Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 in publications | 0 comments

Reincarnation among the Igbo: What It Is And What It Is Not

 By

Charles Ogbuchukwu Okeke, Ph.D.                                                                                                                          Department of Christian Religious Studies, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe

&

Maria Anumudu                                                                                                                                                                            Department of Linguistics & Nigerian Languages, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri – Imo State

 

Abstract

Many people have written about reincarnation and, of course, much has been written on the topic. But why the present study on the same topic? Reincarnation is a phenomenon that has continued to trouble the minds of every Igbo person whether Christian or adherent of traditional religion. Among the Igbo, belief in reincarnation is still wide spread in spite of the fact that about 90% of the people have embraced Christianity and its doctrine. It is, therefore, necessary that much deeper study is carried out on the phenomenon to help the reader have an in-depth understanding of the concept as conceived by the traditional Igbo man and woman juxtaposing it with the present reality. The method employed in this study is descriptive. Subculture area method of interpretation was adopted. This method of interpretation was necessary because Igboland is a vast area. What obtains in one culture may not be the same in another culture. The study was carried out in Anambra State. The subculture area covered in this study was central Igbo comprising Idemili North and South, Anaocha, Dunukofia and Njikoka Local Governments. Data was collected from primary and secondary sources. 

Key Words: Reincarnation, Metempsychosis, Transmigration, Rebirth, Ogbanje, Ịlọ-ụwa,  Ịgbanje

 

Introduction

                The phenomenon of reincarnation is present in almost all the cultures and religions of the world, though with variations, from the Greek through the Egyptian, to African traditional religion and culture. It can also be found in the Oriental religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and so on. The concept of reincarnation has been discussed widely by literate and illiterate groups yet its meaning has not been exhausted. It is a topic that poses much problem to many people. Among the Igbo, there are still doubts about the reality of reincarnation. Some still ask such epistemological questions as to the reality of this phenomenon. Such questions include, after this life, what next? Where does the soul of a person go hereafter? Is it possible for one to come back to this world after death? If reincarnation is a reality, what then is the essence of believing in heaven and hell? Does it mean that heaven and hell do not exist? And how is the reality of the resurrection of the dead? These mysteries of existence are a source of concern to man, which he tries to find answers to.  It is as a result of these wonders that Madu (2008) echoes,

The mysteries and wonders of existence as well as so many other existential unanswered problems sooner or later force man to ask questions about the unknown problems. Of course, man, as a curious being cannot just stare at these so called mysteries and be content with the status quo (p. 1).

                All these and other mysteries of existence are what no one has been able to give answers to. This uncertainty about the future has spurred many people to look upon death with fear and trembling, and some, with the hope that they would come back to life hereafter. Hence the aim of this study. This study intends to explore the belief in reincarnation among the traditional Igbo man and woman and how the contemporary Igbo conceive it.

The Meaning of Reincarnation

The word reincarnation comes from two Latin words ‘re’ (again) and ‘incarne’ (to enter into body). Reincarnation, therefore, means ‘to enter into or another body again’. Reincarne is a noun from the verb to ‘reincarnate’ which means ‘to cause to be born again in another body or form. Other words or terminologies used for reincarnation are ‘transmigration’ ‘rebirth’ ‘metempsychosis’. Another terminology that gives the same understanding as the ones listed already is a Greek word ‘palingenesis’ meaning ‘a new birth’ ‘reincarnation’ second creation’(Ezennia, 1987).

       Reincarnation is a belief in the rebirth of the soul. It is a belief that death is not the end of this mortal life; that a soul can be reborn in another flesh to begin his/her life again. This life in another body is occasioned and conditioned by the previous existence either for better or for worse (Ezennia, 1987). In Igbo cosmology, life is cyclical. The death of an individual does not mean the termination of his/her life nor a gateway to eternity, immortality or a consolidated end as can be observed in the Christian theology of the Last day. This cyclical continues ad infinitum. Parrinder (1976) captures the Igbo view on reincarnation vividly,

The Ibo (sic) believe that before birth the soul chooses between two bundles which the Creator offers to him, one of which contains high fortune and the other lower. If he makes a bad choice, however, he may still hope to change his lot in the next life by special efforts. Evil people are said to have an inauspicious reincarnation, so that a moral element enters in. A great curse on evildoers declares ‘may you not be reincarnate in human form’, and those who are born in abnormal manner, with feet first or having teeth, are looked on with fear as bringing evil power to birth (Pp. 86-87).

 

         The above observation by Parrinder is an indication that Igbo believe strongly in reincarnation of the soul. So reincarnation is the belief that the soul, upon death of the body, moves to another body or form, to begin a new life. It is a rebirth of the soul in a new body.

How, When and Where The Concept Of Reincarnation Started

                The search for the origin of reincarnation poses a big problem. There have been diverse views on how reincarnation came to exist. The theory of reincarnation is associated with the ancient Egyptians who were said to have practiced embalmment either to prevent or delay reincarnation. However, some scholars have disagreed with this view. The doctrine of reincarnation in Igbo belief as well as in other African belief is closely tied with the belief that the soul is spiritual as well as mortal. Parrinder (1976) corroborated this view when he says, “Ancestors are reincarnated yet offerings are still made to them at the graves; they are in heaven, yet back on earth, and they may enter not only one body but perhaps several” (p. 85).

                In India, the doctrine of reincarnation is the presumption which not only underlines Buddhism, Jainism, but also the philosophic system of Hinduism and Brahamas, hence Parrinder (1974) asserts

It is not widely realized that Africans have as strong a belief in reincarnation as have Hindus and members of other religions, such as Buddhism and Jainism. Whatever the origin of the belief, perhaps the resemblance between a child and its parents or grandparents, the idea of the rebirth of the departed soul in family is held by most African (p. 138).

               

                The above submission indicates that the theory of reincarnation is found not only in African religion, but also in other major religions and cultures of the world yet the origin of this phenomenon remains a mystery. Parrinder (1976) for instance, states that “African belief starts from different presuppositions and flows from its philosophy of power. It is not belief in a collection of individual souls coming back to higher or lower levels in this unreal world, and finally escaping altogether” (p. 84). Parrinder (1976) concludes, “Yet African belief is complex” (p. 85).

In his own contribution, Ezennia (1987) explains that the concept of reincarnation dates as far back as the 6th century B. C in the West. According to him, the concept is found in the Orphic writings and Pherecydes is said to have spoken of metempsychosis first. In this Orphism the theory is merged with the theory of the origin of man where a myth has it that Dionysus, son of Zeus was killed and eaten by the wicked sons of the earth – the Titans. In retaliation, Zeus ruined them with his thunderbolt. It was from the ashes of these ruins that the human race sprang. Within the same Greek culture the term reincarnation was mentioned by such philosophers as Pythagoras, Empedocles, Plato and Plotinus. These philosophers believed that the soul survives bodily death; is rewarded or punished in the hereafter and later reborn either in human or animal form. They believe that rebirth is cyclic (Ezennia, 1978).

                As with Plato, in the myth at the end of his work Republic and Phaedo, especially in the latter work, he writes “There is an old legend which we still remember, to the effect that they (souls) do exist there after leaving here; and that they return again to this world and come into being from the end” (Stumpf, 1971). Plato went on to say that the soul “is immortal, the number of souls fixed and reincarnation occurs regularly” (Ezennia, 1987).

                From the above observations, one would conclude that it is difficult to say how, where and when the concept of reincarnation started. Whatever be the case, the researchers is of the view that the theory of reincarnation had developed independently in different cultures and religions.

At this juncture, this study will examine extensively the concept of reincarnation as understood by the traditional Igbo man and woman but before then an examination of the place or condition of the dead is important.

The Place of the Dead As Understood Among the Igbo

                It is a fact, unambiguous that human being is mortal. This means that physical death is inevitable. The question is, after death, what next? Every human being has hope for a bright future in the spirit world, but the certainty of this hope is still hazy. The Igbo have a strong belief that life does not end with death; rather death is a beginning of the life beyond. That is to say, they believe that there is life after death. However, this belief is not peculiar to the Igbo. It is a common belief among the Africans. Mbiti (1975) affirms this by saying, “without exception, African people believe that death does not annihilate life and that the departed continues to exist in the hereafter” (p. 264). It is this strong belief that life does not end with death that makes the Igbo describe the act of dying as ‘joining the forefathers’ or ‘returning home’. Where the dead goes is uncertain.

                Many people believe that the spirit world is very far away and that it can take the spirit of the dead many days to reach there. It is this belief that makes the Igbo bury the dead with  material things such as the gourd to serve him as a container for drinking water to sustain him through the difficult journey. The booming of guns during burial ceremony is to alert the ancestors that someone is coming. That they should make a provision for his arrival. Those who have not received proper or befitting burial are reported to be seen in dreams or on the way to the stream or somewhere else. This indicates that they have not reached the spirit world. This, therefore, helps to prove that there is life after death.  Parrinder (1974) says, “The fact that dead people are seen in dreams is taken as a proof of their continued existence” (p. 274).

                In the central Igbo, the common belief is that the spirit world is underground. This may be because the dead are buried in the ground. This notion explains why libation is poured on the ground to the ancestors and, that might also be the reason for regarding the earth goddess as next to God. Some people think that the abode is sky-ward hence they think of the dead making uphill journey. The question is: what then will be the nature of this hereafter? Awolalu (1976) attempts to answer this question as he says,

The community of the ancestors is organized in a fashion similar to earthly society, but with amenities for peaceful environment and happiness considerably enhanced. The real picture of the life after death, therefore, is a life of an ending fellowship, in the community of one’s kith and kin who had gone before into the world beyond. (p. 274).

         The Igbo idea of hereafter is similar to this. There is the belief that life after death is on clan basis. That is to say, if one lived well, died well and was accorded full or a befitting funeral rites one would have a place among one’s own clan of ancestors. People also hold that the same type of life as in this world is lived. This may also be the reason for burying the dead with material things for his personal use in the world beyond. In traditional era, chiefs were buried with slaves who they believed would serve them in the hereafter. And if a person dies in a foreign land, his people must try to convey the corpse home, not minding the cost because they believe that that the soul has to return to his native land before he can find the way to the spirit land. The central Igbo people believe that the greatest misfortune a man can meet is to be buried in a foreign land; his spirit may haunt his relations and all those that helped to bury him in the foreign land. Basden (1966) affirms this people’s belief when he says, “The desire of Igbo man and woman is to die in their own town or, at least to be buried within its precints” (p. 115).

                A central Igbo man like every other Igbo finds it difficult to be very sick in a foreign land lest he dies there. That is why when he suspects that death is around, he asks his relatives or town’s people to carry him home. If a person is burnt to death in a foreign land, his people will go to the spot to collect the ash; the ash is put in a coffin and buried with full funeral rites so that the deceased might join the ancestors. This ceremony is called Ịjụnata ozu (bringing back the corpse). Having examined the place or condition of the dead as understood among the central Igbo, this study will now deliberate on the concept of reincarnation among the traditional Igbo.

 

Reincarnation As Understood By the Central Igbo

                Among the traditional Igbo of the central subculture, reincarnation is understood in two senses: Ọgbanje (Repeater) and Ịlọ-ụwa (Coming back to the world). This study will examine each of them to find out the similarities and dissimilarities.

 

Reincarnation As Ọgbanje

                The concept of ọgbanje in Igbo conception is different from ịlọ-ụwa, though both are taken as transmigration of soul. Ọgbanje, the Yoruba call it Abiku. The word ọgbanje is a noun from the infinite verb ịgbanje, which literally means ‘to repeat’. It is in this sense that the Igbo see ọgbanje as ‘rebirth’ rather than reincarnation. The Igbo believe that children do not reincarnate. Reincarnation is for adults. However, this is a problem of semantic since both deceased children and adults come back to life, that is, they are reborn. Ọgbanje is any child believed to be repeatedly coming back to life only to die again (Ezennia, 1987). Thus if a woman gives birth to a child and she dies and she gives birth again and this second child dies, almost at the same age as the former, if this happens even to a third child, it is generally believed that it is the same child that comes back each time. Therefore, he/she is understood to be an ọgbanje (repeater). This belief is heightened the more if the consequent children are of the same sex or, of similar features. After the death of such an  ọgbanje, the corpse is either mutilated or in some cases, burnt. He/she is not mourned. Some people sometimes go to the extent of not burying the child at all. In such a case, the corpse is put in earthenware and simply thrown into ajọ ọfịa (evil forest). Achebe (1958) throws more light on this when he describes the type of treatment meted to Onwumbiko, the third child of Ekwefi and Okonkwo who died soon after his death. Thus he writes,

The medicine man then ordered that there should be no mourning for the dead child. He brought out a sharp razor from the goatskin bag slung from his left shoulder and began to mutilate the child. Then he took it away to bury in the Evil Forest, holding it by the ankle and dragging it on the ground behind him. After such treatment it would think twice before coming again, unless it was one of the stubborn ones who returned, carrying the stamp of their mutilation – a missing finger or perhaps a dark line where the medicine man’s razor had cut them (p. 55).

 

Amponsah (1975) makes the same observation “The dead body of such a child is mutilated by making mark on the body. This would enable the parents to identify the child if it is reborn” (p. 63).  The fact is that once a new born child has any of the characteristics especially visible ones, it is concluded that he or she is ọgbanje. Once any child has the physical, social or intellectual characteristics of his/her departed sibling or grandparent, such a child is said to be a reincarnation of the dead person or an ọgbanje as the case may be. Parrinder (1976) notes that “the resemblance between a child and its parents or grandparents, the departed soul is firmly held in most of Africa” (p. 274).

The central Igbo people like other parts of the Igbo do not conceive ọgbanje children as a form of secret society, though they form their clique or club in the spirit world. In this spirit world it is believed that each of them take an oath on how long he/she would live in the physical world. There they may decide unanimously to take human form and thus spend some days, months or even years in the physical world. Arinze (2008) captures it well, “For ịgbanje, not only are people believed to have been born again of the same or another mother, but also children who die young are believed to have “decided” beforehand in their group when they would die, especially if they do not like the family. The Children are called ọgbanje” (Pp. 31-32).

Each of them, therefore, is bound to agree or make it open to other members the very day he/she will die and return to the spirit world. They do this by signing a bond (iyiụwa).  After the unanimous agreement and signing of iyi-ụwa (bond), each member is then free to bury his/her own bond under the earth or a spot known only to him/her. It is only a renowned dibịa (medicine man) that can unearthen this bond.

It is believed that the ọgbanje children, in their spirit world, are as free as air. They play together, junket together, and do everything together. In fact, they know each other very well and have nothing to disturb their peace. The traditional Igbo also believe that there are two types of ọgbanje, namely Ọgbanje Ala and  Ọgbanje Mmiri. Ọgbanje ala are those children believed to live on land. In their spirit world, they choose to live on land. They are born into the family they wish. They live a couple of months or years before they die. They bury their symbol of bond iyi-ụwa near a tree such as iroko, coconut, dry sand or in any temperament that suits them. Their symbol of bond is not very hard to unearthen by a dibịa (medicine man). They are not as wicked as ọgbanje Mmiri. And they can live to adulthood especially if their symbol of bond is broken by a dibịa.

Ọgbanje Mmiri, on the other hand, are those who, in their spirit world, choose to live in waters, either in the stream, river or in the sea. They can be referred to as ‘water spirit’ in the sense that they come from water yet they are different from mmụọ mmiri (mermaid). Mmụọ mmiri are a group of deities believed to populate they earth. They are invisible spirits known as divinely appointed temptress (Okeke, 20112). It is believed that the work assigned to them by Chukwu (Creator God) is to come to the physical world and cause havoc. It is believed that they can come to the world in human form; often they do their havoc from the river, sea, ocean or stream. It is believed that they can cause an accident on the road, cause a vehicle crossing a bridge to have an accident, among others, if they are not appeased.

                Whereas ọgbanje mmiri are deceased children who are reborn into a particular family; they are born/reborn just like any other human person; when they die they go back to the stream or water. Like ọgbanje ala they can be reborn as many times as possible in any family they like.  They are more wicked than ọgbanje ala. They torment their parents more and die a couple of days or months after their birth. Their symbol of bond (iyi-ụwa) is usually hard to get to by renowned dibịa, and their natural beauty and attraction are quite extra-ordinary.

In conclusion, as stated earlier, reincarnation as ịlọ-ụwa is for adults, while ọgbanje is limited for certain children and some grow into adulthood as ọgbanje. It is believed that by coming into the same family repeatedly, the sole aim of the child is to torment and cause untold hardship, grief and misery to those around her and in particular her parents and so, such a child is undesirable and every woman abhors him/her as no one likes to give birth to a child that would not live.

At this juncture, an extensive examination on another class of reincarnation would be made to establish the difference.

 

Reincarnation As Ịlọ-ụwa

                This is another class of reincarnation. The central Igbo like other parts of Igbo, believe in ịlọ-ụwa. This type of reincarnation is longed for and prayed for. This is why it is common to hear the old people say to those they love, “I shall allow myself to be reincarnated in your home”. In this sense, reincarnation means not just one thing for the Igbo. It is not just the rebirth of the soul or an individual as ọgbanje mirrors it, in order to reap what was sown in the previous life or to come to make amends. Rather, reincarnation in the sense of ịlọ-ụwa is the rebirth of certain characteristics or qualities of the ancestor in some child in such a way that this child becomes the protégé of the dead ancestor. And reincarnation in the sense of  ịlọ-ụwa is only for the adults or ancestors and never for young people or children. Arinze (2008) puts it thus, “With regard to ịnọ-ụwa, only the good progenitors are believed to reincarnate” (p. 32). On how and why only the good progenitors reincarnate, Arinze (2008) explains that “when a parent wishes to find out which of the good progenitors has returned, he goes to a fortune-teller and names all the ancestors. The fortune-teller chooses from the list the names of the returned one. And as the parent only names the ancestors and pays the fortune-teller for his trouble; a bad progenitor never returns” (p. 32).

It is worthy to note that the Igbo give names that depict ọgbanje to their children. Such names like Nnedị (my mother still lives), Nnamdị (my father exists), Nnamanị (my ancestral father), Nnenne, (mother’s mother), Nnanna (father’s father), Nnenna (mother’s father), Ọnọchie (a replacement) among others, point to the fact of reincarnation. The name Ọnọchie in particular is usually given to a male child born shortly after the death of his father. The child may not resemble his deceased father but for the fact that he was born a male shows that he is a reincarnation of his father who has come back to take his position in the family.

                It is also worthy to note that the Igbo conception of reincarnation is clearly different from that of India’s or Buddhism. Parrinder (1976) highlights the difference thus, “Indian belief has a moral concomitant: the karma or entail of a man’s ‘deeds’ brings him back to a higher or lower destiny in the next life. He may rise to the level of a priest or sink to that of an animal; the soul may be reborn as male or female and in any family” (p. 84). For the Igbo, the names listed above point to the fact that male is reborn as male, and female reborn as female. However, like Indian belief, the Igbo believe that for a deceased person to qualify for ịlọ-ụwa he must possess certain moral qualities while on earth according to the reckonings of his community, and he must have been accorded a befitting burial and funeral ceremonies.

                The Igbo believe that it is not the ancestral spirit that reincarnates, but the child is supposed to come under the influence of the ancestor. This means that the reborn child receives some part of the ancestor’s vitality or force, intellectual, physical and emotional aspects of the ancestor. Parrinder (1976) explains that African belief “is not belief in a collection of individual souls coming back to higher or lower levels in this unreal world, and finally escaping altogether. That which is passed on from elders to children is the force which makes life possible and through which property is inherited” (p. 84). This explanation given by Parrinder points out the difference between India’s and Africa’s beliefs in reincarnation, succinctly put, Igbo’s belief in reincarnation.

                Finally, the central Igbo like other parts of the Igbo have a strong belief in totemism or totemic animals. This means that the people believe that a particular animal can reincarnate their ancestor. The Igbo of Idemili North and South, for instance, believe that a particular python is a reincarnate of their ancestor and for that reason, python is not killed by an Idemili man and woman. It is not worshipped, but rather, revered as sacred. If a python enters a compound of an individual it is begged to leave. In some cases, it is removed gently using a stick. If it happens to be killed, it must be buried, and funeral ceremonies must be celebrated by the individual or the family that killed it. The people believe that the animal is the common ancestor of the communities that make up the zone or area.

In spite of this belief in common ancestor, the Igbo do not believe that a deceased person can come back to a lower level in this world. And this explains the complexity of reincarnation among the traditional Igbo.

 

 Contemporary Igbo Understanding: Science Based

                It is difficult to say that the contemporary Igbo have tried to dismiss the concept of reincarnation entirely in spite of the fact that the majority of the people have embraced Christianity and its doctrine. However, thanks to the advent of medical sciences, people have come to realize that haematology which studies the blood chemistry and composition underscores the fact that the blood cells contain two broad genes or groups, which are represented as ‘A’ and ‘S’. These blood groups can combine thus ‘AA’, ‘AS’ and ‘SS’. A person may have ‘A’ group, which is a normal group and, a person may have ‘S’ group, which is not really normal. It is believed that a couple with ‘AA’ is likely to give birth to ‘AA’ children, and a couple with ‘AS’ is likely that one or more of their children will have SS genes. But whereby both parents are ‘SS’, all their children have the chances of getting the same genes.

Science has proved that parents with ‘AS’ genes are carriers of sickle-cell disease. Though the disease is in their blood, they may not suffer it but their children that inherited the ‘SS’ genes from them will now suffer as sicklers. That is to say that they will suffer from the disease known as sickle-cell. In line with Akinyanju (1985), Ezennia (1987) explains that “there are many varieties of the disease and some of them are not quite severe. The only thing is that many children who have it catch many infections in the first three years of their lives. So there is high infant mortality among suffers” (Pp. 111-112).

                The analysis given above is the picture of how the contemporary Igbo conceive reincarnation, thanks to medical sciences through which this revelation has been made. But the question is, in spite of the contribution which medical sciences have made and continue to make in this regard, what about the average Igbo man and woman who are still illiterate and who still practice traditional religion in the 21st century, how do they believe in the reality of reincarnation?

                Well, in every religion and culture, people have the right to practice what they believe but it does not mean that their belief will constitute an impediment to what majority of the people believe to be objective especially when the object of belief has been empirically, intellectually proven.

Conclusion

                This study has tried to examine the concept of reincarnation among the traditional Igbo of central subculture area. The researchers could not cover all subculture areas within Igbo land because of certain variables: first, Igbo area is very vast; there are five states within the area, and so, it is difficult to cover all the five states within a short time. Second, variety of culture. There are cultures within a culture such that what obtains in one culture may not be the same in another culture; this explains why subculture area approach was adopted in this study. Subculture area approach is necessary so as to interpret the findings as they exist and understood in a particular area and environment. Therefore, this study was carried out within the five local governments in Anambra State that make up one subculture.

In the course of this study it was discovered that the people have a vague but strong conception of reincarnation as mirrored in ọgbanje and ịlọ-ụwa. However, the people conceive ọgbanje as the rebirth of children who, in their spirit world, have chosen to be born again in their original family or in another family. Their sole aim is to torment their parents and people around them. These children die a couple of months or years after birth, and then they will  come back to the world as many times as they wish. The people also distinguish between two types of   ọgbanje, namely ọgbanje mmiri and ọgbanje ala.

The people also believe in another class of reincarnation called ịlọ-ụwa. This class is meant for adults especially the ancestors. It is only the people who have been proven to be morally upright while on earth that reincarnate in the sense of ịlọ-ụwa. Children do not reincarnate, that is why their coming back to life is known as ‘to repeat’ or ‘rebirth’, which literally means in Igbo ịgbanje. People long for ịlọ-ụwa. This means that both the old people desire to reincarnate into a family they wish to and the families of the living who desire that good people reincarnate into their families. Bad people do not reincarnate. While ịlọ-ụwa is longed for, ọgbanje is abhorred because of their wickedness.

Recommendations

                Having made a painstaking effort to unveil the reality of belief in reincarnation among the Igbo of the central subculture, the following recommendations will aid the reader in one way or the other:

  1. Since we are in contemporary era, precisely in 21st century, and in as much as it is not so easy to dismiss the mystery of reincarnation, the Igbo, however, should change their mindset and grasp the reality following the advent of science and technology.
  2. It is very necessary and it should be that intending couples should undergo medical examinations to ascertain their blood group before embracing each other as husband and wife.
  3. Government, religious leaders and other stake-holders like the NGOs should take it as a point of duty and sermon to educate and enlighten the people and tell them the stark truth on whether reincarnation is a reality or not, without being emotional.
  4. Education opens one’s eyes, enlightens one’s intelligence, sharpens ideologies and brightens one’s future and understanding. It is very necessary for one to embrace education for it will make one to think and reason intelligibly. If one embraces education as a means of pulling out of darkness, one will certainly be a better cultural and civilized individual, and so, belief in vague and superstitious practices will curb, if not entirely eliminated from people’s mindset and from society.  

                  

 

References

 

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Arinze, F. A. (2008). Sacrifice in Igbo traditional religion. Onitsha:  St. Stephen’s.

Awolalu, J. O. (1976). West African traditional religion. Ibadan:  Onibonojo.

Basden, G. T. (1966). Among the Ibos of Nigeria. London: Frank Cass.

Ezennia, S. E. (1987). Reincarnation: Fact or fancy. Enugu:  CECTA.

Madu, J. E. (2008). Research: Basis and meaning. (Ed). Madu, J. E.  A handbook on research and teaching in religious studies.  Nkpor: Globe.

Mbiti, J. S. (1975). Concept of God in African. London: SPBK.

Okeke, C. O. (2012). The dynamics of Igbo traditional prayers in  the central sub-cultural zone of Igbo land. Onitsha: St.  Stephen’s

Parrinder, G.  (1974). African traditional religion. London: Sheldon.

Parrinder, G. (1976). Africa’s three religions. London: Sheldon.

Stumpf, S.E. (1971). Philosophy: History and problems. N.Y. McGraw-Hill.

 

 

 

 

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