The Ngwas, who make up the majority of the Ngwa clan, is believed to have come from the Umunoha village in the current Owerri zone of Imo State, Nigeria.
According to legend, the residents of the Umunoha community set out on a long trip in search of fresh territory to call home. After many days of travel, they eventually landed at the banks of the great Imo-River.
Tired and exhausted, coupled with the fact that the Imo-river had overflowed to recede, and to find food to eat. The only handy food item then was yam. One group felt it would be quicker to roast the yams, while the other group preferred boiling the yams.
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Three of the traveling brothers who boiled their yams hurriedly ate the food, packed up their belongings, and crossed over to the other side of the river, leaving their kit and kin behind who had adopted the process of roasting their yam.
The three people who gained the left bank of the river were Ukwu, Nwoha, and Avosi in order of age.
They were given the name ‘Ngwa’ on account of the expeditious manner of their crossing, while the stragglers on the right bank were named ‘Ohuhu’.
Till this day, all towns and villages on the other side of the Imo-River are referred to as ‘Ndi-Ohuhu’ or ‘Umu Ohuhu’. The villages of the left bank of Imo inhabited by Ibibios, who received Ngwa-Ukwu and his brothers amicably allocating to them sufficient virgin lands for their immediate needs.
Ngwa-Ukwu settled at what is now the village of Umuolike where he also established his ancestral shrine. ‘Ala Ngwa’ in a small hut called ‘Okpu’ which is today the capital of Ngwa-land ‘Okpu-Ala Ngwa’.
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For many years, the three brothers dwelt around Okpu- Ala Ngwa in peace, but as their families increased in number, they moved apart in different directions. Ngwa-Ukwu group, Mbutu, Ovuokwu and Ovongwu, and Avosi found the villages of Mvosi and all around Okpu- Ala Ngwa.
According to the historical account, recorded by HRH EZE J. N.E. Nwaguru, the origins of Ntigha and Nsulu are a bit controversial. Some say that the Ntigha crossed over from Ohuhu with Ngwaukwu and his brothers, while others say that Ntigha was the son of Ngwaukwu.
Whatever is the case, Ntigha settled at Umunachi and established the ala-Ntigha deity, while Nsulu took part in the Juju to settle at Eziala and adjoining villages.
The Ngwas advanced to the south-west, which include Ihie, Oza, Obegu, Okporo- Ahaba, Osokwa, Arongwa, Amavo, Ngwaobi, and Amise, and to the south-East which also includes Aba-na-Ohazu, Akuma-Imo, Ahiaba-na Abayi,Amaise Umuokereke Ngwa, Ibeme, Mgboko-Umuanunu, Mgboko-Amairi, Mgboko-Itungwa, Mbutu-Umuojima, Ndiakata, Ohanze,Onicha Ngwa,Owo Ahiafo Ugwanagbo and Uratta.