RELIGION BELIEF PRACTICE
The pre-colonial Nigerian societies were practically religious oriented. The pre-colonial societies had their social lives, commercial and trade activities, political organizations and cultural activities controlled by religious rules and norms. There were non-atheists in the societies as everyone believed in the gods of their lands. The actions of political leaders were guided, checked or supported by the religious priest. The appointment, election, rejection, removal, death and burial of a king or a noble chief were through the confirmation or directives of chief priest who were the representatives of the gods. The original religious practice experienced in the entire pre-colonial Nigeria societies was the African traditional religion (ATR). Every society had its own form of the ATR practice and belief. So, every society practiced it the way it suited them.
FEATURES OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION
- It tolerate hero worship
- It heavily promotes ritualism and sacrifices including the use of human sacrifice.
- It is centered on the worship of gods. It encourages polytheism (worship of many gods).
In Igbo society for example, an individual had a personal ‘chi’, as well as the family, kindred, community and national gods. The national gods or goddesses included Amadioha, (thunder), Owu (water goddess), Ala (the mother earth), Igwe (the sky), Ahiajoku (god of the crops) and Obinigwe or Chukwu (God of heavens) who was not directly worshipped. Besides these divinities, there were minor respected gods that dominated the Igbo land. Some of these were Ojukwu Diobu, Ala Ogbaga (in Chokonaeze Mbaise), Ubini Ukpabi of Arochukwu (long Juju of Arochukwu) etc.
The Ijebu people of Yoruba land had the Agemo religious cult with its high priest Tami at Odogbolu. Yet the Awujale (the oba) of Ijebu Ode was a spiritual leader.
- ATR is mixed with medical and healing practices. The religion of the people and the worship of gods directed the medical practice which led to divination and traditional herbal medicine.
- Cultural festivities, marketing, death and burial ceremonies were guided by religious norms, taboos and rituals.
- There are alters and places of worship. ATR has no congregational worship. The alters are where the people consult the priest and equally serve as places of selective sacrifice.
State the negative effects of African traditional religion in the pre-colonial era.
SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT VIA WHATSAPP TO , OR AT THE SCHOOL’S SECURITY POST
DOWNLOAD FULL NOTES HERE: Third Term History Scheme of work & lesson notes (week 1-5) for Jss2