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Cow(Eshu) ritual in the funeral rite: the sigificance in the Nsukka cultural area of Igboland

Anayo Benjamin Ossai


It has been observed that the use of Eshu - Igbo breed of cow for funeral rite has started resulting to confusion,misunderstanding and disunity in some families and communities in Nsukka cultural area of Igboland. It is for this purpose that this paper wants to show that this chaos negates the traditional Igbo belief and concept of death which circle around the belief in ancestral existence in the spirit world. The study made use of primary and secondary sources of information. Findings revealed that, the cow ritual is an expression of family bond which goes beyond the physical but extended to the dead parents, and also it is an effort to ensure harmonious relationshipwith the supramundane. However, in recent time some Christians started seeing the traditional processes surrounding the cow ritual as idolatry and sin. This study therefore tries to argue that the traditional processes surrounding the use of cow for funeral rite is neither idolatry nor sin, but a concern for life after death which Christianity also preaches.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2006-5442