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Have won an award The African

Story ID:239
Written by:CP Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Local Legend
Location:St. Simons Island USA
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The African

The African

1st.~Pictured- St. Simons Island Sunset~

2nd.~PICTURED ARE IGBO & Others @ 2003 Gathering~


Legends do abound in this moss-draped area
of Southern Georgia. No story is more heartbreaking than the Ebo Landing Legend of St. Simons Island, Ga. Once a legend, the facts have now been substantiated. Since it was known as "legend" for almost 200 years,
I opted for this genre. (Ebo is the English word for the Igbo people of West Africa/Nigeria and is pronounced the same.)

The original Igbo slaves, men, women and children were captured in 1802 by a notorious underworld clan from Arochukwu in Igboland.
The Igbo were prized for their knowledge of agricultural tools and crops such as yams, rice and maze.

From research of H. A. Sieber,1989, The Factual Basis of the Ebo Landing, a Savannah importer sold 75 of the Igbo arrivals for $500 each to Thomas Spalding of Sapelo and John Couper of Cannonís Point on St. Simons Island. When the schooner York reached its landing place in Dunbar Creek, St. Simons Island, the Igbo rebelled. The rebellion caused Couperís overseer and two sailors to jump over and drown attempting to reach shore.

Directed by a high Igbo chief (?), the slaves went ashore but then turned and walked in unison back into the water. They sang an Igbo hymn as they entered the creek,
"The Water Spirit brought us. The Water Spirit will take us home." Ten or twelve slaves drowned.

Through the years ghost stories have been told of unrequited Igbo spirits appearing at night in the marshes at Ebo Landing. Even during the day fishermen and crabbers avoid the location.

Ebo Landing symbolically represents millions of Igbos in their homeland of Nigeria who are still not free.

No monument stands along Dunbar Creek Bluffs, only the creek itself. In 2003 many gathered on the island to recount the details of written records along with recent research in Africa which helps confirm the stories.

"If you think in terms of human landmark or monuments, as mortals do, your graves, beloved ancestors, are still not unmarked. Your graves are in Dunbar Creek, St. Simons Island... We gather here to salute your Igbo spirit and your gallantry. Adieu, beloved ancestors, and may your souls rest in perfect peace." stated Dr. Philip Aka in 2003.

Researchers have found that a substantial number of African Americans in southern States are Igbo descendents. Most Haitians and many citizens of the West Indies are also Igbo. Itís hoped that in the future DNA science will be able to identify Igbo genes for those who need such verification.

Why would these people choose mass suicidal drowning? An answer may be found in a long-standing pacifist tenet of Igbo philosophy which states, "if they deign to take your life or liberty away from you, swallow it in your stomach."

Dr. Philip Aka in his tribute described them as the ultimate freedom fighters. He said, "You thought your graves would be unmarked. How incorrect you were. Your graves have grown to be one of the most marked monuments the world has known. It exists in human minds where the markings no hands can erase."

One author of African Ethnicities, GWENDOLYN MIDLO HALL, states this of the Igbo nation: ďThe Egboes cannot be driven to an act; they become most stubborn and bull-headed; but with kindness they could be made to do anything, even to deny themselves of their comforts. They would not, as a rule, allow anyone to act superior over, nor sway their conscience, by coercion, to the performance of any act, whether good or bad, when they have not the inclination to do so; hence there is not that unity among them that is found among other tribes; in fact everyone likes to be his own master.Ē

```C P Campbell```

**STORY NOW PROUDLY LISTED ON: www.blacksearch.co.uk**

For more information: http://ekwenche.org/igbolanding.htm