Kola nut in Igbo land is a sacred seed that is of great significance. In Igbo land, Kola nut seed is the first thing the head of the house present to his visitor to show warm welcome.
Kola nuts are made of different cotyledons; some when split, comes in 2-3-4-5-7 pieces. Every split piece has its own significance. When the Kolanut split into two-part, it’s not eaten because it signifies that the person who provided the Kola does not mean well or has an ulterior motive behind the Kola.
A Kola nut that yields three (Oji Ikenga) to four is more satisfying and welcoming since the four cotyledons represent four Igbo market days “afia na-ano ubochi na-ano”. It signifies that the presenter of the Kola nut welcomed and meant well for his visitors. A Kola nut comprising of five or more cotyledons brings happiness and good fortunes to the family that presents it.
In any Igbo meetings, Kola nut is presented as the first thing before any meeting agenda is presented. Any complaint/family issues are being presented to the meeting by the plaintiff using with four or eight Kola nuts to serve as a summons to the defendant. During events like marriage ceremonies, childbirths, house warming etc kola nuts are used as a symbol to appreciate/entertain guest.
Kolanuts is a very necessary factor in covenant-making (Igba Ndu) between people of common interest/goal to seal agreement and relationships. This kind of arrangement is carried out when an existing relationship is seen to be jeopardized soonest.
In Igbo land, Kola nut is used early hours of the morning to thank the ancestors for keeping them alive into a new day with great expectations.
Kolanut is to Igbo people what the prayer book stands for in the Christian world.