Odumodu is a folk style of music that is predominantly sung among the Arochukwu, Bende, Ohafia, Abiriba, Umuahia, Ikwuano, and Ngwa people of the Igbo ethnic group, of Abia State, located in southeastern Nigeria.[1] It is mainly used to uplift spirits and entertain guests at events, while extolling the virtues of illustrious men and women, and telling stories that edify.

It is the traditional music played acoustically in live or recorded form at festive events, such as the Ekpe (masquerade festival), Okonko (manhood rite of passage), Ichi Echichi (coronation and titling ceremonies), Iza Aha (age-grade maturity ceremony), Ikeji/Iriji (new yam festival), Igbankwu Nwanyi (bridal wine-carrying dance at marriage ceremonies), Igboto Mma (retirement celebration for elderly men), Olili (burial celebration of life), etc.

It is sung by mainly men with syncopating rhythms of chants and harmonized choruses, incorporating traditional Igbo percussions, such as the ekwe/ekere, ikoro, udu, ekpete/igba (congas), ogele (big gongs), oyo, etc. The blending of wise sayings, parables, mystifying hums, and the melodic drumming gives it a captivating feel that leaves the listener dancing in pace with its beats.

Odumodu is usually sung in the call-response style, which features vocals from a lead singer who elicits the response and backing of a group of vocalists, who are often the instrumentalists. Some famous Odumodu artists include Mary Kanu of Atani Arochukwu, Prof Obewe and King Ogenwanne of Ohuhu, Umuahia, Brother Ezeugo of Ogbodi, Umuahia, Ichie Nwamuruamu of Ibeku, Umuahia, and many more.


  1. ^ Ibekwe, Eunice Ukamaka; Abiakwu, Chima Albert (2022-07-12). "ROLES OF INDIGENOUS MUSIC IN THE REALIZATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ONE AND THREE". Ugo Belu N'Oji. 0 (0).