IDIOM-VUTAM (Pounded food)
Ekein Atala is empty-stomached,
The Odam-ekein announced,
“There must be a fattening celebration!”
Then called he the Imosi and Imivtam.
Atala clan clustered, and deliberated,
“What do we prepare for her?” One asked.
“She should be fed lusciously, Osuo-Atala knows!”
Imatam and Imelem happily exclaimed
Onu Oyan Ekein called the cooks,
“Prepare a recipe for Atala’s delight!”.
Mortar sat; ready to be appeased
with boiled Ogbro and fingers of Iblain bibi,
Kpoi, Kpoi! The pestle tirelessly did pound.
Edi drooled without complaint,
Fresh fish announced its willing presence.
Awe, islebein wuwo and iyeyen showed interest
In the aki, they giggled like little girls.
The firewood was lit with fire sparks,
Odinga aki sat butu on the tripod.
The towns people, cheered and danced;
Bubbly with joy, Odu mixed, kputu, kputu, Kputu!
The aroma satisfied Ekein Atala,
And their nostrils glued to the whiff.
” What shall we name this new child?”
A voice pierced through the noisy clan.
Without much ado, the King stood;
“We shall name this delicacy, Idiom vutam,
For it suffered pounding to be sweet,
To fill up Atala’s empty stomach”.
©Edwina ‘Neofloetry’ Aleme.
*Idiom-vutam is a traditional delicacy of the Atala minority clan of the Udekama (Degema Local Government Area) people of Rivers State. It is mostly known by other natives as ‘Onunu’. Majorly prepared with pounded boiled yam and ripe plantian mixed with red oil, and fresh fish native stew with native spices.
*Onu Oyan Ekein (King of the Community)
* Ekein Atala (Atala-Degema town)
*Imivtam, Imosi (Women, Men)
*Imelem, Imatam (Young men, young women)
*Osuo-Atala (god of Atala clan)
*Ogbro, Iblain bibi (Yam, ripe plantian)
*Awe, iyeyen (native spices, often used for Peppersoup delicacy)
*Islebein wuwo (Fresh pepper)
*Odinga Aki (Couldron-like pot)
*Butu (An old pidgin word for ‘Firm’)
*Odu (Native Stew)
*Kpoi! Kpoi! (The pounding sound from mortar and pestle)