Priesthood in Igbo Traditional Religion

Author: Nzuko Aloysius Okechukwu
Department: Religion and Human Relations
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The Igbo Traditional Priest formed the spiritual, intellectual, cultural and social foundation on which the Igbo society was built and knowledge in the spiritual and temporal realms was almost exclusively confined to this sacred institution. The Igbo traditional priests was the mediator, diviner, medical practitioner, legal custodian, moral custodian, and traditional head of their people. Traditional Priests are found in many parts of religion Igbo land and their functions and works defers according to the particular deity or gods they represents and serve. Vocation to the Igbo traditional priesthood is thus a special and unique process. Consecration and initiation is a sacred act. Though, they are still human, the Igbo traditional priests are made sacred through this acts of consecration and initiation. In this work we shall give the definition of the concept of priesthood in general. It will investigate also the overall definitions and understanding of Igbo traditional priesthood. It also exposes the
selections, training, consecration, initiation, functions and effects of Igbo traditional priesthood. It will highlight also the wrong interpretation and misrepresentation of the Igbo traditional Priest by the Nigeria movie industry (Nollywood). Finally, we shall give research findings, recommendations and suggestion for further research.

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