THE CULT OF NDADUMA
Many people are asking for th etymology and full meaning of the word Ǹdǎdùṃà today. Of course most Nupe people today don’t knew of the word Ǹdǎdùṃà for the simple reason that Ndaduma is a very ancient word that predated the Modern Nupe language. Ǹdǎdùṃà is a Middle Nupe, if not an Old Nupe, word and that it why Modern Nupe doe not know the real or full meaning of the name Ǹdǎdùṃà.
In any case the truth is that Ǹdǎdùṃà is a very ancient Nupe word. That is why modern Nupe people have problems deciphering the true meaning of the name Ǹdǎdùṃà.
But then, and even more complicating, is the fact that this very ancient name Ǹdǎdùṃà is a beclouded with all manners of cryptic, spiritual and religious layers of meanings peculiar to the ancient Nupe people in former times. This, of course, means that some understanding of the ancient spiritual and religious practices and beliefs of the Nupe people in former times need to be understood before we can begin to have a grasp of the true meaning of this very old Nupe word Ǹdǎdùṃà.
Ǹdǎdùṃà and the River Niger
Anyway, let’s start with the etymology of the word Ǹdǎdùṃà itself first.
For the etymology of Ǹdǎdùṃà we need to understand right form the outset that Ǹdǎdùṃà is a very ancient Nupe word.
Ǹdǎdùṃà is actually a combination of two Old Nupe words, namely, Ǹdǎ and Èdùṃà.
Ǹdǎ, in Old Nupe, refers to God Almighty. It was used, in latter times, to refer to a Master or a Lord.
Èdùṃà is, in turn, a combination of two Old Nupe words also, namely, Èdù and Èṃà.
Èdù, in its radical sense, meant ‘Water’ but was used, in an applied sense, to simply refer to a ‘River’.
But the name Èdù, even in Old Nupe times, was to be used to refer specifically to the River Niger in latter times.
And, Èṃà, the other word in Eduma, is an Old Nupe word referring to a ‘Mass’ (or large collection) of anything. So, Èdù -Èṃà will mean ‘The Mass of Water’ or ‘The Large River’ which was a term coined to specifically and categorically refer to the River Niger and just the River Niger alone.
The River Niger, accordingly, became known as ‘Èdùṃà’ or the ‘Largest River’ – and this was moreso the cryptic name of the River Niger in esoteric and traditional religious circles.
And the phrase ‘The God of the River Niger’, transliterationally became ‘Ǹdǎ Èdùṃà’ or ‘Ǹdǎdùṃà’.
A Cult of Ǹdǎdùṃà developed around the concept of Ǹdǎdùṃà is ancient times. This is inevitable considering the fact that everything about the Nupe Nation was centred on the River Niger much the same way that the ancient Egyptian and Nubian civilisations were wholly and vitally centred on the Nile.
This was how the Cult of Ǹdǎdùṃà became solely habiliated with the River Niger in recent latter times.
Prehistoric Imports of Ǹdǎdùṃà
But the word Ǹdǎdùṃà had even older, prehistoric, connections other than that of the River Niger that we highlighted above. In even more ancient times, before the Cult of Ǹdǎdùṃà became centred on the Spirit of the River Niger, the word ‘Edu’ that we see in the compound Ǹdǎdùṃà today, used to have its own specialized meaning driving from an even more age-old etymology.
Edu was the name of a dynasty of spiritual rulers who were half human and half gods who, once upon a time, ruled over the Nupe Nation. These half human-half god daemons called the Edu form a subgroup within the overall pantheon of godly ancestors revered by the Nupe people in former times.
Edu used to be the spiritual title of the godly kings of Nupe much the same way that we use ‘Etsu’ to refer to the temporal kings of KinNupe today.
As a matter of fact Lady Flora Shaw noted that the ancient kings of KinNupe were known as the ‘Du’ or ‘Edu’ in primeval times. And then El Bakri actually said that the entire Nupe Nation was known as the ‘Land of the Denden’ or ‘Dundun’ which, of course, is merely a repetition of ‘Du’ or ‘Edu’.
The bottomline is that the entire Nupe Nation used to be ruled over by a dynasty of ancient emperors known as the ‘Edu’ and it is one of these almighty Edu emperors that Professor Leo Frobenius discussed in some details about in his book ‘The Voice of Africa’. Both Professor Leo Frobenius and El Bakri are agreed that this almighty Nupe emperor Edu used to be the greatest and most powerful emperor in the whole of Africa south of the Sahara.
In fact El Bakri mentioned the Edu and his Nupeland of Edu as being a great centre of civilization and high culture even in the very days of the Pharaohs of Egypt.
The Cult of Ǹdǎdùṃà and Eba
In recent historical times the Cult of Ǹdǎdùṃà has become the centre of the ancient Nupe spiritual system of Eba or Ebasan.
The Cult of Ǹdǎdùṃà was centre of the ancient Nupe Traditional religion of Eba which is known as Ifa among the Yorubas and the Americans today.
And Ifa is, of course, the oldest religion and most potent spiritual system in the world today.
In my books – including ‘Ifa Is Nupe’; ‘Return of Balaam the Seer: The Rise of Traditional African Religion’; etc. etc – we discussed in details the fact that the oldest religion in the world today is the Nupe Religion of Eba variously known to the outside world as Ifa, Voodoo, Santeria, Lukumi, Mamy Water, Papa Shango, etc, etc.
In these books we also discussed the interesting point that it is due to the fact that the ancient Nupe religion of Eba or Ifa is the most powerful spiritual system in the world today that the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians have adopted it and the CIA, the MI6 and, even, the Mossad are dabbling into it today.
In any case the Cult of Ndaduma is still practise as a very potent spiritual occultism among many Nupe high priests on the banks of the River Niger to this very day.
Picture: Kitsa rock on the Jebba Island where Ndaduma rituals are performed by Nupe Zhigi high priests to this day.