As you all know, Nigeria has been beset with a lot of horrific incidents leading to a lot of loss of lives. This month, the youngest man in Igbo land chose a rather grim topic to discuss but one that is very relevant which is the burial ceremony in Igbo land. Join the youngest man in Igbo land as he dissects the burial ceremony (Ikwu Ozu) in Igbo land , the performance, the meanings and the symbols.
We started off by listening to the sounds of Okot White. We know that there has been a lot of blood shed in recent times in Nigeria. We are grieving as a nation. Please hold on, be strong. Don’t worry things will eventually be okay. I pray that God holds us together during this time. You are listening to the voice of the youngest Igbo Man in Nigeria. We will start off by listening to some great music from Edi Ghana.
We just listened to the song called, death has no friends. Let’s start with the basics. In Igbo land, a dead body is called Ozu. What we do with the dead body before we start getting into symbols and ceremony is to give the body a thorough bath and then clothe the body in new clothes and if the person is titled, we put on the person’s traditional regalia. One interesting thing that we see in Igbo land is the burial of a person in their compound. In certain parts of Anambra state, a wealthy man might decide to build a house or mansion to house his body when he dies.
You know the Igbo culture is quite strict in terms of its expectations from its community members. You see the result of this strictness when it is time for a funeral. There are people who do not get buried in Igbo culture rather their bodies are thrown away. This occurs because they are very bad people who have done terrible wrongs in the community.
There is a second group that do not get the benefits of being buried in a timely and appropriate manner in accordance to Igbo traditions. These are the promise breakers. People who do not pay their tithes or monthly stipends to the church, rich people who do not take care of their parents and do not face responsibilities and people who do not attend other people’s funeral. People who fall into these categories of promise breakers to the community , institution or family members won’t be buried immediately until everything outstanding is taken care of.
Let's listen to more music. We will be listening to the sounds of Show Promoter and then continue on with the conversation.
One of the places that we see the importance of women in our culture is during the burial ceremony. No discussion can take place unless the first daughter who is called the Ada is present. If she doesn’t participate nothing will happen.
Another factor which some outsider might find weird or interesting is the gun salute. We have a 21 gun salute which occurs the night before the burial. The purpose of the gun salute is to chase away evil spirits so that the soul can rest in peace and not be tormented by spirits that are watching and are always around.
Of course, I am talking from a Christian perspective and for those that do not go to church or are traditional worshippers, they do things slightly different but I won’t get into that at this present time.
Let's listen to more music from St. Augustin from the Rover's dancing band. This song came out between 1970 -1976.
A lot has changed since the olden days. For example, in the olden days, when people die, the family has to shave their head completely but that isn't the case any longer. People just generally cut off a lock of hair. Also, then wearing pitch black clothing was compulsory but now some wear off black or grey. Also, there was an aspect of human sacrifice that occurred in the past that isn’t done anymore. People are still required to mourn for a period of 3 - 6 months. Also, if a husband passes away, the woman should not have any interaction with anyone for a period of 28 days.
Let’s listen to Ogene sound from Enugu state.
I will end by talking about people who do not face responsibilities when their family is around but when that person passes away they start running around and making a big deal so the world will clap. Please, stop that. Take care of those that are living , that's the most important time.
let's end by playing sounds from Osita Osadebe.You can listen to this pod and more on Igbo Kwenu Radio.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 June 2012 09:52 )