-The ancestral compound is usually handed down from father to first son, and other lands are shared by other sons.
-A Igbo compound is known commonly as Ngwuru, Ezi, or Ama, and depending on the wealth of the owner, an Igbo compound can be divided by walls into different sections.
-Each Wife has an Mkpuke which is her own section and house, while a central building known as the Obi or Obu serves as the main living area and meeting house of the head of the household.
It also serves as the main ancestral shrine.
The kitchen area, often in the back is commonly known as ọnụ ụsọ Ekwu or Usekwu, the abode of the women’s hearth spirit Ekwu.
In many places the common practice is to surround the compound with a high defensive wall made out of earth known as (egwe or aja ngwuru), such compounds usually had a grand entrance with many carved and coloured wooden panels and a large door or gate known as mgbo ezi.
There are few aja ngwuru and mgbo ezi (usually the right of titled people) left today and they should be maintained & preserved. Udo!
Photo Credit: P. A. Mc C, 1870-1900.
Source: The British Museum