THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND RELIGIOUS IMPLICATIONS OF BURIAL AND FUNERAL RITES IN ONICHA EBONYI STATE, NIGERIA

AUTHOR: EZE, OKORIE NJOKU

DEPARTMENT: RELIGION AND HUMAN RELATIONS

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA.

Death is a passage from this earthly life to the world beyond. The death of any member of the family leaves us with fear, sorrow and pain. Therefore, the duty owed to the dead by the living is a befitting burial. However, the rites associated with burial is meant to send the dead home to the world of ancestors. But in doing this, the process has rather become very expensive that people now wince under the burden of this socio-religious duty of sending their dead home. Therefore, this research tries to find out the socio-economic and religious implications on families, causes of merriment instead of sympathy and justification for expensive burial and funeral rites in Onicha sub-cultural area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The research was carried out by reviewing past documents on the subject, use of oral interviews and participant observation in the area of study. It was found out that this problem has caused families a lot of socio-economic and psychological problems like poverty, indebtedness, prostitution, child labour, abortion, fighting, destitution and death. The implication is that if the society does not fight it, it will continue to cause poverty, corruption and death.

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