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The Customs and Beliefs of the Ibo Tribe

English project
by

Tori Cranford

on 2 May 2011

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Transcript of The Customs and Beliefs of the Ibo Tribe

The Customs & Beliefs of the Ibo Tribe Religion Ceremonies Political Views Ala- the goddess of earth and fertility
Igwe- the sky god
Rain-Makers- believed to be able to call and dismiss the rains
Imo miri- the spirit of the river
Mbatuku- the spirit of wealth
Agwo- a spirit envious of other’s wealth, always needs servitors
Aha njuku/ Ifejioku- the yam spirit
Ikoro- the drum spirit
Ekwu- the hearth spirit, the women’s domestic spirit
The Igbo tribe belives in ancestral worship, which means that they give praise, respect, and pray to their ancestors. The tribe also believes in a 'benevolent creator', Chukwu, who created the visible universe (uwa) The Alusi are a series of minor deities of blessing or destruction. These deities will punish those who violate the privileges they are given. A diviner is a person within the tribe that interprets the will of The Alusi. The priest gives The Alusi the sacrifices made to them. These people are chosen by a certain deity for specific services, or teh right is passed down through the family. Chi is the personalized providence that is returned to the person upon death. This force can be good or bad. They also believed that your ancestors watched over you. The people show their appreciation for this by praying and making sacrifices to them. In the Igbo tribe, there are several ways of acceptable death and unacceptable death. When a person died in an acceptable way they were allowed to be reincarnated or enter the world of the dead. These people are called ndichie or the returners. If the person dies in an unacceptable way, then the person was not buried and forever stuck in a "limbo" like state These unacceptable deaths included; women who died during labor, children who die before they have teeth, committing suicide, and dying during the sacred month. The Ibo also kill those who have the potential to be shameful to the tribe; such as being born a twin, children born with teeth, children born feet first, and lepers. These people are killed in secrecy and thrown away. Funerals When people die before December 1st, they are buried and given funeral rights. No burials or funeral rights are performed between the 1st of December and the 2nd of January, but those who die during this time are respected At each burial a total of twenty one canon shots are to be fired off. In grieving for the family, a cow is presented to a family who has lost a male member, and a goat is presented to a family who has lost a female member Any kind of technology or firearms are prohibited at these ceremonies, if found the person responsible will have to pay a fee No other persons will be permitted to participate in the tradition of "Itu Ukwe" besides the daughters, daughter-in-laws, or sisters of the decaesed Marriage The suitor is to make a visit to the future in-laws first, with no more than four relatives and no more than a gallon of palm wine. This tradition is known as the Ikuaka n'uzo. The second visit- The suitor can bring no more than five other persons, no more than two gallons of palm wine (Nkwu Enu) or four gallons of raffia palm wine (ngwo), one carton of beer, one crate of soft drinks, and one bottle of gin. The third visit- the suitor is allowed to bring nine other persons, two gallons of palm wine, four gallons of raffia palm wine, two cartons of beer, two crates of soft drinks, and one bottle of a spirit or any hot drink of their choice. A very fragmented group, no true overall leader; Divided due to geography resulting in differences from tribe to tribe. Changed dramatically in the 19th and 20th centuries but shared the same basic structure. No centralized kingship, hereditary aristocracy, or centralized chieftaincy; leadership left to tribal councils including heads of lineages, elders, titled men, and men who established themselves economically; it is possible for a man (through personalized success) to be elected a council leader. Titles are major deals, but limit what you can do because of religion Some areas used the age-grade system. Each age group is responsible for keeping an area of the community clean. Worked as both a cleaning crew but also somewhat of a social system like a caste system. If a problem occurred it was up to the head of the lineage to settle the matter before it was taken to the council of the area. If the matter could not be solved at the council then they would turn to an oracle.
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