Ife Oracle in Itsekiri Social System of Nigeria
Itsekiri people came from Egypt after the battle of Actium in 31 B.C. They arrived and settled in the present Warn Kingdom in about 28 B.C in Gborodo, Ureju and Ode Itsekiri. The leaders of the teams were Iset, Iweret and Ipi. The word Oritse which means God in Itsekiri appears to be closer to Osiris, god of the Nile than those of their neighbours - Urhobo, Ijaw and Ilaje. Ra, the god of the sun in Egypt that helps the crops to mature is the wife of Umalokun in Itsekiri, the provider of sea foods. Ife oracle with its 256 literary corpus is a compendium of the cultural practices of the people. It includes the metaphysical and psychic studies of the people, a source of ethics and discipline of the people. It must be sustained to raise the spiritual level of the people. The phenomenological approach was employed by the authors to examine the historical configuration of the Itsekiri social system and the place of Ife oracle. It was concluded that Ife oracle, as compendium of knowledge and reality, is the access point to understanding our human inheritance and realizing our core values. Upon this, it was recommended that Ife oracle is not fetish. Rather it is a valid and reliable source of knowledge. (original abstract)
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