What Is Igbo Traditional Religion?

Igbo religion is not that easy to understand. However, we will try our best to understand what concepts are hidden behind the religion of inhabitants of Igboland.

Igbo religion

Igboland was a land where people had no concept of “free thinkers” or in other words people that are not a part of any religion. Today inhabitants of the region are mostly Christians, either Catholic or Protestant.

Nevertheless, before the first missionaries moved here to tell Africans about Jesus Christ who can save their lives from all the darkness they lived in, they all followed the beliefs of their forefathers. This people were quite religious; yet their religion can be considered to be that close to the paganism.

Traditional religion of this tribe suggested that there is only one God above. He is the Creator and the owner of the earth and heaven. They called him Chukwu. However, to reach him you could do a number of rituals including praying to natural objects that, allegedly, had spirits in them. Each object had its own spirit. The most important one was that of thunder (Amadioha).

Igbo traditional religion

Moreover, the other specifics of Igbo religion was that its followers believed that their dead ancestors, either their relatives or family members, can protect them throughout their life. And only that but they were also considered to be responsible for the wealth, health and children in the family of their survivors.

This traditional religion also had certain remarkable characteristics they were known for. Among these characteristics was that they always had a priest at each village. More than that they had oracle houses and shrines representing their worship of the goddess of earth or any other deity.

Igbo tribe

Later Christians came to live with Igbo tribes and brought Christianity with them. The tribe was converted for the most part. However, certain beliefs and superstitions from their previous religion were brought into and mixed with Christianity.

Today, Igbo tribe celebrates two main Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter, and it really is a big deal for them. The main holiday is Christmas. It is that time of the year when they all return to their homes in the villages and have real feasts with their families celebrating the birth of Christ.

READ ALSO: Who are the Igbo Tribe?

The other great holiday for them is Easter. Even though they do not go back to their villages to celebrate the day with their families, they stay in the cities and visit their friends.

Igbo oracle

One more holiday that Christians brought into the tribe is Mother’s Day. It is the time of the year when families celebrate the womanhood and motherhood and pay their respects to mothers. They have their special food for this day as well as special festivities.

Thus, as you see traditional religion of Igbo tribe is a bit complicated but it is always worth learning what our ancestors believed in and how their lives and beliefs changed over time.  

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