Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Belief in Reincarnation Among the Igbo of Nigeria1

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Journal of Asian and African Studies
For new content, see African and Asian Studies.

The modern Igbo of Nigeria, even when adhering to the Christian religion, have preserved many features of Igbo traditional religion. The belief in reincarnation seems to be particularly strong. The Igbo believe that reincarnation usually occurs within the same immediate or extended family. They try to identify the reincarnated ancestor by means of birthmarks, statements a child makes when it becomes able to speak, and behavioral resemblances between the child and the deceased person of whom it is the presumed reincarnation. Oracles are frequently consulted to make or confirm an identification. The Igbo believe that deceased persons inhabit a discarnate realm, but they conceive this as an undesirable limbo from which discarnate souls are eager to return to a new terrestrial life. The Igbo concept of reincarnation includes belief in a group of souls called ogbanje who are born, die in early life, and are reborn in the same family, often repeatedly.

Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry University of Virginia School of Medicine, Virginia, U.S.A.


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Asian and African Studies — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation