6 Unbelievable Igbo Culture Beliefs

igbo culture beliefsCulture beliefs refer to a set of cultural or stereotypical practices that people do or believe in even though they aren’t certain about the efficacy of their belief.
During my undergraduate days, one of the courses I did in my final year in school had a sub-theme which was related to superstitious beliefs. The first day we had the class, something urgent came up and so he lecturer had to leave the class. As a result of the assignment she gave us, my eyes were opened to the following unbelievable Igbo cultural beliefs.
  1. When a man dies in some parts of Igbo land, the wife is restricted from attending any burial ceremony within a period of one year. She’s restricted to wearing one cloth (black or white cloth). People believe that when she attends that burial, she is going to die.
  2. Once a green snake is killed unknowingly, it is given a befitting burial by the one who killed it. People believe it will start affecting the family of the killer if he doesn’t give it a befitting burial. The killer is expected to purchase some items like powder, mats and other items that are listed by the elders of the community and the chief priest of the community. The snake here is referred to as a totem. In Awka, Anambra state, the indigenes don’t hurt the Monkey popularly referred to as the “Enwe Imoka”. Anyone who does so, gives the monkey a befitting burial. Failure to do so has dire consequences attached to it. Other places have their own totems like the python in Enugwu-Ukwu in Anambra state.
  3. There’s a salty water in Okposi in Ebonyi state that doesn’t dry up and only women can fetch it. More so, it’s only fetched using the ancient clay salt. There have been many stories about people who have brought in machinery and equipment but have never been able to refine the water into salt. The salty water cannot be taken out of the village. Rather, people from various places come to buy the salt that has been refined by the people of Okposi.
  4. In Nkanu in Enugu South L.G.A of Enugu state, when a grandmother dies, the granddaughter is not allowed to eat anything that was cooked for the burial. She’s not even allowed to drink anything that is meant for the burial. If she does, I guess only God knows what will happen.
  5. In some parts of Igbo land, people still believe that when members of a family die in successions, that the family is either being hunted diabolically by someone or that they are cursed. Well, scientifically, there have been research evidence to show the possibility of recessive genes of hereditary diseases showing up after 3 generations. There are still chances that the family is being hunted by someone who wants them dead.
  6. Reincarnation! The Igbo people believe in reincarnation otherwise called “ilo uwa” in Igbo language. Reincarnation refers to a belief that after somebody’s death, they are born again into the world especially through a close family member. The Igbo’s aren’t the only one who believe in this. I once read a story on a website about a queen who died in the late 80’s but reincarnated a few years ago in the form of a small child in a bid to fight the current king of the community who had been committing atrocities and offending the land, sending a lot of indigenes of the community into exile.

There’s an exhaustive list of Igbo culture beliefs. We’d look at more of these cultural beliefs in a later post.
One more thing, the Imoka festival 2016 is coming up soon. I’m going to bring you the highlights of the festival.

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