Igbo Cultural Heritage

The Supreme Being (Chi ukwu or Chukwu) is the God of Creation (Chi Okike), the Force that fires all forces. God in Igbo language is also called Chineke (“God in the morning of creation, ” or “the God who creates” or “God and the Creator” (duality of deity), depending on perspectives). Chineke is far removed from the perception of mere mortals. This Supreme Power (Ikekaike) is neither a living-dead (ancestor) nor a spirit. It has no known physical form, yet indirectly impacts the affairs of the human world. Chineke manifests to our world

Anyanwu (the Sun)—Chineke is the mastermind behind the source of light, love and knowledge and, implicitly, earthly existence or life itself;

Chi (the godly guardian), the personal providence is a divine agents assigned to each human from cradle to the coffin;

Kpakpando (the stars) which manifest as the celestial beauty;

Enuigwe (the heavens), the home of all supernatural forces including the stars.
Chineke created everything visible and invisible. The concept of Chineke is incomprehensible; to know God is the end of knowledge, which is probably why the Igbo do not debate those who say their ancestors dropped from the sky — who knows! The evil forces that intrude into our lives and the physical forces of the universe are all put in place by the Supreme Force, the Godhead or Creator, for definite reasons and to coexist in harmony and multiply and or evolve.

Mmuo is the spirit of ancestors who lived, died, and moved on to the great unknown, the other side of the realm. Hence, mmadu (human beings) must die to become mmuo (spirit being). If a man was good while alive, upon his departure he could become an ichie or nna-mmuo —a hallowed ancestor spirit or a saint. Ancestral spirits are more commonly known by the collective term “Ndiichie.” A respected, living elder can therefore be called ichie —a living saint. Ndiichie is also used for a group of accomplished and distinguished elders who uphold the morals of the society, dispense unquestionable justice, and preserve the culture of the community.


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