THE CONCEPT OF SACRIFICE IN YORUBA RELIGION AND CULTURE

  • Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State
  • Immaculata Olu Omojola Department of Business Administration and Management Villanova Polytechnic, Imesi Ile, Osun State
  • Mike Boni Bazza Department of History and International Relations Veritas University Abuja (The Catholic University of Nigeria)
Keywords: Sacrifice, Concept, Yoruba, Deities, Gods, Olodumare, Ifa, Ebo, Appeasement

Abstract

Sacrifice occupies a fundamental place in the practice of African traditional religion. It is through sacrifices that the African relates to the spiritual beings, both good and bad, that surround him. His offerings of thanksgiving to the gods are offered through the making of sacrifices. When the time comes for the appeasement of the gods and other spiritual beings, it is through sacrifice that is done. However, this paper is concerned about sacrifice among the Yoruba people. In the traditional Yoruba religion and culture, sacrifice is referred to as (Ebo). It connotes offering something to a particular deity or cult in other to be in communion with them or to seek favours. It was very common and regular because sacrifices have both positive and negative effects. It is believed that Olodumare-God in Yoruba belief has deities that are mediators between him and human beings. It is then very important to offer sacrifices to these gods in other to represent them well in the presence of Olodumare. Items for sacrifices are regularly prescribed by the Ifa priests and how to carry out the approved sacrifice. This paper therefore gives explanation about the meaning and importance of sacrifice in the traditional Yoruba culture. It, however, observed that civilization has reduced the frequency of this practice, not making an emphatic statement that they are no longer in practice but that they are done most of the time in secret. For the purpose of this study, the phenomenological method of inquiry would be employed.

Author Biographies

Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State

Prof. KANU, Ikechukwu Anthony (OSA)
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State
ikee_mario@yahoo.com

Immaculata Olu Omojola, Department of Business Administration and Management Villanova Polytechnic, Imesi Ile, Osun State

OMOJOLA Immaculata Olu, (SSMA), PhD
Department of Business Administration and Management
Villanova Polytechnic, Imesi Ile, Osun State
omojolassma@yahoo.co.uk

Mike Boni Bazza, Department of History and International Relations Veritas University Abuja (The Catholic University of Nigeria)

Mike Boni Bazza, PhD
Department of History and International Relations
Veritas University Abuja (The Catholic University of Nigeria)
danbazza68@gmail.com

Published
2020-07-03
Section
Articles