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The Igbo Beliefs

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The Igbo holds Man at the highest point of creation and this is made vivid in their struggle to relate everything that exists to be for the benefit of Man. For the Igbo, they believe that everything that exists has a purpose and that purpose must be to aid Man. They believe that the world exist for Man. Therefore in this paper, our main concern will be on the nature, purpose and end of Man in the traditional Igbo belief. There has been an existing common belief that Man is a creature of Chukwu (God). Chukwu created Man together with his characteristic features. Man in Igbo terminology is called mma-du and they have identified the two constitutive elements in Man as obi na anu ahu (body and soul. Mma-du can mean the beauty of life, the essence of life or the dignity of life; this expresses their view as man the centre of creation. Man stands next after God and this makes him posses the privilege position of assigning roles, functions and introduces meaning to the rest of created things.

They gave origin to gods. This is reflected on their popular adage chi kere anyi, anyi ekegharia ha ma nye ha onodu meaning (the gods created us and we recreated them and gave them position). Ndu which is life is constituted with two principles, the incorporeal and corporeal principles. They work simultaneously in man and at death, they cease to function. The Igbo has a strong belief in life after death. A practical example of this belief is manifested in their burial rite, the cult of ancestors and belief in reincarnation. At death, when the breath of life leaves the body, the corporeal element ceases to function and it will be regarded as ozu (corpse). After death, the corporeal element which is mmuo (spirit) leaves the body and travels to alammuo (land of spirits) where it exists independently on itself. Some of these spirits can be regarded as ancestors if they reach they have the qualities befitting an ancestor. In conclusion, the Igbo tradition believes so much in man and his outstanding features in the creation.

Many contributions has been made to explain this concept of man but the afore-mentioned `has been able to capture an overview of the general concept without altering the major conception in relation to the origin, purpose and end of Man. Nonetheless, we are able to achieve our said aim which focused on the traditional conception of Man; his origin, purpose and end.

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