The Long Juju Slave Route of Arochukwu A journey into the dark presence of judgment

Those at trial would enter the temple complex and wander through it, ready to face the judgment of Chukwu (God).

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The long juju route Arochukwu play

The long juju route Arochukwu

(Hometown)
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The Long Juju Slave Route of Arochukwu is a sacred altar, a six foot gully that takes people to the temple judgment.

After the cities of Aba and Umuahia, Arochukwu, which is sometimes referred to as Arochuku, or Aro-Okigbo is the third largest city in Abia State-- southeastern Nigeria.

It is composed of 19 villages with an overall leader called Obong Aro.

Interestingly, there are several historic tourist sites that exist in the city of Arochukwu. And among them are the mystic Ibini Ukpabi shrine, the slave routes and other relics of the slave.

Prominent for its sacred sense of mystic beauty is the Ibinu Ukabi or the long juju Shrine that was used to judge the perpetrators of crimes.

Tales have it that back then in the kingdom of Arochukwu, Ibini Ukpabi, at the height of its powers was the most powerful deity in Igboland. 

And this was during the Trans-atlantic slave trade era.

Tourists at one of the sacred sites in Arochukwu play

Tourists at one of the sacred sites in Arochukwu

(The Abia state government)

 

Being a kind of supreme court whose judgment was final, there was no appeal.

Those at trial would enter the temple complex and wander through it, ready to face the judgment of Chukwu (God).

It is in here that you will find the throne of judgment-- the dark presence ("the Holy of Holies").

And those found guilty walked into dark tunnels and those found innocent went back to their relatives.

There is also a hill of rags; it is the place where the condemned were instructed to undress and leave their clothes before they disappeared into the tunnels around the hill.

The long juju slave route is a dark kilometre-long series of tunnels.

Also included to the above features is the red river where it is said that as the guilty disappear, the aro would colour the river red to give people the impression that the condemned has died. And the red water flowing down the stream would be a sign to the relatives that the victims were dead.

However, stories also have it that through another feature known as Iyi-Eke-- an outlet to "Onu Asu Bekee" (the European beach, which later became the government beach), blindfolded victims (those found guilty) are led to waiting boats that took the enslaved to Calabar for onward transmission to Ala Bekee.

The long juju route Arochukwu play

The long juju route Arochukwu

(Hometown)

 

Sadly, this sacred stronghold would be destroyed by the British as their quest for colonial power led to their decision to wage war on the Long Juju and the network it had established in the region.

Although, the long juju slave route of Arochukwu is presently difficult to visit as a result of the many rites (which include a sum of thirty-five thousand naira) that are said to be carried out before admitting visitors into the tunnel, still it remains a perfect destination for tourist around the world.

How to get to Arochukwu?

Arochukwu is 100 kilometres from the Abia State capital, Umuahia. But the road is bad, and you should brace yourself for the worse.

So, getting to Arochukwu from Umuahia can take between three to four hours.

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