There are different places in Igboland where blacksmithing was very prominent and influential. One of those places was Awka. After hearing so much about them, a British explorer who heard about the gifted Awka Blacksmiths went to witness their crafts. He visited a place NEVER VISITED OR INFLUENCED BY EUROPEANS. The methods of Smithing were fully and completely indigenous. He asked that some articles be done in his presence. He was astonished by what he witnessed. How they converted what he gave quickly. He was astounded by how quickly they worked and the quality. They could almost forge anything you gave or show them to the highest quality. They travelled all over the from Awka to as far and beyond Lagos.
According to the British explorer, when describing the guns the Awka man who was inside a village made:
“..In this instance, indeed, the man had made every part of the gun except the barrel, the stock and fittings being so well executed that one could scarcely distinguish the result from an English-made article...”
Here is the summary of his remarks:
Ø The Awka blacksmiths were very popular in Lagos, Calabar, Warri, Bonny in the olden days etc.
Ø The quality of their work can be compared if not better than crafts from Europe
Ø Their crafts include doorknobs, furniture, chains, hair ornaments for women, brass and copper bracelets and anklets, needles, hoes, axes, cutlass, bullets from bar-iron, pot-leg, bowls, plates, artistic staffs for chiefs, guns, all household items, etc.
Ø They forged anything you show them
Read the encounter and experience of the researcher in the uploads.
Truly, the Awka blacksmiths indeed had gifted hands.
Your ancestors were intelligent craftsmen using their native technology. Your fathers were not monkeys swinging from tree to tree, against what many of you have been brainwashed to believe.
Do not forget to tag all those who thought their forefathers were swinging from tree to tree.
This article is originally contributed to the IGBO HISTORY (IGBOS SINCE 3000BC) Facebook group by Emmanuel Eke

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