International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305


Igbo cultural and religious worldview: An insider’s perspective

Chinwe M. A. Nwoye
Department of Political Science and Sociology, The University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 July 2011
  •  Published: 30 September 2011



Although it can easily be contended that there is no dearth of ethnographic reports and writings on the Igbo people of Nigeria, yet it can equally be argued that most of such reports, particularly those arising from the works of Christian missionaries and British colonial ethnographers had largely been concerned with giving a general picture of the mores, customs and traditions of the Igbo. The core of such writings often present the Igbo as primitive people given to some unchanging cultural traits/habits, rather than as agentic people, known for their well articulated cultural and religious worldview. In particular, most of the previous anthropological reports on the Igbo arose at those regrettable days of colonial denigrations in which the perspectives of indigenous African peoples were treated with much disdain, with the people themselves being approached as mere informants to be spoken-for rather than to be listened to regarding their views on the nature of life in the human world. Using the technique of documentary analysis and in-depth library research methodology, the present paper intends to correct some of the shortfalls embedding most of the previous anthropological reports on the Igbo. In particular, the paper plans to educate the reader on some ideals and ethos of the Igbo of Nigeria. In making this contribution it is not assumed that the reader knows much about the culture of the Igbo. Hence it is expected that at the end of the presentation, a lot should have become clearer regarding Igbo culture and religious worldview as well as the rituals and procedures of the key transitional ceremonies of Igbo religion.


Key words: Igbo, Nigeria, socio-cultural, worldview, transitional ceremonies.