The indigenous religion of Nigeria is extremely ancient. The religion centers around the beliefs of family ghosts as well as primeval spirits residing in a particular area. The basic function of the indigenous religion was to lend legitimacy to people to use the natural resources, arable land in particular, and the areas to build their homes. It was because of these beliefs people of Nigeria could use resources without any problems. However, this indigenous religion of Nigeria does not have a specific name per se, as it centers around traditional beliefs and superstitions.
This indigenous religion began due to the elders of the community. They wanted rules that would govern the rights to the resources and also the inheritance of the same. The elders felt that the living had duties not only towards one another, but also to their dead ancestors, whose spirits wanted the living to follow certain moral rules and actions. Furthermore, the elders also believed that there was supernatural presence living on the land. These included spirits of trees, animals, rivers, snakes, insects, rocks and every thing else found on land. These spirits differ from place to place, but at times they would migrate with the living residents to another place. The spirits of the land were important for the wellbeing of the people, and by praying to them and performing rites regularly, the people could have constant access to the resources around them. As time went by, a sort of hereditary was formed with regard to priesthood. This family was considered to be the guardian of a particular land and its resources.
The belief among the people is that the indigenous religion of Nigeria protects them from any misfortune. And, when bad deed is done, the spirits punish the wrongdoers by bring fires, drought, sicknesses and other calamities. Also, the priests had ways to protect people from spirits that could cause them harm with the help of amulets, medicinal products and charms.
In Yorubaland, the belief was slightly different. They believed that the monarch and his family had the responsibility for looking after the welfare of the people and the land. And, by doing so, the king had the right to rule over his kingdom.The king also had to perform several religious rituals with the help of priests to appease the different gods and spirits, so that the kingdom would always fare well. In fact, this religious belief is still practiced among the people of Yorubaland.
More Articles :
- History Of The Mormon Religion In Britain
- History Of The Presbyterian Religion
- Is Religion Philosophy ?
- Main Religion In Brazil
- Overview Of World Religion
- Religion Founded In Iran
- Science Vs Religion Argument
- Should Religion Be Taught In School ?
- What Is Indigenous Religion Of Nigeria ?
- What Is The Religion In Cuba ?
- Who Started Jewish Religion ?
eNotes: Religion In Nigeria: Indigenous Beliefs