The iroko tree is a deciduous plant which originates from the western coastal region of tropical Africa and it is common in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, and others.
The iroko tree is known in Yoruba culture as ìrókò, loko or logo and it is known by the Igbo people as the Oji wood and it is believed to have supernatural properties and power in different African cultures.
The iroko tree is also referred to as the Nigerian teak because of its physical resemblance with the teak tree but it is not in any way related to the Teak tree as they belong to different families and they originate from different places.
This tree can, however, be used as a substitute for the teak tree in the construction, furniture, machinery industries due to its hardness and durability which seems similar to that of the teak tree.
Among the African culture, the iroko tree is believed to be inhabited by a spirit referred to as the iroko-man who was believed to have been cast into the tree as punishment.
However, this spirit is believed to possess the power to kill anybody or any individual who tries to cut it. When the spirit strikes, it will kill the woodcutter and their family members unless they persify it by asking for forgiveness afterward, that is, after cutting the tree.
The iroko tree has two popular species known as the Chlorophora excelsa and Chlorophora regia and they are believed to have the ability or potential to live for a very long time for about 500 years if they grow in a favorable environment.
The iroko tree is feared amongst the cultures where it originates as a result of the power that it is believed to possess and when the tree is cut, the spirit still lives in the wood and they usually make certain noise which can be heard by those who live in the house.
The iroko tree has been used for different purposes such as boat construction, flooring, and furniture making and they are very durable and efficient.
In this article, we will take you through the various symbolism and meaning of the iroko tree, so you should pay attention to everything that will be discussed.
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What is the Symbolism of the Iroko Tree
Among the Yorubas’, the iroko tree is usually described as “Igi ìrókò” traditionally which means the iroko tree and it is usually associated with different deities and spirits such as Ogun.
The iroko tree is a very special tree, although it is currently endangered due to overexploitation, it is a dioecious plant which has both the male and female tree and they are quite distinct in their structure.
For the plant to produce well in its natural habitat, although not evergreen (that is, it sheds it’s tree once in time), there is a need to have both where they are grown for fertilization to take place.
The iroko tree can grow to a height of about 55metres and it has a diameter of about 60 – 130 centimeters when mature and they also produce fruits which are very nutritious and easy to consume.
The iroko wood from the tree possesses a great color and they turn from an initial yellow coloration to a reddish dark brown over time.
The iroko tree is of great symbolism to the people and we will discuss more of it here. Below are some of the symbol of the iroko tree and their respective interpretations.
Symbol of Power
The iroko tree is known to possess great powers and supernatural potentials which supersedes that of any known creature and it possesses the ability to consume those who harm or cut it.
Although the tree looks great and good for use, among the native people where the tree is grown, they fear it as it is believed to serve as a house for a spirit that strikes the woodcutter when cut.
Therefore, there has been a whole lot of power attributed to this tree and it is worshipped among several traditional cultures in Africa including Yoruba, Igbo, Edo, and some others.
This tree is believed to possess great power and that has made it be associated with some deities, as powerful as it is, to be able to cut the tree, in some cultures, you need to ask for forgiveness afterward or you put oil in front of your head before cutting so as to wade of the spirit.
This tree is considered as a source of immense power to those that believe in it and it also has the potential to withstand so many problems.
The presence of this tree signifies your powerful ability or potential and it also indicates that people will respect you for who you are.
Symbol of Endurance
One of the greatest quality of the iroko tree is that as vast and popular as it is in the wild, it is not susceptible to rot nor insect infestation.
This tree can endure for a very long time in the time of drought or lack of water and it can live in the wild without getting damaged in any way.
This tree also has the ability to withstand rot and other diseases which affects it and they can endure different conditions or situations over time.
This tree is a sign that you should learn to endure in every situation that you gave in life, no matter the things or challenges that come your way, you should never let it pull you down or weak you in any way.
This tree has the potential to grow tall and wide, and they also live for a very long time and they can reach about 500 years.
This tree has the ability to endure even when in trouble so as to be able to live to reach it’s desired age and growth state as a tree.
This tree passes a message across to us and it means that we should always try our best to stay safe and strong at all times. You must be ready to survive in every condition or situation that you find yourself in life.
Symbol of Durability
The iroko tree is an awesome tree and it can be used for different purposes such as the construction works, furniture, woodwork, etc.
The iroko tree, when used in the production of any material, can last a very long time and this is one of the reasons why it is used as a good substitute of the teak tree which is highly used in construction.
The iroko tree has been given a whole lot of importance and it is used in producing things that are needed by humans for their immediate survival as individuals.
This tree is a sign that we should learn to imbibe good quality which will form great root in the heart of the life of those who experience this quality or potential in you.
You should learn to create importance for yourself and you must be ready to make your life worthy to those around you.
You should also learn to create a lasting relationship with the people in your life so that you can make something more essential and great out of your life.
This tree is a sign of our ability to do things that can live in the life of others for a very long time.
What is the Meaning of the Iroko Tree
The iroko tree is of great importance in the life of people, although it has some negative or evil side to it, it has a great positive meaning in the life of people.
The iroko tree is believed to serve as a symbol of tradition to people and it is also believed to have several meanings that are of great benefit to man. In the subsequent paragraphs, we will take you through the various meanings of the iroko tree.
Sign of Good Health
The iroko tree has two ability to keep humans and other animals healthy and safe in times of trouble.
If you have situations related to diabetes, heart problem, leprosy, tumor reduction, and bronchitis and this is as a result of the presence of carbohydrates, proteins, tannins, alkaloids, and saponins present in them.
This tree has extracts that are great and they, therefore, have been studies that have proven the iroko tree to be antibacterial or antidiuretic.
Sign of Protection
The iroko tree has the ability or potential to protect animals and birds that stay under them. This tree develops branches which spread in a horizontal manner which makes it looks like a cap and it can protect people that stay around it at all time.
You will be able to protect yourself at all times and you will stay safe and strong as long as you are under the tree.
The iroko tree can serve as a symbol of endurance and longevity and they also have several meanings in the life of those who know or have it around them.
This tree should be given the importance that it is worth and its benefits should be considered more and looked into.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !