The Naming Of The Igbo Child

1042 Words5 Pages
The Ibo (Igbo) are a gathering of people who are located in Nigeria. They are one of the largest ethnic group of people in Africa. They have an exceptionally complex society with an extensive variety of social and religious convictions and practices. They maintain strict laws, which are to be obeyed at all times, and any individuals who would test or overstep the laws are brought before the divine beings to get their judgment and discipline. These disciplines range from offering an installment to a divine being in cowries or creature penances to expulsion from the group. In the paper I will be discussing the Igbo baby naming ceremony. The naming of a child is assumed to be a noteworthy part in the lives of individuals in the general public.…show more content…
In some parts of the society a child can receive his or her name four days after birth; “ in other parts a child is not named until the expiration of seven Igbo market week (28 days)”(Stewart,pg 29) On the naming service day, the fiery debris from the log are expelled from where the mother and the child had been separated. “ Most people wait until the umbilical cord, which is cut immediately after birth, has healed” (Stewart, 27) The actual naming process is very significant capacity. It is a characteristic of honor and regard to be welcomed by being given a name, and the privilege is normally held for one of the senior relatives. The baby's guardians and grandparents,from both the father's and mother's sides also play important parts. Often the community members are expected to attend the service, which usually is held at a Obu or Obi, this is usually the home of child’s father or the grandfather. During the ceremony, numerous names are given to the child by either the parents or grandparents “ At the same time relatives are called to suggest names they would like the child to be called” (Stewart, 30) While this is being done the senior titled member would be holding the child in his hands. The Igbo names always have a meaning, and there are numerous factors to consider when naming the child. There are a few components that usually decide the name given to a child in the Igbo community . For example, there are four days in the Igbo week bearing the names of the Igbo market days: Eke, Orie, Afor, and Nkwo. The first factor is the day of the week on which the child was born. So a male child that was born on Eke day, would be named Okoke or Okereke. Which means “a young man of Eke”. In this society a young child can be named in view of prefixes for occurrence, "Nwa-or Oko-(for male) and Nwanyi – (for female) to the next market weeK. A
Open Document