UNLAWFUL DEATH, FUNERAL/BURIAL CEREMONY IN IGBO

Culturally, Ndígbo have their own unique way in matters of death and burial of the dead. The honour of the death of an individual varies, depending on the person's age, background, tittle, gender, the person's or the family's
relationship with people and/or circumstances that surround the person's death. The corpse is normally buried at the village, in the house/compound of the dead person unlike in some areas like Calabar, Akwa-ibom etc where the dead are being buried in the Cemetery.

The death of a child in Igbo does not attract any serious burial ceremony. Infacts, however are either buried at the village, in the compound of the family or their corpse will be thrown away into the nearby bush. Such
children are called "Akwukwo Isikere in Uturu". They are born to die and people say that they belong to a prowling set of young demons-Ogbanje.

Place of burial is being determined by the bereaved ususally the Chief Mourner. Ndi Uturu, like every other part in Igbo land believe in reincarnation. Where one is buried is very important in Ìgbo Culture. It was and it is against Omenala- the custom of Uturu, to bury someone outside his home unless the person does not die in a good and acceptable way.

UNLAWFUL DEATH IN IGBO USING MY HOME TOWN UTURU AS AN EXAMPLE.

1. A person who dies at the farmland area - Uzo oru, is an abomination and therefore the corpse cannot be carried home for burial. He/She is buried there in the farm. Usually, Some rites are performed mostly by the elderly men in the Village. This according to Igbo culture,which Uturu is part of, is to pacify the ancestors. After such, a funeral ceremony may be organized by the members of the family, in a honour of the dead.

2. Among the Uturu People, like every other part in Igboland, a person who dies in a swelling stomach is thrown away into the nearby evil forest. People believe that such person(s) does or do not die a natural death and so should not be buried in his/her
home.

3. A person who is drowned in the water, is equally buried by the water side. He/she is not taken home unless he/she has not died completely at the time when he/she is rescued.

4. In a case whereby a person kills or hangs himself/herself in the bush or forest, the remains of the person is buries at the scene, where the incident occurred and should not be brought home or buried in the house. Before the burial of the deceased, usually, a great deal of importance- sacrifice, is done by the
members of the person's family so as to please the gods and the ancestors. Without it, many believe that the dead will not truly depart: and the gods and the ancestors will not be happy with the people in the land. Such death is regarded as a taboo in Uturu and so people are not allowed to weep or mourn
for such person(s).

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