RITES OF PASSAGE IN MBOSI COMMUNITY, IHIALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE
The study centres on the Rites of passage in Mbosi, Community in Ihiala Local Government of Anambra State. Of particular concern to this study are Birth, Puberty, Marriage and Death rites. This stages in the life of an individuals are discussed with emphasis on the impact they have on the individual and the community in general. The method adopted is historical and phenomenological. One major finding is that rites of passage in Mbosi are as old as the community itself and has survived the onslaught of Christianity and other change agents. They serve as cohesive factor in Mbosi community and deepens the peoples sense of belonging.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 Background to the Study .
Introduction . . .
Aims and Objectives of The Study . .
Research Methodology . .
Scope of Study . . . .
Clarification of Terms . . .
Endnotes . . . . .
2.0 Background of Mbosi Community . .
2.1 Geographical Setting . . .
2.2 History of Mbosi Community .
2.3 Socio- Economic Setting . .
2.4 Political Setting . . . .
Endnotes . . . . .
3.0 Birth and Marriage Rites . . .
3.1 Birth Rite . . . . . .
3.1.1 Circumcision . . . .
3.1.2 Female Circumcision . . .
3.1.3 Puberty Rites . . . .
3.1.4 Age Grade . . . .
3.1.5 Naming Ceremony (Igu- Aha) . .
3.1.6 Umbilical Cord . .
3.2 Marriage Rites . . .
3.2.1 Inquiry (Iku Aka N’uzo). . .
3.2.2 Bridal Visit (Ilete-Ala/Imara-Ala) .
3.2.3 Traditional Marriage (Igba-Nkwu Nwanyi) .
3.2.4 Sharing of Igba-Nkwu Presentation
3.2.5 Remarriage (Ikuchi Nwanyi ) . .
3.2.6 Consanguinity . . . .
Endnotes . . . . .
4.0 Death Rites . . . .
4.1 Announcement from the Family to Relative (Ozi) . . .
4.1.2 Deliberations (Ikwu Okwu Ozu) .
4.1.3 Embalmment (Igbasi-Ozu) . .
4.1.4 Burial Proper (Ikwa-Ozu) . .
4.1.5 Nze Burial . . . . .
4.1.6 Condolences (Mgbaru/Itu-Ilu) . .
Endnotes . . . . .
5.0 Challenges to Rites of Passage and Conclusion
5.1 Challenges . . . . .
5.2 Conclusion . . .
Endnotes . . . .
Works Cited . . .
1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
Rites of passage is as old as man himself. It can be seen in all aspects of life. Rites of passage defines the different ceremonies that accompany an individual leaving a particular stage of societal existence to a higher one. In some cases, it is accompanied with big ceremonies while in others, little or nothing is done. Rites of passage does not apply only to the living, it also applies to the dead. This can be seen in traditional or modern communities.
Whatever the case, rites of passage remains a very vital aspect of human life.
Rites of passage can be seen in the tradition of a child into adulthood, marriage, fatherhood or motherhood as the case may be. Advancement to a higher social class the nze title in Igbo land, and also from life to death.
According to Metuh Ikenga,rites of passage are mostly found in all societies but tend to reach their maximal expression in a small scale, relatively stable and cyclical societies where change is bound up with biological and meteorological rhythms and reoccurrence rather than with technological invitations.
The work is primarily on some rites of passage practiced among the people of Mbosi community before the coming of the colonial masters, who came with their culture and influenced ours to a greater extent. Nevertheless some fragments of those rites can still be seen, since they could not be entirely over shadowed by western influence.
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.2.1 To investigate the history of Mbosi community, geographical setting, socio-economic and political setting and also religious setting before the coming of westernization.
This work is also aimed at investigating the procedures which goes before and after the birth of a child in Mbosi community his growth into adulthood, and the different group he joins as he climbs the ladder of life. This also includes marriage and the procedure followed when an adult is then ripe for marriage. This work also tends to achieve the objective of studying the different important stages taken to accord a befitting burial to the dead in Mbosi Community.
This work also tends to know the importance of these stages of life in Mbosi community. The rites conducted and the blessing that follows it when done accordingly and the curse or misfortune that follows when what ought to be done is neglected.
1.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Phenomenological, historical and critical evaluations are used in this work. Oral sources are mainly used due to the lack of literature materials on the proposed study. The oral sources are interviews had with some elderly men of Mbosi community and also from personal experiences.
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
This work will be limited to the Mbosi community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra state.
Due to the nature of the study (Rites of Passage), which is universally found among the people of Anambra State, neighbouring communities will be cited in the course of this work for the purpose of comparism and further classifications of the study.
Furthermore, issues that are not directly related to rites of passage will not be discussed, only those issues related as it affects rites of passage in Mbosi Community will be treated in the study.
1.5 CLARIFICATION OF TERMS
These are terms as may be used in the study. Terms like Rites, Passage and Transition will be clarified.
1.5.1 Rites: According to Godwin Egbuchi, he described rites as a form of behaviour with a field pattern used for religious purposes.
The oxford advanced Learner's Dictionary defines Rites as a ceremony performed by a particular group of people often for religious purposes.
1.5.2 Passage: The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines passage as a long narrow area with walls on either side. But for the purpose of this work, it will be further clarified in the course of the study.
1.5.3 Transition: The Advanced Learner's Dictionary described transition as the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another.
Google search describes transition as movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept to another.
1) Metuh Ikenga Comparative studies of African Traditional Religion Imico publishers, onitsha, 1987, pg 197
2) Egbucha Godwin Religious change in birth, puberty and marriage rites in owerri, imo state.
Assemblies of God press, Aba,2007,pg 172.
3) Oxford Advanced Learners 7th edition
4) Oxford Advanced Learners 7th edition
5) Oxford Advanced Learners 7th edition
6) Google search Dictionary.reference.com/../transition.