More Insight Into The Name “Nnewi”
So many myths and facts have been propounded as to the authentic origin of the name “Nnewi”. While some of them may be close to the truth, so many of them are far away from the truth.
One plausible explanation was that of by C.N Ugochukwu, a Nnewi Historian of repute.
Etymologically, the name NNEWI, when split into two is pronounced NNE-EWI, which means “Mother” (NNE) and “RABBIT” (EWI). If you join the two words together, you get, “Nnewi”. A word that literally means “mother rabbit”.
In Nnewi, rabbit (Ewi ) is a very sacred animal, it is neither killed nor harmed.
The “Ewi” suffix can be only be related to “totemism” which is also linked to NRI civilization (Nrisim).
Totem is explained as a natural object or animal that is believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and strictly adopted by that society as an emblem or reminder of its ancestry.
Nnewi ancestrally belongs to NRI civilization which practiced totemism whereby a particular object or animal was chosen for a child at birth. Most times, charms and medicinal concoctions are prepared for the child with the totem, while the totem is kept as a deity for the child and his/her generations to reverence.
To give the child a name, “Nne” is prefixed to the name of the totem.
Little wonder why towns that have an ancestral link to Nri have “Nne” as a prefix to their names.
For example, Nnewi, Nnobi, Nnokwa, and Nneni.