Celebrating Ellu-Eni Carnival of liberation and unity

Ellu-Eni Carnival

Every year, from December 26 through 28, visitors from far and near troop into Ellu town, Isoko North Local Government Area, Delta State, to witness Ellu-Eni Carnival due to its quality display of rich culture and tradition.

Ellu people are peaceful, law-abiding citizens, friendly and they embody Isoko expressive traditions. Ellu is community lies between Ozoro and Kwale, along Ughelli-Asaba Expressway.

From history, Ellu is known for its prowess in conquering other towns during inter-communal wars and land disputes. This attribute resulted in the town having an elephant as its symbol of strength. And it is for this reason that a live elephant is put on display to thrill spectators, who have come to have fun during the carnival.

Cultural dance groups that add colour to the carnival include Ikelike (stilt acrobat) dance group, Opiri dance troupe, the long masquerade and Umawhu dance group and other youth, men and women’s groups.

During the carnival, it is expected that all sons and daughters of Ellu, both home and abroad, would return to witness and participate in the rich and powerful display of Isoko culture and tradition.

In a chat with Omonoghensuke of Ellu Kingdom, Chief Anthony Marino, who is also the initiator of Ellu-Eni Carnival in Europe, the major reasons for celebrating Ellu Carnival are simply to ensure that the culture and traditions of Ellu are maintained and to constantly bring home all Ellu sons and daughters, who may have forgotten their root.

He affirmed that the carnival also serves as an avenue for Ellu sons and daughters at home to fellowship with those in faraway places, when they return for the carnival. That way, he said, possible business and convivial channels could be opened.

Marino further stressed that the elephant as a symbol is to buttress the long-inherited history of Ellu as narrated by their forefathers.

He said in ancient times the elephant gave signals whenever enemies were afoot to attack the community and it acted as a bulwark against the invaders to secure the community against aggression. He said the elephant also scared enemies away due to its huge size.

He also added that this special relationship with the elephant made the community to automatically fall in love with it. This ensured that the inhabitants of Ellu lived peacefully with its neighbours.

During Ellu-Eni Carnival, traders make brisk business, as tourists from neighbouring communities like Ozoro, Aradhe, Oleh, Ofagbe, and Kwale visit and patronise them to ensure economic boom. Foreigners are also attracted to the community to seek investment opportunities, especially in the area of farming as Ellu has fertile lands for that purpose.

It is also the hope of Marino that Ellu-Eni, as it is popularly called, meaning ‘Ellu the Mighty giant’ will bring about government’s presence to the community.

He lamented that government had not undertaken any befitting project in the community for a long time now and argued that it was time to redress this anomaly.

He, therefore, called on all sons and daughters of Ellu all over the world who have big businesses to help in moving Ellu forward by investing in the community and its teeming youths.

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