In the rustic town of Isienyi-Ukwu Amakama in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State lies a kingdom in a wood cave of a sort, surrounded by mysterious army bees.
One mysterious thing about the wood cave is that it still protects the setters who took refuge inside and outside it, even in these modern days and defies all charms of the evil men.
One issue that troubles the mind of most people is the evolution of the said cultural ground.
According to Nze Pius E. Ubani, one of the titleholders of Amakama, Isienyi-Ukwu has been in existence from time immemorial. My father told me that they met this wood cave, other trees and mysterious army bees here. But the spirit of the ancestors was inculcated into it that made it active. In the early days, history told us that sins were not as rampant as we have now. Our forefathers were living righteous life and forbade anything that defiled it.People who were defiled were purified before oracle at the Isienyi-Ukwu. And it is a centre of worship. When the chief priest of the oracle of any chaste descendant dies, his spirit is invoked in the wood and army bees enjoined to fight evil men who may want to invade the community. Since then, Isienyi-Ukwu has not only been fighting for the descendants of Amakama but also for the unborn children of Amakama.
For instance, legend has it that during the Nigerian/Biafran civil war, which I witnessed, when our enemies, (Nigerian soldiers then) ran into the cultural ground to kill and maim us, the gods of the kingdom interceded for us. Either they sent mysterious army bees to sting them to death or they died as soon as they stepped into the kingdom. The Isienyi-Ukwu Amakama does not tolerate acts of evil men. That is why you see that bag of army bees hanging there. They are there to protect settlers from evil ones and equally ensure that the sacred kingdom of the cave is not defiled. Any person who goes into the cultural groove with talisman or charm will never live to see another day or he may be stung by mysterious army bees.
Related event of such a case was that of cultural festival of Abia state, in which different groups came to the cultural ground for dancing competition. The mysterious army bees disgraced groups that came with charms. The incident marked the end of the competition.
Daily Sun gathered that Isienyi-Ukwu Amakama is not only a cultural ground where the popular August new year festivity of Amakama takes place but also has metamorphosed into a tourist haven.
The Amakama Wooden Cave at Amakama is a wonder tree with a hollow inside that is capable of accommodating up to twenty people at a time. The tree is claimed to be as old as the Amakama community and had acted as a safe haven to the community during the inter-tribal wars and the slave raids era. The beautiful serene environment of the site is good for the construction of a standard tourism village.
Ref: Online Sources