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Igbo mythology

Posted by on 12/19/2005 11:23:58 AM |

Igbo mythology

In the mythology of the Igbo, which is part of their ancient religion, the supreme god is called Chukwu ("great spirit"); he created the world and everything good in it and is especially associated with rain, trees and other plants. He is also a solar deity. Ala is sometimes considered to be his wife and sometimes his daughter.


Chukwu once sent a dog to mankind to tell them that corpses should be covered with ashes and laid on the ground, and that this would bring the person back to life. The dog was tired and Chukwu decided to send a sheep in his stead; the sheep forgot the message on the way and guessed, telling humanity to bury the bodies of the dead. The dog eventually arrived, but his correction was not believed and so death is a permanent fixture.


Ala, daughter or wife of Chukwu, is one of the more popular divinities. She is a goddess of fertility as well as death, ruling over the beginning and ending of life.


The Ibos believe in the concept of Ofo and Ogu, which is more like the law of retributive justice. It is believed that Ofo and Ogu will vindicate anyone that is wrongly accused of a crime as long as "his hands are clean". It is only the one who is on the side of Ogu-na-Ofo that can call its name in prayer. Otherwise such a person will face the wrath of Amadioha (the god of thunder and lightning).


Particularly in Nigeria, the Igbos believe that each person has their own personal god called Chi. A Chi is the personification of a individual's fate, which is credited for an individual's luck and misfortune.


Other deities include Ahia Njoku, the god of yams, and Amadioha (or Amadiora) the god of thunder and lightning. Also there is Igwekaala: sky god, Ikenga: god of fortune and industry, Anyamwu: sun god, Agwunsi: god of divination and healing, Idemmili: mother goddess of Idemmili village, Agwu: god of medicine men, Ahobinagu: forest god.




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