Printer Friendly

THE BELIEF IN REINCARNATION AMONG THE IGBO OF NIGERIA.

Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Virginia, U.S.A.

Journal of Asian and African Studies Vol. 20 (1985) pp. 13-30

The modern Igbo of Nigeria, even when adhering to the Christian religion, have preserved many features of Igbo traditional religion. The belief in reincarnation seems to be particularly strong. The Igbo believe that reincarnation usually occurs within the same immediate or extended family. They try to identify the reincarnated ancestor by means of birthmarks, statements a child makes when it becomes able to speak, and behavioral resemblances between the child and the deceased person of whom it is the presumed reincarnation. Oracles are frequently consulted to make or confirm an identification. The Igbo believe that deceased persons inhabit a discarnate realm, but they conceive this as an undesirable limbo from which discarnate souls are eager to return to a new terrestrial life. The Igbo concept of reincarnation includes belief in a group of souls called ogbanje who are born, die in early life, and are reborn in the same family, often repeatedly.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Sage Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:STEVENSON, IAN
Publication:Journal of Asian and African Studies
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Nov 1, 2000
Words:179
Previous Article:MEDICAL EDUCATION IN SAUDI ARABIA: A SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON MODERNIZATION AND LANGUAGE.
Next Article:THE INFORMANT SURVEY AS A METHOD FOR STUDYING IRRIGATION SYSTEMS.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters