You are in spiritual bondage of the invisible beings. You are in a negative world that is filled up with negative experiences. You are presently receiving various kinds of problems: hardship, sickness, poverty, zero fruit of the womb, marriage instability, hatred, spiritual attacks and so on. You have being trying to obtain a permanent solution to your problems, but it seems you are not getting any. Do you know what is wrong with you? Have you ever seek a remedy to a permanent solution to your problems? You have done so, I’m sure.
But my people perish because of lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). In fact, you lack the right knowledge of the truth about the cause of your problems. And so, you begin to encounter difficulties in finding solutions to them. That’s true because 'problem not known can never be solve’. In another sense, 'if a ship does not know where its pot is selected, no wing can it consider favourable'.
Most times, you suspect your fellow human being to be responsible for what is happening to you. Some religious teachers have also confused you more by teaching you that a fellow human being or the Devil/Satan/Shaitan (as so-called) is responsible for your problems. Has any of these teachings and beliefs yield anything positive to your life? No.
Then, the bible promised that: “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32)”. The truth here is that no Devil or Satan or Demon or Kal on earth is with or against your life. No human being of your type is responsible for your earthly problems.
This article is aimed at teaching you about the 'Spirit-Double', called Chi in Odinala religion--which exists in the personal world of each individual and which is highly responsible for all problems of the individual. The article will also go a longer way to teach you the techniques for contacting your own Spirit-Double--which is your first step to find a permanent solution to your earthly problems.

On earth, there is a personal world (uwa'm) usually invisible--a world created for each human being. It is inside your personal world that your soul operates; for example in the dream state. Think of those who engage in astral projection, soul travel, witch-crating and so on; they are operating in their individual personal worlds. A personal world is made for a human being alone. It is individualistic. That’s why one may not see each other in a dream state at the same time, even when they are dreaming at same time and sleeping on the same bed.
To monitor and control this personal spiritual world of each person, the Supreme Being assign each human being a 'personal godly guardian' or 'personal providence' or 'personal Deity'; which we called Chi in Odinala. So, Chi is therefore the second spirit that inhabits the personal world of each human being, hence, He/She is refered t oas ‘Spirit-Double'.
Cardinal F. Arinze (1978: 88) used the term 'Spirit-Double' to mean 'the spirit, or genius with which the Supreme Being has endowed every sentient being'. For E. C Ilogu (1974: 24), it is the divine particle in man by which he shares in the Supreme Being and the basis of man's immortality and communion with the ancestors'.

The Spirit-Double is completely different from a person's soul. When you look at the mirror, you see your mirror image. You may regard it as your soul because a person's soul is exactly his mirror image. But at the same time you're seeing your image on your mirror, there is another being that exists at the back of that image. You can neither see nor touch the being. You cannot even imagine the gender of that particular being. That being is your Spirit-Double -- the second being in you that make you exist like a three-in-one being. While your soul is your mirror image, your spirit-double, though, exist in human form can possess entirely different gender and shape, compared to yours.
The Spirit-Double together with the Personal World in Igbo is spoken as 'Uwam na Chim'…meaning 'my world/my portion and my destiny/personal deity. The soul (first spirit) controls the body; while the individual Spirit-Double controls the soul. In the Eastern and Western Mysticism, the person is operating with his soul which is the high consciousness but in Odinala, the person is operating with his Spirit-Double--the higher consciousness. And both the soul and the Spirit-Double are connected to the highest consciousness - Supreme Being.

There are many techniques for contacting your Spirit-Double, but as a matter of space and time, I may like us to consider only but four of them. They include: 1). A situation of double-mind in taking decision; 2). Inner Whisper; 3). Dreams; and 4). Visiting a Real Temple of Odinala etc.
Sometimes, you experience double-mind in taking decision. A situation of double-mind in taking decision is clear evidence that two beings are living in your personal world, thus: the soul and the Spirit-Double.
Your soul may decide what to do, but your Spirit-Double decides otherwise. In such case anyone you do isn't the one chosen by your soul rather, the one chosen by your Spirit-Double. Simply put, your ‘Spirit-Double' is far greater in power than your soul.
The two types of decisions one may take could be classified as either positive or negative decision. For example, your neighbour in the apartment where you live may be a kind of threat to your life. Then, decision to forgive him and live in peace with him is a positive decision; while decision to kill him is a negative one. Before you could reach consensus on what to do, there must be a concrete agreement between your soul and your 'Spirit-Double'. Two situations have been practically noted here.
First, if you are in a good relationship with your Spirit-Double, your soul may attempt to push you to decide negative whereas your Spirit-Double has already signed that you must decide positive. Unknowingly, your body must decide positive, after the short period of troubling with the two minds.
Second, if you doesn't know your Spirit-Double and you are not in a good balance with the being, your soul may attempt to cause you to decide positive but your Spirit-Double has signed that you must decided negative, so as to push you into other temptations or problems. At this point, the person must go and kill his neighbour, thus, committing abomination against Ala (Earth Deity).
Therefore, whenever you encounter a situation of double-mind in taking decision, something beyond your body and your soul is speaking to you. And your response (action) to such voice is a clear prove that you are contacting your Spirit-Double.

In time of problems or in a situation were you find yourself swimming in an ocean of problems, your mind does wanders. When your mind wanders, do you notice it's wandering? Are you able to bring it back? For example, when you're watching television, listening to a talk, or engaging in conversation, can you notice when your mind is drifting away? Can you then easily bring the flow of your mind back to the program, lecture, or discussion? Good. This is normal.
But the big question is: how do you notice that your mind is wandering? The big answer is here for you. Certain being that is a part of your consciousness alerts you that your mind is drifting. He/She views your mind and reveals to you through what we refer to as 'inner whisper'- (a kind of nudge) and says: "your thoughts are drifting away; come back”.
This special being which patiently and benevolently views your mind (and your emotions and actions too) is personally for you. And that’s your Spirit-Double. It is also called the Seer or the True Spirit.
Thus, with inner whisper, you are making occasional contact with your Spirit Double. If you can recognize the presence of your Spirit-Double through inner whisper, you're among the most fortunate people. Also, if you have been successful in contacting your Spirit-Double through that technique, you are at close-door to obtain a permanent solution to your earthly problems because you will one day be able to discern and enter into higher levels of awareness at will.

Dream occurs in one of the spiritual worlds, specifically, where we refer to as dream world (Ala-nro). In a pedestrian view, it involves human soul.
Now let us consider what happens during dreams. The body may be sitting on a chair or lying on the bed in Lagos (for example) but the person’s soul has migrated to his/her home town. Like the Eckist, this is a form of soul travel (the journey of soul in the spiritual world). In dream, all the makeup of the physical body is at rest and even the mind relaxed. The person is at rest with his/her eyes closed and body and mind not active (asleep). Yet when the person wake-up, he/she can still recall whatever dreamed about.
On earth, no person can control his dreams, cause it to occur or stop it from occurring. Nor can a person take a conscious decision in the dream state. Then, how does a person move a journey, perform activities or take decisions in a dream state?
The answer is very simple. Certain being that is greater in power than your soul is responsible opening the spiritual window and as well empower your soul to start working or performing actions there. That greater being is personally for you and that's your 'Spirit-Double'.
Thus, any day you have a dream experience, eventually try to acknowledge the truth that your 'Spirit-Double' operated that day. Dream is therefore, a cheap way of contacting your 'Spirit-Double'.

The first three techniques described above are good, beneficial and worthwhile. But you need a good teacher to tell you where you are coming from and where you are going as you apply them. So, the best way of contacting your Spirit-Double is by visiting any real temple of Odinala.
The person visits the temple to perform what we referred to as Chi-Divination (the process of identifying the Spirit-Double). Such divination reveals the actual gender of the person’s Spirit-Double. It will also reveal the requirements for cleanse of the same, so that the individual can consciously connect the Supreme Being. This is the secret behind obtaining permanent solutions to all your spiritual problems

Let us stop suffering in silence. Let us stop suspecting our fellow human being of being responsible for our earthly problems. And let us stop accusing one particular Deity ( Ekwensu) of being the cause of our individual problems.
Odinala teaches that: “whatever bestows to a man is what he settles with his Chi”. We must acknowledge that as truth in order to survive spiritually. In 'ife si na chi', we noticed that the good, the bad and ugly must come from our individual Spirit-Double; Chi'.
Thus, in order to find a permanent solution to your earthly problems, you must be aware that 'Chukwu di'......'Supreme Being exists', and also, that 'Chi di'.....’Spirit-Double exist'. You then, proceed to contact your own. This is the first step to find a permanent solution to an individual's earthly problems.
You can quickly save your life now. Tomorrow may be too late. Find a permanent solution to your spiritual problems.

Comr. Solo E.A
A Publication of
Ukoma & Duruojikeeme Spiritual Temple
(Ancient Mystical Order and Esoteric Brotherhoods)



By Ernest E. Uwazie

The 1950s and 1960s produced a series of studies on the various forms of tribal disputing in colonized Africa (see Bohannan 1957; Howell 1954; Gluckman 1955; Gibbs 1963). These examined how indigenous justice systems co-existed or conflicted with imposed (European) law. Upon independence, the new nation-states of Africa inherited many of the colonial legal and social structures, but most countries initiated major legal reforms to redefine relations between state and indigenous laws. In Nigeria, for example, `Customary Courts' were created by the state to apply indigenous customs (Woodman 1988; Imo State 1981). These courts continue to exist in varying forms across Africa, often under strict government scrutiny and control.
Recent socio-legal research on post-independent Africa focuses on the relationship between the state legal systems and the various types of indigenous justice (Moore 1986, 1992; Woodman 1988; Gundersen 1992). These studies conclude that customary court judges both validate and invalidate some aspects of the indigenous legal orders, thereby constructing a new set of legalities. However, data are scarce on the persistence of non-state quasi-judicial modes of disputing and their interaction with the formal legal system. This study suggests that major substantive and procedural differences separate the Native Court from indigenous justice. Analysis of the interconnections between the indigenous and state legal systems in Nigeria yields a more comprehensive knowledge about legal pluralism in Africa.
This study examines the differing uses of the various forms of Igbo `indigenous justice' as well as their connections with each other and with the state legal system. Indigenous justice includes native or village disputing mechanisms that lack the support or institutional characteristics of the state legal system. Generally, the indigenous legal system is characterized by native or lay participation and is less bureaucratic; it relies on unwritten, oral and flexible precedents or rules (see Abel 1982; Merry 1982). Various kinds of coercion are used to settle a case or seek compliance with decisions of indigenous justice (Merry 1982; Uwazie 1991). The inquiry focuses on the types of indigenous justice used for handling disputes among the Igbos and how they interact with the state police and courts. Different disputing modes are amenable to different kinds of cases (Black 1987; Goldberg et al 1985; Felstiner 1974). The study examines six types of indigenous Igbo justice and then analyzes their interaction with formal legal systems.
I observed 70 cases, conducted 20 interviews, surveyed 226 disputants, and reviewed relevant records.The surveys were analyzed with univariate statistics to determine which disputing mode was more likely to be chosen for certain kinds of cases. The ethnography and interviews combined study of the trouble-case, the extended case, and the social drama (see Nader & Todd 1978; Llewellyn & Hoebel 1941). By cross-checking, comparing, and triangulating information, I built a foundation for the research.
I. Differential Use of Disputing Modes
Alternative dispute mechanisms exist in every society. Socio-legal studies have produced numerous cross-cultural materials on formal dispute institutions (Nader & Todd 1978; Gibbs 1963; Gluckman 1955). Other legal-anthropological studies reveal the use of lay councils, go-betweens, and voudou in the resolution of disputes (Bailey 1960, 1965; Abel 1973; Bohannan 1957; Cavender 1988). These socio-legal studies compare mediation, arbitration, self-help, negotiation, and adjudication, giving us some knowledge of the variation in patterns or modes of disputing. My research identifies the wide variety of non-state forms of indigenous dispute settlement in order to understand their independence from and connections with the formal legal system. It also reveals several ways of managing individual and group conflicts, and questions the view of legal centralism. For example, it shows that, because of the wealth of customary legal knowledge possessed by Igbo elders, village councils have become increasingly indispensable in state lawmaking; they also serve as an alternative to the overburdened, centralized court system in the management of certain conflicts. Likewise, disputants have responded to deficiencies in the state system by searching for more satisfactory forms of dispute management.
A striking characteristic of the traditional Igbo political and legal system was the virtual absence of centralized authority. This sense of republicanism was mirrored in the proverb `Igbo enweghi eze' (the Ibos have no kings/chiefs). They practised a participatory system of administration (Isichei 1976; Afigbo 1972). Political institutions were designed to encourage popular participation, weighted by experience and ability. Each unit was autonomous and regarded as binding upon it only those decisions to which the people had assented. Legal arrangements remain highly decentralized, though they frequently interact with the state legal system. Before analyzing the legal interactions, the study examines six indigenous legal institutions: family head, village tribunal, umuada, age grade, titledmen, and oracles.
A. The Family Head
The basic unit of Igbo social life is the extended family descended from a common ancestor. The affairs of this unit are managed by a head or Ony'isi. He is usually the eldest male in the family and holds the family `ofo' (oath) symbol. The linkages within the family facilitate intimate communication with and easy access to the family head.
The family head mediates certain marital disputes and cases of delinquency and presides in the resolution of other cases between family members. One family head related a case in which a widow complained of her 15-year-old son's refusal to help in such household chores as fetching firewood and water from the nearby stream. Each time he used his wisdom and moral persuasion to correct the youth. Sometimes, however, the family head may fail to resolve delinquent behavior. Another family head told me that a 17-year-old boy in the family had defied him, after several villagers had complained about the youth's flirtations. The teenager regretted this when he was eventually forced to marry a young girl he had impregnated. According to the family head, "failure to instruct (the youth about their wrongs) kills the elderly, while failure to heed the instructions (of the elder) kills the youth" (ahu ma aka ghi n' egbu agadi, ma akawa ma anughi n'egbu nwata). Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they would use the family head to resolve delinquency cases.
The family head is often called to resolve boundary disputes between households. As trustee of the family land, he must be resourceful in managing it. Several disputants told me how they had used the family head to mediate boundary disputes; 84 percent of the respondents said they would use the family head to resolve land disputes.
The family head's role as a mediator does not necessarily mean that he is a `neutral' third party (cf. Black 1987; Black and Baumgartner 1978). He is more unbiased than disinterested. His reputation and authority derive from fair decisions, and he has both economic and political interests in maintaining social harmony. For example, family members take turns cooking special meals and farming for him. In addition, he performs important family rituals and serves as the family representative in the village tribunal. In most instances the family head uses moral pressure to enforce decisions. Often he solicits the support of family members. In presiding over hearings he ensures that the most eloquent and intelligent disputants or their representatives do not overwhelm the less advantaged disputants. The use made of the family head to resolve disputes depends on his effectiveness as a mediator.
B. The Umuada
If a member defies the family head or a leadership crisis arises, the married daughters of the family or village are invited to resolve the dispute or to force compliance with the decision. The Umuada, or married daughters, play an important part in Igbo dispute resolution. They come from the family, kindred or village which calls upon them, but are living elsewhere with their husbands. They are highly respected, especially in comparison with their unmarried counterparts and with women who have married into the family or village (who are treated as strangers). It is common for successful marriages to attract others from the same village. The married women from a particular village or kindred preserve their kinship ties by forming Umuada groups in their marital villages.
The Umuada may be called home on short notice to resolve such issues as spousal abuse, infidelity or theft, or to admonish erring women who have married into their village. In one instance, the male members of a family of a prominent (fan) chief used their Umuada to confront a defiant widow. She suspected that certain envious family members had murdered her husband and would not allow them to participate in funeral plans.
The Umuada effectively used shaming statements and threats of ostracism to make her cooperate. In another case, the Umuada found both spouses responsible for a domestic conflict. They occupied the man's house until he paid the fine of one cock for beating his wife; and threatened to bar all social contacts with her as well. Such an occupation entails the substantial expense of feeding the `uninvited' guests.
The Umuada also may be called to admonish the men of their natal villages, especially in times of corruption or moral decadence. An elderly woman recalled that the Umuada rebuked her village's male leaders in the late 1960s for embezzling public funds contributed by the villagers to build an elementary school. They threatened to invoke the village gods and goddesses if the accused did not admit their guilt and return the funds. Women's rebukes of men, in this male-dominated culture, are rare but powerful, shaming the men and weakening their influence over the women. Women's high moral status is thought to attract the sympathy of the gods. Although the Umuada may be limited in their power and knowledge of their paternal villages, they can act as checks and balances, resolving disputes that are too difficult for the male leaders. The Umuada can intervene on their own or at the invitation of the family or village unit.
C. The Village Tribunal (Amala)
Matters affecting outsiders or threatening to disrupt a family are usually referred to the Amala (village tribunal), composed of 10 to 15 lineages. This institution is concerned with the common affairs of the village, such as religious rituals, traditional ceremonies, and festivals. For example, the people of Ogwara village gather every October to celebrate their new yam season and thank the gods for a good yield. The villagers express their solidarity by sharing yams. They also ostracize village `trouble makers' at this time. These functions are organized by the village council of elders or Amala, which includes the various family heads. The Amala also handles intra-village disputes, as well as case referrals from a family head or the formal court system.
A similar tribunal exists for villagers who have emigrated to the cities. An example is the Ogwara Town Union in Lagos. The union members meet on alternate Sundays, reserving the other Sunday for clan meetings. The members take turns hosting the group, serving food and drinks to the guests. The economic and social ties among the members are exemplified by making loans, or subsidizing `naming baby' celebrations out of collective contributions. The union helps to socialize newcomers to the city, as well as providing a social network for those seeking employment or business connections. The town union collects money for village development such as electrification.
In the midst of the merriment that characterizes the meetings, conflicts between members are reported. They are resolved immediately if possible, and otherwise postponed until the next meeting. Difficult cases are often referred to the village tribunal, and then either resolved quickly or postponed until the holiday season (Christmas, Easter, or village festival), when most urban dwellers return to the village. I observed a case of attempted food poisoning in the city, which was referred to the village tribunal by the town union. The union persuaded the police to allow it to attempt to resolve the case, but failed to reach a solution. A day after the New Year, the elders gathered and administered the oath of innocence to the accused villager. If he died within the year he would be declared guilty.
The village elders (also called people's representatives or Ndioha) are adult males with substantial experience in handling village disputes, especially land matters. My survey found that 89 percent of respondents would use the Amala for land cases and 66 percent to resolve disputes between fellow villagers. The village women have a separate dispute institution although they sometimes refer difficult cases to the Amala. Like the family head, the Amala commands respect primarily because it controls the channel of communication with the ancestors and gods, who are very powerful and revered symbols in Igboland.
D. Age Grades
The age grade plays an important role in village affairs. Between the ages of 26 and 30 men go through several initiation ceremonies prescribed by their elders in order to become adults and be included in village law-making processes. Marriage is not recognized until the man has been initiated as an adult. After the members of an age group have been initiated into adulthood they form an age grade union.
Members of an age group address one another as age mate or nwulem and are responsible for burying their members. Different age grades cooperate in matters affecting the entire village. Age grades also manage conflict, disciplining members who commit theft, show disrespect to an elder, or fail to pay taxes or participate in communal labor. During village festivals, they are responsible for crowd control and other security concerns. A customary law practitioner related how the age grades were used as local security forces during the Nigerian civil war, protecting village borders and arresting lawbreakers.
E. Titledmen (Chiefs)
As Igbo communities experienced social and economic changes during the nineteenth century the traditional system of government and justice was affected. Economic growth allowed some men to amass a surplus with which they could acquire various titles based on demonstrated leadership abilities. Thus, the titledman, a free-born man of probity, became another means of social regulation. Today, such a man is a Chief or Eze, is addressed by various traditional titles, and performs a variety of political and judicial functions.
Chieftaincy in Iboland began with the introduction of the Warrant Chiefs by the British colonial rulers about 1912. Young men literate in English were given authority to collect taxes, settle disputes in the customary courts, and administer villages.
The warrant chief system was anomalous in the traditionally acephalous Ibo society (Afigbo 1972). These warrant chiefs subsequently became corrupt, engaging in bribery, forced marriages, extortion, and false criminal trials, which caused major conflicts. This imposed legal system also was incompatible with the evolutionary nature of leadership in Iboland (Meek 1937). The British failed to understand that Igbo leaders emerged by virtue of their demonstrated ability and knowledge.
Most contemporary village chiefs have inherited their titles from the old warrant chiefs. A village chief may preside over the deliberations of the Amala. A village may appoint someone to perform the functions of chief for a specific time. The Chief (Eze) is regarded as the traditional ruler of a state-created `autonomous community.' Under the Imo State Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law, an `Autonomous Community' is defined as a group of people inhabiting an identifiable geographical area or areas, comprising one or more communities bound by a common traditional and cultural way of life with a common historical heritage and recognized and approved by the government (Section 1, Law No. 11 of 1981).
The traditional ruler must be chosen according to the custom of each community and presented to the government for recognition. As a paramount Chief, the Eze can appoint other, lower chiefs with the consent of the village. Besides his role as spokesperson and cultural embodiment of his people, the law authorizes the Eze to take steps to reconcile disputing parties in civil matters whether or not such matters which the disputing parties bring to them for reconciliation are matters governed by law of the community (section 17 (f)). The Eze usually has a cabinet composed of village representatives or lower chiefs. In certain instances, he can take immediate action without the cabinet.
I observed a case in which the Eze issued an injunction about disputed land after a woman complained of death threats from the other party. The Eze sent his messenger to warn both parties not to trespass on the land until the boundary issue was resolved by the cabinet. I observed four other land disputes between parties from different villages. In another case where the police had determined that a death was an accidental homicide the victim's relatives brought the matter to the Eze, seeking compensation. The incident had occurred when friends from different villages were hunting in a suburban forest. The victim's relatives threatened to take the matter to an oracle (below) unless they were compensated for the costs of the funeral and maintenance of the victim's young children. Both the Eze and the accused took the threats seriously enough to reconcile the parties. A common factor in the cases I observed before the Eze was that the parties came from different village groups within the autonomous community or clan. 66 percent of my respondents said they would use this means to resolve disputes with someone from another village.
In contemporary Igboland the insignia of a titled man varies - a thread, ivory anklets, eagle feather, red cap, horse plume or fan carried in the hand - but he is influential and immediately recognized everywhere. Titledmen earn their reputation as mediators, arbitrators, or organizers of village affairs, often as exceptions to the Ibo rule of gerontocracy. In the processing of disputes a titled person sometimes merely relays one party's grievances to the other, especially in the initial stages of a conflict. A titledman may deflate a conflict by warning one or both parties, but he is primarily a messenger. Often he is a friend of both parties, which tends to make them receptive to his message. One villager recalled how she used a titledman to warn another villager that she was rumored to be an outcast or Osu (non-free born). Another villager told me he used a titledman to resolve a potential boundary dispute. My survey found that 76 percent of respondents had used a titledperson to resolve their grievances.
A prosperous man with several descendants registers and legitimizes his success by taking a title (Isichei 1976; Afigbo 1972). There is a hierarchy of titles, with an ascending scale of rituals and payments. Gaining a title, however is not simply a matter of purchasing political power. The title system is a form of social security; men pay for titles and then share in the payments of later entrants. A title is a guarantee of character and prestige as well as of success. The entrant endures protracted and arduous rituals and accepts religious restrictions. These taboos, which become more onerous as he climbs in the titled hierarchy, must be scrupulously obeyed.
F. Oracles
If the facts of a case are unclear or the offender's identity uncertain, Igbo resort to an oracle. Divination is used to identify mysterious causes, heal diseases, and manage both individual and group conflict. In most instances of death and mysterious illness an oracle priest is consulted for diagnosis and cure.
For example, Ogwu, 37, consulted a famous diviner who lived 100 miles away about the death of his 28-year-old wife during the birth of her second child. Ogwu sat on a wooden bench with his elder uncle and father-in-law, intensely staring as the diviner cast his magical lots to ascertain their mission. To the clients' surprise and satisfaction, the diviner correctly revealed the nature of their inquiry at the first casting of the lots. The clients deposited half the fees before he continued. With each casting of the three lots, the oracle, Okae-mee, revealed how Ogwu's wife was despirited by her dead aunt, offended when she had not received the traditional `second burial' by the sacrifice of a goat. The wife and her aunt shared the same god. The priest revealed that Ogwu's wife had also defied another diviner's warning not to visit her maternal home, especially during pregnancy. He concluded with a warning of further death if the deceased aunt's wishes were not immediately obeyed.
The oracle is usually referred to as a `medicine man' (Dibia) because he heals as well as causing illness or death. Many people recalled stories of diseases and deaths inflicted by an enemy using a
Dibia. Medical doctors sometimes refer a difficult illness to a Dibia. An oracle may be used to investigate or deter crime. The police used a
Dibia to identify the thief of a massive quantity of telephone cables (National Concord 1989). The people of Owelle village were so enraged by thefts in their village and the police's inability to stop them that they sought the Dibia's help. He administered an oath in the village square. Each villager declared his or her innocence and promised not to steal and to report offenders. Any villager who refused to take the oath or took it and died within a year was believed to be guilty (personal observation & interview, November 26, 1989).
The diviner explains the supernatural aspect of events and makes misfortune intelligible and therefore acceptable. He prescribes the sacrifices that control the activity of supernatural beings. Many aggrieved parties resort to oracles to resolve both intra- and inter-personal problems (see also Cavender 1988; Afigbo 1972; Adewoye 1977). The oracle is the first, middle, and last person to consult for almost any type of conflict and is seen as able to influence case outcomes, making him an invaluable means of conflict management.
Although the Igbo modes of indigenous justice are very decentralized, they are closely interconnected (see figure). To the Igbo, the secular and sacred, the natural and supernatural, are closely intertwined. The tribunal members, who are

often village elders, dibias, age grade members, and titledpersons, are viewed as representatives of the ancestors. The village tribunal serves both administrative and judicial purposes. The objective of dispute settlement is inter-personal and community reconciliation in this close-knit society. As the table suggests, disputants tend to use formal law to handle cases of murder, injurious assault, grand theft, rape, and divorce. The influence of the state criminal laws and the infrequency of these cases may account for their choice. Murder and divorce cases also may necessitate the use of the police or court to seek punishment or vengeance since the litigants have no need to continue the relationship. One village elder recounted stories of self-imposed exile, forced suicide, and banishment for murder and rape in Iboland, explaining that they were heinous offenses that also offended the village gods. Indigenous law is used to handle the civil aspects of most serious criminal cases (Uwazie 1991). Two village elders told me of cases where leaders were forced by the village tribunal to compensate the village after being convicted by the court of embezzling village funds. The table reveals that major crimes are more likely to be handled by the police or court, while less serious disputes are more amenable to resolution by the indigenous justice system.
The Figure illustrates the channels of communication and interaction between the indigenous and state legal systems. Case referrals are more voluntary. Police commonly refer certain cases to indigenous institutions. When the victim of an injurious assault precipitated by a land dispute complained to the police, the disputants were strongly urged to resolve the case between family members through the village tribunal. The police decision reflects the difficulty in resolving the underlying land dispute, especially given the fluid, oral contractual nature of Ibo land custom and the complexity of land cases. During the deliberations, the village tribunal de-emphasized the assault and concentrated on resolving the land dispute. The village judgment was submitted to the police and accepted by them as a final resolution of the case.

To whom would you complain about the following cases?

Kind of case             Percent formal*     Percent indigenous     Total
Land                                      2                                  98                        212
Murder                               76                                  24                        208
Injurious assault               66                                 34                        207
Grand theft                         71                                 29                        207
Petty theft                           32                                 68                        199
Minor assault                     22                                 78                        178
Adultery                              15                                 85                        179
Spousal abuse                      4                                 96                        178
Rape                                     71                                 29                        147
Divorce                                60                                 40                        159
Total (urban & rural)                                                                         226

*   Formal includes police and court, while indigenous includes
village/family tribunals, titledmen, age grade, umuada, and oracles.

The police may have used subtle coercion by referring the case to the village while retaining jurisdiction until an acceptable settlement was reached. However, numerous `invitations' by the police as well as reported bribes will have reinforced the reluctance to use the police in the future. I observed ten cases of police and court referrals to the village tribunal. Among the 76 who had used  the formal legal system, 29 percent reported that their cases were referred to the village tribunal. A senior magistrate told me that 99 percent of the land cases in his court were appealed from the indigenous justice system, and he referred most of them back. The practice of frequent case referrals and willingness to accept the judgments of the village tribunal reflect a cooperative arrangement between the formal and indigenous legal systems.

III. Conclusion
Despite the rise of national legal systems in Africa, indigenous modes of justice persist. The state and indigenous laws interact, often deferring to each other. Disputants choose among multiple legal forms based on such factors as the nature of the dispute, the disputants' relationship, and the effectiveness and accessibility of the disputing process. Police or court referral to the village tribunal manifests the cooperation between them. The village tribunal defers to the police or court in serious criminal cases without surrendering its authority to resolve their civil aspects.
Systems of justice do not operate solely within governmental environments. The Igbo indigenous legal system, for example, has not been merely a `servant' of the formal legal system. It has innovated to preserve its independence and influence, while maintaining a cooperative relationship with the court and police. When conflicts of law arise, the competing legal orders minimize their differences (see Hooker 1975).
Since independence, Nigeria has experienced dramatic social, economic, and political changes, which have influenced legal reforms. Contemporary elites view modernization and nation-building as requiring a unified legal system, often invoking the European and U.S. models. As the state endeavors to adopt uniform state law at the expense of indigenous legal orders, however, it is met with intense resistance. Although economic development, missionary activity, and western education have influenced the country's socio-political order, the future of indigenous justice seems assured, particularly in Igboland. Disputants find indigenous law more accessible, satisfactory, and reliable in resolving most land disputes as well as domestic or civil cases.

Disputants move between the formal and indigenous legal systems at their convenience. We must discard the legal-centralist notions of the state law, in which indigenous justice is devalued. Future research should focus on how the indigenous legal orders interact with the state created customary courts. Such studies promise further insight into African law and societies and will contribute to the ongoing debate about a new political-legal order in Nigeria and throughout Africa.


Palm Wine and Its Importance In Traditional Igbo Society

Palm wine in Igbo land comes in two sources: nkwu (palm tree) - the source of the palm wine known as "Mmanya Nkwu", and ngwo (rafia palm tree) - the source of the palm wine, known as "Mmanya Ngwo". Each of the palm wine categories are regarded with different respects. Each has different functions in different occasions, depending on of course, how that particular area or village regards it.
In production, they are tapped in much the same way, by climbing to the required height or to the neck of the palm tree and cutting ducts, under which are placed local mugs (calabashes) or plastic gallons.

In some areas, the "Mmanya nkwu" is tapped also from a fallen palm tree. However, it is worth mentioning that the quantity of "Mmanya ngwo" obtainable from the palm tree is usually about thrice that of "Mmanya nkwu" within the same time limit.
In taste, they are also different while "Mmanya ngwo" tastes very sweet (sugary) but goes sour (fermentation) within a shorter duration. The "Mmanya nkwu" has a unique sweet, but pleasant taste which it maintains for a longer duration. Some areas in Igboland regard "Mmanya nkwu" better than "'Mmanya ngwo". This preference sometimes depends on the availability of one over the other in that area. Hence in some areas, traditional marriage and bride price ceremonies are not honoured with "mmanya ngwo", some other areas can accept "mmanya ngwo" where "mmanya nkwu" is not available. In some areas, the preferred kind of wine is employed in settling land disputes, in traditional gatherings, marriages, burials, festivities, land leasing occasions, among a host of other activities and ceremonies too numerous to mention.
When being served in any occasion ,the associated rules are obeyed. In any gathering, it is the youngest man or male that serves the wine, which is usually drunk traditionally in either elephant tusks or cow horns for titled men. There is also another drinking cup called "Okuku", a small type of cup made from a calabash. The young man serving will hold the wine container (calabash or gallon) on his left lap (thigh) and supports it with his left hand, while he holds the tusk or horn ("mpi" or "Okuku" - calabash cup) in his right hand. 

The first one he serves is handed to the host to drink. The second goes to himself, while the third goes to the eldest man in the gathering.
After all the formalities, the rest of the men are equal, and are served except for titled men who are served first before the others. But if the young man is to serve the wine standing, he holds the base of the container with his right hand and the neck with his left hand, while the partakers holds out their cups for him to pour out the wine. This is not the case for a woman. If she is to be served the wine, the young man pours it himself and hands the cup of wine to her, who in turn receives it with both hands as mark of respect and honour. She must not drink it while standing in the gathering; she squats down or sits somewhere before drinking it. If at any point the young man decides to shake the container to make for even concentration, he must first drop the container on the ground before he continues serving and the first person to tap him will receive a cup of wine.
The last cup of palm wine which contains the dregs (Ugwu mmanya) is usually given as a mark of honour to the eldest or the host. The Igbo man, you may infer, is actually rich in culture and tradition.


Igba Ndu In Igboland

MAN naturally is a social animal that interacts as well as try to adapt to his environment. However because man's nature is influenced by his desires for survival, dominance and control over his environment, this leads to issues of conflict among them. Such conflicts could attain the dangerous dimension of taking of lives, physical and spiritual injuries or material destruction. This can be at individual or group levels or even to communal proportion. The need therefore for conflict resolution of these prevalent issues, to avoid destructions and mistrust among peoples, and which can be of a permanent basis, to ensure peace and security of lives and properties, gave rise to the concept of Igba ndu in Igboland.
What is Igba Ndu
The concept Igba ndu literarily means to bond life, Igba stands for bond or tie while ndu means life in Igbo language. However the concept of Igba ndu is better understood as acovenant between individuals or groups. The Igbos are predominantly associated with the Igba ndu, however other groups outside their boarders also have their own concept for covenant or oath taking. The Igbos are a very industrious, energetic, and enterprising people. They are basically skilled in merchandising, and indulge in agriculture and other economic activities. By the nature of their activities and interactions, there is a high level of socio-economic interaction among them and even beyond their boarders, hence such interactions can and most times give room for mutual and peaceful co-existence as well as mistrust and conflict. Hence the need to institute an idea which can help sustain peaceful co-existence of a lasting time led to Igba ndu. This practice emanated not only out of fear of the unknown, especially with the knowledge that man is inherently wicked, hence to check on the wiles of men, covenants or Igba ndu is entered into to help safeguard the life and confidence of the parties that have entered into the agreement. Another reason for the Igba ndu is as aresult of man's desire to maintain peace, orderliness and harmonious living among themselves, hence where such is existing there is the need to consolidate such harmony among peoples.
The concept of Igba ndu is tied to the knowledge of the existence of a supreme being or deities who are very powerful as to intervene in the affairs of men when they are invited and thus dispense justice to defaulters who break the covenant entered. For any Igba ndu to be potent, in most cases it is tied to a deity or god. In Igboland, there are many deities that are involved, depending on the people concerned. Prominent deities such as, Igwe ka ala, Amadioha, Ibinokpabi, Ahiajioku etc, are some of the deities called upon to witness such covenants. The parties to the covenant while swearing will pronounce punishments which the gods are to excise on the defaulters.
Types of Igba Ndu
There are different types of Igba Ndu just as we have different types of agreements among peoples. The types of Igba ndu can be known in terms of the number of people involved or the type of agreement entered into. For influence, there is Igba ndu that can exist between two individuals, within a family or between two different neighboring communities. Igba ndu can also exist between an individual and a deity. In Igba ndu issues involved range from love, disputes between individuals or communities, trading or business concerns to agreements with the gods for protection or favour by individuals or groups etc. in undertaking Igba ndu certain people are involved; apart from the people concerned, the gods or deities are invoked, the departed ancestors are also involved, elders especially titled men, native doctors or Oha dibias, as well as chief priest of the community, is dependent on the people type of Igba ndu to be entered.
For instance where there is between lovers, only the two lovers and some times dibia are physically involved but the gods and ancestors are called upon as witnesses. Where the Igba ndu involves family or community a larger group of people mentioned are involved and the gods and the ancestors' role is to witness and dispense justice to defaulters or uphold the one that conforms to the covenant.
The dibias are to prepare the relevant concoction as well as make the necessary pronouncements/incantations that make the covenant potent. The chief priests invoke the gods and ancestors as well as participate in the preparation of necessary materials for the covenant ceremony. In some cases, the parties concerned are to come with their witness. These witnesses will attest to the facts of the covenant if anything should happen afterwards.
Objects needed for Igba Ndu
In understanding the Igba ndu, some items are required; these items are dependent on the type of Igba ndu. Such items as kola nut, palm wine, hot drink, ofo staff, blood, plantain stalk, cockrel, kaolin (nzu), fresh palm frond, snail, yam etc other none material objects and the incantation made by the priest or dibias, which can not be interpreted, it is privy to the dibias only. In the case of two lovers who want to undertake the Igba ndu, both partners can use a kola nut and dip it into their blood and then make a declaration as to their intention as well as what will befall anyone of them that breaks the covenant, they can call on adeity they believed in as witness, including their ancestors and Ala (the goddess of the earth). After which they eat the kola nut. In the event of a land dispute between either individuals or community the Igba ndu is more elaborate as the group concerned will invite witnesses, elders, the chief priest and dibias. In most cases, the covenant is administered in the shrine after the necessary items have been prepared and incantation made to invoke the ancestors and gods to witness it. In this type, the people concerned are to swear not to harm each other in any way either physically or spiritually any one who goes against the covenant the gods and ancestors will dispense justice. In other instance, a hole is dug and plantain stalk used to cross the hole, the people concerned will be made to cross the makeshift bridge, with a declaration that whosoever breaks the covenant will fall into the pit which signifies endless problems.
Essence of Igba Ndu in Igboland
The role Igba ndu plays in Igbo society can be best appreciated from the axiom of social control. It is important as it tries to eliminate deep seated hatred and calm frayed nerves especially on issues concerning land disputes, and other communal or individual squabbles. The process of Igba ndu ensures that the parties to a dispute settle such disputes amicably without physical or spiritual attacks on each other.
Igba ndu is also very important as it strengthens the unity that exists between the individuals, groups or communities.
It also plays the role of adjudication as it is the final processes of arbitration in which parties concerned, witnesses, ancestors and the gods are involved in the process of ensuring peaceful coexistence, hence when administered it becomes the final process of peaceful resolution as partied concerned have involved the spiritual world to adjudicate on their behalf.
Thus any default is punished by the gods.
Igba ndu checks the incidence of witch craft or spiritual or physical attacks, then puts a check to the activities of the wicked against the just in the society.
Penalties for default and the process of appeasement
Igba ndu is a serious covenant that carries a very severe punishment on the defaulter. This punishment if not quickly addressed or appeased will result in a family or generational curse or stigma. A defaulter is known when mysterious occurrence begins to affect his life, such as death, infertility, sickness etc. the penalties for a defaulter is an outcome of the covenant entered into as well as the reaction of the deity in which the covenant is administered. In addition to this is the curse, which is also placed on the defaulter. The penalties also defer in terms of the type of Igba ndu entered into. For instance, in the case of two lovers, the penalty for defaulter, where one breaks the covenant and abandons the relationship could be either madness, barrenness, inability to hold down any relationship or even death. Igba ndu where a deity like the Amadioha is involved has a very disastrous penalty for the defaulter. This can either be stricken down by thunder, mysterious illness that defies medical solution etc. the process of appeasement by the defaulter is tedious, this is so as people will not want to associate with such a person for fear of reprisal attack on them from the gods. It is only when a clearance is gotten from the gods through divination on how to appease the deity and also on how to re integrate the person into the society before he or she is allowed access to people. The gods will determine the items for appeasement, which most times are enormous. It is the chief priest of the deity and the dibias that handle such appeasement rites. Also the person will do rites that will allow him access to people (oriko). In some societies, items of appeasement include, cockerel, palmwine, local bull, ram, tortoise, cowry, yam, palm oil etc.
Igba Ndu in contemporary times
The influence of religions has had its impact on the appreciation and promotion of our rich cultural attributes including Igba Ndu.
However, there are some few who still believe in the efficacy and powers of our deities. These few have tenaciously held on to the cultural practice such as the Igba Ndu and other aspects of our cultures that recognize our deities in societal control. Though they are few but yet they have been able to ensure that these practices do not fizzle away into oblivious.
By A. Duru


People’s Assembly popularly called Ala Di Nma

In Alike community and indeed other communities of Obowu L.G.A, Imo State South East Nigeria, the People’s Assembly popularly called Ala Di Nma (literarily meaning “the land is well”) exists in various villages and hamlets for the purpose of deliberation on matters affecting peace, unity, infrastructural provision, taxation, among others. The unique feature of Ala Di Nma is the capability of the assembly to provide “Alternative Judicial Service” similar to the multi-door courthouse for alternative dispute resolution relating to family feuds, land matters, stealing/theft cases, marital issues, crimes and criminalities among others. The assembly presides over these cases as reported to it, passes and enforces judgment. Traditional laws and norms set by the ancestors, cultural practices, and moral standards are the codes applied in settling cases.

Composition of Ala Di Nma Assembly

Ala Di Nma assembly in Alike autonomous community comprises men who performed Iwa Akwa rite (a ceremony that transits a child to adulthood) and married women. Occasionally, advanced-in-age single mothers could be allowed to participate in the assembly. Every member of the community who meets these criteria is usually compulsorily a member.  

However, some community members may as a result of religious belief opt out of the assembly, sometimes citing the Federal laws of Nigeria which allow freedom of association as a right of a citizen. Worthy of note is the presence of the council of Chief Priests of different gods of the land for oath administration and ranting of curses when and where necessary using their staff of authority or Ofo. Recently, oath taking using the Holy Bible has been introduced for Christians who opt for it.

Leadership of the Assembly

The assembly is headed by a Chairman called Onye isi oche Ala Di Nma. Usually, a person is appointed into such office by voice vote, and must hold a traditional title, had previously exhibited sterling leadership quality and transparency, as well as be eloquent in speech making. A secretary to document all proceedings of the assembly is selected among educated men of the assembly. An elders’ council comprising mainly title holders of Nze, Ichie, and other titled men preside over the assembly as judges. Women are not allowed to hold any office. Members of elders’ council represent each clan of the community. The traditional Monarch, the Eze, is usually not a member of the assembly as the community may decide to split into smaller Ala Di Nma units for faster dispensation of cases. However, for cases considered to be grievous such as the defilement of sacred laws of the land, murder, rape, among others, His Royal Highness, the Eze and his cabinet will be briefed by the elders for stiffer penalties like banishment, exile or prosecution by the relevant authorities of the nation.

Ala Di Nma Session

The assembly holds its session once every eight market days. For instance, Ala Di Nma Alike holds its session on Nkwo Alike market day which comes once in every eight days. The session starts around 8:00 am and concludes about mid-day to allow people participate in the business of the market which commences at 3:00 pm. During the session, no eligible member of the community will be absent except the elderly, the sick and those in Diaspora. No farming, trading or any other business will be allowed to take place. Defaulters are fined in accordance with guidelines set by the elders’ council. Young men especially members of the last age grade that had performed Iwa Akwa rite, are delegated to demand and collect fines from defaulters.

Instituting a Case

An aggrieved individual can institute a case against someone by reporting the matter to the leadership and elders of the assembly with any amount like N5,000. An elder will be delegated to the accused that a case has been instituted against him for N5,000. He is expected to report to the leadership with the same amount where a date for hearing will be fixed. At the end of judgment, if the complainant wins the case, the accused loses the money to the assembly, while the complainant regains his money. Conversely, if the accused is acquitted, the complainant will forfeit his money to the assembly, while the accused recovers his money.

Case Proceedings and Settlement

On the appointed date, the complainant is called to the centre to lay his complaint before the Ala Di Nma assembly. Thereafter, the defence is asked to respond to all the allegations. Both the complainant and the defence are required to call witnesses where relevant. Any interested member of the assembly may cross-examine all parties to the case. In some instances especially in land matters, delegates may visit the scene for appraisal and report back to the assembly. Before a judgment is entered, consultation will be made among the leadership, council of elders and Chief Priests. Every judgment is confirmed by a chorus of Iseee!, meaning Amen, which rants the air after pronouncement by the Chairman. In cases where judgment cannot easily be delivered due to lack of evidence, mystery, ambiguity or other unresolved issues, the council of Chief Priests will be called to commit the judgment to the gods. Death or permanent disability is expected sign of the direction of the judgment of the gods. Occasionally, oath taking is employed to decide ambiguous cases. Sometimes, the outcome of such judgment is not instantaneous. When eventually it occurs, the deceased or affected family will be asked to provide materials for sacrifice including goat to appease the gods from extending the judgment beyond the victim. However, this is now optional to Christians based on years of agitation.

Enforcement of Judgment

Enforcement of judgment is carried out by age grade nominated for that assignment. Where the person affected belongs to a younger age grade, members of his grade will be used to execute the judgment. However, in cases of the elderly, a younger age grade will enforce judgment. In cases of realignment of land boundary, the elders’ council will execute the judgment. All monies realized from case settlements are reserved for community development.

Significance of Ala Di Nma Assembly

Ala Di Nma assembly came into existence in the 1970s to address growing violence, family feuds and moral decadence introduced in the society due to the effects of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. Over the years, the assembly has continued to provide an avenue for peaceful dispute resolution. It is perceived as crime against the community for any native to engage the services of the police or apply court means to seek redress for a dispute within the community without reporting the matter to Ala Di Nma assembly. This type of multi-door courthouse provides an alternative jurisprudence using traditional laws, culture and norms of the people. The outcome of the resolution or judgment leaves no victor nor vanquish.


Įgbanwe ųzo echiche onye Igbo - Transforming Igbo mindset/paradigm

Onye ka į bų? Ebee ka i siri malite? Gįnį bų njirimara gį? Ejirimara bų akara aka.
Unfortunately, Igbo people usually define themselves as their profession, job, position or title. But your true identity is your character or value. Values are the first and most important component of culture. Hence our culture is our future.
Culture can be defined as the totality of a people's way of life and worldview passed on from generation to generation. It has four major components namely: value, norms, institutions and artifacts.
Values deal with beliefs and what matters most to a group. For example, stealing and treachery (sabo) are abominations (nso ala) among the Igbo.
Norms deal with expectations and standards of behaviors. Violating norms usually attracts sanctions.
Institutions deal with instruments to maintain peace and harmony and enforcement of sanctions.
Artifacts deal with physical manifestations of the values and norms such as arts, clothing, dance, etc.
Culture defines and distinguishes a people because a people without culture is like a tree without roots.
Every group or society has good or bad aspects. Progressive groups will amplify the positive aspects and change the negative aspects in order to evolve and progress. When the rest of the world was wallowing in the "devine rights" of and worship of Kings (monarchy/feudalism), Igbo people were one of the few societies with democracy and leadership model.
Leadership is far superior to rulership (kingship/monarchy). It still baffles me why any sensible person would abandon a superior model for an inferior model when the rest of the world is now moving to that superior model. It is sheer madness and outright foolishness!
Igbo enwe eze (Igbo has no kings). Igbo culture before the coming of the "Whiteman" or European colonials and until after the civil war was the superior model with many positive aspects such as truth/integrity (eziokwu bu ndu), fairness/justice (mmegbu adi mma), brotherly love (onye aghala nwanne ya), industry/hard work, love of education, freedom, democracy, egalitarianism and republicanism, progress, and a balance between individualism collective interests or community. It is not true that Igbo are solely "individualists".
We need to celebrate the positive aspects while we change the negative aspects of Igbo culture, for example, the "osu" system.
Egalitarian or equality, freedom and progress principles, and Igbo language are the heart of the Igbo person. The real Igbo do not bow to or fear anyone except God. A real Igbo is a free citizen not a "subject" of anyone. Anybody destroying these fundamental Igbo principles and Igbo language is an enemy of the Igbo race. All over the world people are fighting to preserve their culture and have taken measures to do so. The Igbo should do the same. What need changing are the negative items.


Traditional burial rites in Igboland

Among the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria, death is traditionally a highly ritualized event filled with deep mourning.The traditional burial rites involve not one, but two funerals whose main intention is to safely escort the deceased from the realm of the living to the spirit world. Only after a successful second funeral can the deceased pass from the time of "ita okazi" -- a period of torment -- into a state of peace and contentment.


According to "Igbo Funeral Rites Today: Anthropological and Theological Perspectives," when an elderly man or woman dies, the corpse is immediately stretched out on plantain leaves, sponged down thoroughly and rubbed with camwood dye to mark it as sacred. After the cleaning, the body is laid out in the living room, lying down with the feet facing the entry way-- though if the deceased is a woman, she is often seated upright. Sometimes, women are also carried in a stretcher back to their ancestral village for burial.


Once the body has been prepared for its passage from the world of the living into the spirit world, a wake is held. The eldest son of the bereaved family welcomes the community into the home with kola nuts and palm wine. Prayers and libations are spoken to beckon ancestral spirits into the home to escort the spirit of the deceased. The wake lasts the whole night until gun shots are fired early the next morning to alert the surrounding village of the death that has occurred.


After the wake takes place, the body is immediately buried in a grave dug in the living room. Also enclosed are a large quantity of cloth and some of the deceased's most valued possessions in life. Men are often buried with their tools, gun or fishing gear, and women with their pots and dishes. The body is then placed in the grave by young men and encased in wooden planks.


The first burial, however, is not the end of Igbo funeral rites. Several months or even a year after the body is buried, a second funeral is held, but this time, it is accompanied by feasting and merry-making rather than mourning.Visitors dress in their best attire, and sing and dance to alert the community of the event that is about to be held. After the second funeral, the deceased is said to have been sent off to take up a new place in the land of the dead.