The Belief on Funeral (Burial) Rite Among the Yoruba People of Nigeria

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The Belief on Funeral (Burial) Rite Among the Yoruba People of Nigeria

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

A conceptual view of funeral (also known as burial) is the ritual act of inserting a dead person or animal, sometimes with objects, into the ground, Philip Lieberman (1991). The process involves the digging of a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over. The act of funeral/burial has been a long age event which have lasted with man since after the origin of man. Funeral (also known as burial) is a means of showing respect for the dead. It also to prevent the dead from decomposing, prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure. The majority of belief centers on the fact that burial is the transition of the dead to the afterlife and a means to give back to the cycle of life. Burial is viewed as an attempt to bring closure to the deceased’s family and friends. The Psychologists postulate that burying the dead out of human view is a means of lessening the pain of the loss of loved ones. Many diverse cultures believe in an afterlife. Burial is sometimes believed to be a necessary step for an individual to reach the afterlife. Also many religions define its own culture including the culture regarding the disposal of the dead. Depending on the culture, the way the body is positioned may have great significance. There are different burial rites depending on the culture of the people. Consequently, different cultures hold different views about burial rite. In the Yoruba society there are many types of burial rites but the burial rite everyone would love to have is the ISINKU which is the burial rite given to one who has died of old age. According to the Yoruba tradition the burial rite involves seven days of rituals (etutu) to successfully send the deceased’s spirit to its ancestral realm. The Yoruba culture states that in burial the spirit does not fade away in death. There is an expectation that the spirit will eventually return and express itself in a newborn child. So burial constitute the end and a beginning of life. The conduct of the Isinku involves sacred ritual and cost. Hence, the family is given adequate time to prepare for the event before a date is given in advance. Therefore, the funeral may occur anywhere from a month to up to a year after the initial burial. The study seeks to appraise the belief on burial rite among the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

The Belief on Funeral (Burial) Rite Among the Yoruba People of Nigeria

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

A Substantial cross-cultural and historical research document shows that funeral (also known as burial) rite is diverse, highly predictable, stable force in building the communities. The history of burial rite is as old as human culture itself, pre-dating modern Homo sapiens and dated to at least 300,000 years ago. Burial rites are influenced by the customs and traditions of the society, significant symbols, gathered community, ritual action, cultural heritage, and transition of the dead body. The problem confronting the study is to appraise the belief on burial rite among the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The Main Objective of the study is to proffer an appraisal on the belief on funeral (also known as burial) rite among the Yoruba people of Nigeria; The specific objectives include:

i. To determine the nature and process of funeral (also known as burial) rite.

ii. To determine the nature of diverse beliefs on funeral (also known as burial) rite in Nigeria.

iii. To determine the belief on funeral (also known as burial) rite among the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

i. What is the nature and process of funeral (also known as burial) rite?

ii. What is the nature of the diverse beliefs on funeral (also known as burial) rite in Nigeria?

iii. What is the belief on funeral (also known as burial) rite among the Yoruba people of Nigeria?

1.4 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS

Ho The issue of re-birth is not a belief on funeral (also known as burial) rite among the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study expounds the belief on funeral (also known as burial) rite among the Yoruba people of Nigeria which when compared to other cultures shows similarity and differences as well

The study reawaken in us the consciousness that as humans there is another phase of life afterwards. This therefore call for the re-evaluation of our conduct here on earth.

1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study was confronted with logistics and geographical factors.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

FUNERAL/BURIAL DEFINED

Funeral (also known as burial) is the ritual act of inserting a dead person or animal, sometimes with objects, into the ground, Philip Lieberman. (1991).The process involves the digging of a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over.

EXHUMATION DEFINED

This is the act of digging up, especially a corpse. This is most often done to relocate a body to a different funeral (also known as burial) spot. Families may make this decision to locate the deceased in a more pertinent or convenient place.

REINTERMENT DEFINED

Re-Interment refers to the reburial of a corpse.

SECONDARY FUNERAL/BURIAL DEFINED

Secondary funeral (also known as burial) is a funeral, cremation, or inhumation that is dug into a pre-existing barrow or grave any time after its initial construction. It is often associated with the belief that there is a liminal phase between the time that a person dies and finally decays.

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