06/2014

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In 2002 I began to research Igbo history and culture with the
objectives of documenting Igbo culture and finding out the origins of
the Igbos.

I will talk briefly about my latest book in this essay.

I have written 6 books since 2002. In the middle of 2012 my most
definitive; "The Igbos And Israel: An Inter-cultural Study of the
Largest Jewish diaspora" was published as an Ebook, and made available
in Amazon, iTunes and Barnes and Noble.

Happy with the rave reviews that the Ebook version of the book has
received my U.S publisher and I decided to upgrade the book a little
and release a paper edition. We accomplished this in April 2014.

I am hereby announcing that the release book is released and available
at the following

I am also going to be sharing with the public through this medium some
of the numerous reviews of the book:

I am beginning with the review by the Vanguard Newspapers.

Vanguard Newspapers.......

A comparative study of Igbos and Israel in print

on June 19, 2014  /  in The Arts 6:17 pm  /  Comments

Japhet Alakam

THE widespread notion that the Igbo of the South Eastern Nigeria are
direct descendants of the Jews has been a subject of debate.


While many ascribe it to the fact that there is a connection between
the Igbo and Judaism based on a critical study of their linguistic,
archeological, genetic and cultural ties, some others disagree saying
that it is not so as they attribute the Jewish identification among
the Igbo as a result of Christianity brought by missionaries, since
most Igbo people are Christians.

But what is the true story, though many writers have written on this
subject matter, but the book, The Igbos And Isreal; An Inter- Cultural
Study of the largest Jewish Diaspora written by Abuja based Igbo
author, lawyer and activist, Remy Ilona is unique in that it is a
concerted move to answer the question based on a research carried out
about it.

Written with the background that a significant part of the origin of
their custom emanated from the ancient Isrealities and that Jewish
identification has been part of the Igbo experience, the author who is
one of the few Igbo authors with profound knowledge of the Hebrew
Bible and its later Jewish commentaries carried out a comparative
research, studying what others have written earlier on the subject and
interviewing some of the eldest priests and others at Nri, and other
Igbo locations.

It is his findings that formed the bulk of the 284 pages book divided
into 20 chapters.

A study of the book shows that The Igbos And Isreal; An Inter-
Cultural Study of the largest Jewish Diaspora is an inter cultural
study of the systematic comparism of Igbo culture to the Hebrew and
Isrealites. One special attribute of the book is the author's ability
to document and interprete some of the cultures of Igbo people, some
of them which are outdated.

Chapter 1, takes a critical look at Life circle events which focusses
on Igbo rituals associated with the birth of children, Initiation
rites and Marriage and how it is linked to the Jewish culture.

Chapter two highlights the Comparative study of the ideas underlying
Omenana and Judaism. Here, the author explains the meaning of Omenana
and its importance to the early period unlike now when modernisation
has eroded some of them. He also looked at Igbo perception of God
(Chukwu) where he gave evidences that indeed proved that it is similar
to the Isrealites perception of the Deity.

In Chapter 3, the author highlights the rituals associated with dying
and death in the topic Onwu na Akwamaozu, the various ways Igbo handle
the issue and how it was practiced by the Jews.

Feasts and festivals

Issues like feasts and festivals, New yam festival( Iri ji), Passover
and Unleavened bread(Oriri Achicah), Sukkot (Ima Ntu), Eke Ukwu/Nkwo
oru(Sabbath) and others were treated in Chapter four. Though some of
them are no longer practiced in all Igbo land, there are some areas
where they are observed. Chapter 5, examines some socio religious
customs while chapter 6 takes a critical look at Abomination and
purification(Aru na Ikpu aru) as it is done in Igbo land and its
similarity to that of the Isrealites.

The concept of sacrifices and offerings(Ichu Aja) as practiced in Igbo
land is treated in chapter 7. Here the different types of sacrifices
in Igbo land especially those similar to the Jews are addressed.
Chapters 8 and 9 looked at Classes among the Igbo and the
socio-Religious personalities and authorities in Igbo land. While
chapter 10 to 15 takes a comparative survey of the duties,. How do the
Igbo people handle cases of crime and other offences, irresponsible
and unnatural sexual behaviours, land matters, ritual cleanliness and
Dietary matters in relation to that of the Isrealites were also

In Chapters 16 to 19, the author bares his findings in similarities
between Igbo and Semitic manners of dress,Joining the Igbo and Jewish
people and leaving them and the Igbo society in general. Finally, he
concludes with what he termed Thought- provoking Phenomena, where he
narrated some Igbo folk-lores, Igbo and Isrealite farming practices
and family trees.

The book can be described as a masterful job with a scholarly
attention to detail. It serves two important purpose, first it
documents the cultural practices of Igbo people many which are already
going into extinction and secondly it beautifully narrates the Judaic
rituals, beliefs and concepts as they are practiced in the Igbo
culture of Nigeria.

- See more at:


Posted on July, 1 2014

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