After Exploring Creek town, I quickly visited the monuments of the Anansa statue of the Efik River goddess. Anansa is a very fearful but beautiful goddess of the sea. And her monument is laid in the Bayside of Calabar South Local Government of Cross River State, Southern Nigeria.
The Anansa deity is the most popular of all the deities of the Efik people and said to be the goddess of the sea and the goddess of beauty. Anansa, situated at the Enwang spring head, known as Idim Enwang, Anantigha is located at the other side of the town, in a thicket initially called Iyonde but now called Anantigha Beach.
This River goddess can be said to possess young girls, and when she possesses any girl, the person being possesses dreams a whole lot about the water and Ekombi dance, which is a dance attributed to Anansa. It’s believed that by mere dancing of Ekombi, you are invoking the spirit of Anansa. Dance of peace and happiness.
The Ekombi dance movements are derived from the motions of the oceans. If any girl is being possessed, she will automatically know how to dance Ekombi.
Anansa is a very fearful deity who, when rejected, can be dreadfully insane but very humble when she is accepted.
It was recorded that the Nigerian Naval base currently situated at the back of the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar, Cross River State was formerly known as NNS Anansa. She was a very territorial mermaid, causing so many uproars for the Nigerian Navy and sinking ships.
This made the Navy had to appease her so that she could allow them to take control of the water’s borders, so they named their base NNS Anansa and performed sacrifices and rites to appease her.
It was years after, the Christianity settled in and she was chased to the high seas never to return, and that gave the Navy the courage to change the name to NNS victory.
Some believed that she would come back because she had enrolled many young women who have continued her teachings and paved the way for her homecoming. I also heard that she crosses the road on a particular day and at a particular time. When she crosses, rain falls but doesn’t touch the ground.
During Anansa Rituals, they tend using the egg stone that is being possessed by the River goddess. The famous Calabar Carnival was birthed by Anansa Procession. The procession began in the morning, heralded by the royal talking drum and the Efik drum, called Ekperikpe.
The Carnival was started by the Efik people, even though Anansa worship was abandoned when Christianity came. This was the procession before the invention of Calabar Carnival by former Governor Donald Duke in 2004.
And it’s believed that it’s only fortified cameras that can capture her monuments. Although I witnessed it, my phone screen pulled away from my phone when taking the picture of the Anansa monument. I don’t know if my phone already has issues and I just noticed it immediately when I took the first shot. I have to experiment this again to be sure before concluding when next I visit Cross River.