Voices from the Grave

Amongst the Igbos, one of the key tribes of Nigeria, some children come into this world as demigods, royal visitors. Their hairs are dreadlocked in the womb. They are called Isi Dada.

Isi Dada brings good fortune to the family and the village. His/her birth means that one of the gods is visiting. This is a blessing to the family and the village. The village and the family would treat this child royally, with a lot of care, for one year. The child should be showered with presents and kept happy. The dreadlocks are not to be shaved for one year, just washed regularly. The day this child turns one year, a big celebration is held in the village. The child is carried amongst dancing, to the shrine of the god she represents. The dreadlocks are then shaved in this shrine. The child becomes a human being from this point.

However, if the dreadlocks are shaved before she turns one year, the child would fall sick and die. This symbolizes her going back to the god that sent her. It brings a very bad omen on the village and her family. For years, there would be famine and catastrophes in the cursed village.

Show Comments

No Responses Yet

Leave a Reply