During the dawn of time, back in the days when Islam and Christianity was not paramount in Ebiraland, Ebira people have their own traditional unique ways of naming Children.
Introduction To Ebira Naming Ceremony
There is something Called ‘Ozi Ireha’ in Ebira Language, during my research I came to the understanding that, the Names so called Ozi Ireha i.e. the likes of Ojo, Ajari, Ige, Taye & Kehinde (Ejima) and so on are not really Ebira Names, but an adopted ones from Yoruba land through the Ebira Traders, that do trading to Yoruba Land.
Naming Ceremony in Ebiraland.
Everything in life has their own time so is naming ceremony. In Ebira naming ceremony sense, it is believed in Ebira Traditional way that Men have 9 ribs and women have 7 so with this the naming date varies and follows gender of the child check below list:
- Female Child – 7th Day after birth
- Male Child – 9th Day after birth
- Twins – 8th Day after birth
Islam and Christianity – put theirs on the 8th day after birth regardless of childs gender
Factors Affecting Naming in Ebiraland
According to the Ebira peoples believe, the factors surrounding the birth of a child, will be the inspiration behind the child’s name. A very good example of this is a child born in the pit (the name will be Itutu), a child born on the road to Farm, Stream, or Market (Ajoze or Otuoze) a child born in the market square automatically the child’s name is the popular one (Anagwureyi).
Some other factors behind Childs name is the time, previous happenings and actions that took place during the child’s birth. Most children called Inda, Inya, Adoza, Oyioza etc. are ancestors believed to have come back to this world in the image of the children given the name. (This facts are gotten from Eva divinatory system (Oheva)). I will properly explain this during my article on Ebira Concept of Child Divination (Eva Ozi).
Another one is the Ozi Ireha, see the list below for details
Ozi Ireha in Ebira Naming Ceremony.
- Ojo/Aina – Child born when it is raining (Male is Ojo While female is Aina)
- Ajari/Ajayi – Child born with placenta around his/her neck
- Idowu – Child after twins
- Ejima (TAYE AND KEHINDE – Twins
- Ige – Came to the world with let instead of head
- Oke – Child born with placenta rapped around his/her body
- Dada – Born with dreaded hair
Items Needed During a Typical Ebira Naming Ceremony
- Water (Enyi) *
- Honey (Ehu) *
- Kola Nut (Irevu) *
- Bitter Kola (Oro) *
- Salt (Anoh) *
- Palm Oil (Angwe) *
- Cat Fish (Ivovo Ireheyi)
- Snail (Irepa)
- Sugar Cane (Irike) *
- Fruits (Orange)
- Money/Cowries (Ekehi/Uto) *
- Palm Wine/Guinea Corn Wine (Eche Omo/Eche Ayi)
Note: Each ones above with * Aster sign means they are important and required to be present
After all above mentioned items are present at the naming ground, the father, Mother, Elder in the Family of the Father of the child will be the one to hold the child while the priest pray for the child using the items provided one after the other.
As the priest pray for the child with each Item, they put small amount of everything in the child’s mouth. That’s all on Ebira Concept of Naming Ceremony.
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