Nnewi: The Funerals and Canopies (Mkpukpu) of Old (Photos)
In the Olden Days, “Canopies” that you will find at Funerals are canopies made of bamboo and fresh palm fronds as against the ones you see in modern times.
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To make these canopies, four bamboo poles which we call Achala are sunk into the ground (upright ), another set of bamboo poles are used as crossbars against the ones pointed upwards, then fresh palm fronds are placed on top the bamboo poles to serve as shade against the sun for the mourners. The shade is known as Mkpukpu, however, it only shades mourners from the sun, not rain, unlike the modern canopies that protect the mouners from the sun and rain
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Just at the center of the compound of the deceased, a bigger and stronger shade is carefully
erected where the chief mourners like close relations of the deceased, Umunna and extended family members of the deceased ( Mostly males ) will be housed.
The reason the canopy at the center of the compound is made bigger and stronger is to withstand the intense shaking of the canopy by Umudianas ( The Children to the married daughter of the deceased ) when they come for their own condolence visit.
When the umudiana come for their condolence visit, the oldest son of the deceased daughter grabs the bamboo pole and shakes it so hard, he will go as far as threatening to remove the palm fronds , he will make the people under the shade so uncomfortable that Nna-ochie (The deceased male children ) will be forced to appease him with gifts like wine, money, etc