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Published:November 11th, 2007 03:05 EST
Ancestral Worship

Ancestral Worship

By Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo

Today, something new is going to divert your attention towards the western and southwest provinces regarding their style of ancestral worship.

In the western province, taking Bamilike and Bangante as case study, when a native dies, he or she is buried, whether in her father land or not, it’s expected that 10 years later, the skull is dug out by the families and kept with other family skulls in a particular room in the family house.

Take note that the heir leads the crew. If he does not, the skull will never be found. Also, each family must legally own a house.

This particular room is considered as the ‘power house’ through which they invoke and pray for intercession against ill health or bad luck. It is believed to have seldom been known to fail.

Besides, keeping the skulls together brings both living and dead closer, such that they do not realize the absence of their beloved dead brothers and sisters. Further, it demonstrates how united is the family.

The case is something else with the Ngolos, a clan in the Oroko tribe. When an Oroko dies, he or she is buried; then, between the first and fourth day after his burial, the family offers food at his grave. The food is prepared thus:

One plantain finger is cooked, split vertically forming two halves. Each of these halves is cut horizontally, and then is been sandwich with oil mixed with fish, salt, maggi.

When paired together, it’s brought at the grave, and after meditation, it is thrown on the grave. It is believed the decease accepted the food if and only if three of the halves fall facing up and one facing down. If not, the act is repeated until the outcome is as stated.

Remember, the libation is for four days. Reasons have been that the soul of the decease leaves the compound for good four days after he is buried.

Guess what? The cooked plantain is then shared, and anybody that eats the plantain is protected from nightmare poisons.

In addition, the family does not have to bathe for the four days. Elders bathe on the fourth day and then, stay for sixteen days before bathing.