Ekee na obi, ekee na nkpuke. We share bounties by Umunna and then by Umunne.
Every kindred cluster in Igboland consists of Umunna, sons and daughters of the same extended father progenitor. The Umunna in turn consists of Umunne, sons and daughters of the same mother.
In our mother’s nkpuke growing up, my siblings and I sat around the same plate or pot of food and took turns to dig our spoons into the heap of food or dip our foofoo into the soup dish. Eating together and sharing everything was the hallmark of umunne.
After eating, the oldest does the honor of dividing the meat and fish served with the dish and each collects their fair portion starting with the youngest.
It is by so doing that Igbo mothers sowed a tight sense of mutual attachment between her kids that would last a lifetime. Sadly, children of the same mother nowadays are not as attached as they used to be with its attendant dilutive consequences on an important social and cultural bonding.
Communing in communion like a commnity is an attribute of a closely knit group sharing some sort of social or cultural ties. You would have to be an eagle eyed philologist to pick out the Igbo footprints of Community.
Between Adaamu (I have fallen) and Eve his Igbo wife, they defined the basic social unit that has endured till this day making family the atomized unit of community.
That atomized unit, usually of the same mother is called umunne…sons and dauhters of the same mother..nne..
who share certain attributes together.
The attributes shared by umunne is referred to as …kaumunne … meaning literally behaving like siblings.
You may have noticed the same phonetic and idiotmatic convergence between “kaumunne” and “commune” from which arose words like communal and community.
You could define a community as a place where people are supposed to behave ka umunne in its most idealized form and you would be 100 percent right because of its Igbo derivation.
So folks, keep sharing and enjoying your Christmas break knowing that those who share the same bounties of life stick together. Have no doubt, I assure you, that the first family on earth were Ndigboo …the ancient ones.