Funeral Ceremonies of the Ibo
By Karen Hauser (1992) [Edited]
The Ijaw and Ibo perform intricate burials and funeral ceremonies. The most elaborate performances are for the chiefs, and there are several types of death that are considered shameful and are not given any burial at all.
In the Kalabari, when a chief dies, his family takes his body to a special funeral compound (“Oto Kwbu”) to be washed. This involves a painstaking ceremony in which special pot of water and cloths are brought in, both of which are forbidden to touch the ground. Then the chiefs sisters tie an Okuru around his waist and his legal wives dress him with special cloths. Continue reading
Igbo Gods and Deities
Igbo traditional religion is based on the belief that there is one Creator God, also called Chineke or Chukwu. The word that is used for God in Igbo is Chi. It is a reference to the individual spark of divinity that exists within everyone. The collective spirit of everyone and everything is known as Chukwu. It is a contraction of two words: Chi (God) and Ukwu (great or large in size). Literally, Chi-Ukwu or Chukwu means the Great God or the Great Spirit.
The Creator can be approached through numerous other deities and spirits in the form of natural objects, most commonly through Ala, the Goddess of Earth or Amadioha, the God of thunder. There is also the belief that ancestors protect their living descendants and are responsible for rain, harvest, health and children. However, the western influence, Christianity, has taken a dominant role in modern Igboland. Continue reading