Spiritualism and Immortality in Ìba Orogún Rites in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Spiritualism and immortality of the soul are prominent in Yoruba (African) thought system. The spiritual thought system is exemplified in ìbaOrogúnrites which must be performed for deceased wives by the living co-wives of the same family in Ile-Ife. It was called Ẹkúnòórọ̀ (Early wailing song) but it is now calledÌba Orogún(celebration of the departure of a co-wife). This change is to avoid the negative attachment to ẹkún (cry) which connotes sadness.The rite consists of funeral dirges that are performed by the co-wives and to which the children of the deceased must dance. Data were collected from some Obìnrin Ile (Co-wives in the family) in some compounds in Ile-Ife. Interviews were also conducted with them. Sociological theory of Literature is used to analyze the data. The paper found out that the ÌbaOrogún rites as means to bid the soul of the deceased a farewell from her living co-wives in the compound, possesses a spiritual content. It also found out that ÌbaOrogún ritual is so important that any child that is yet to perform the ritual for a deceased mother should not move near the venue of such rituals talk less of attending, drinking or tasting the food.
Keywords: Spiritualism, ÌbaOrogún, Immortality, death, deceased, Co-wives, Compound.