The concept of divinity in Ebira culture is deeply rooted in the belief in one supreme God known as Ohomorihi. Ohomorihi is considered the ruler of the world and the creator of everything on earth and in the sky. Due to the immense power and majesty of Ohomorihi, the Ebira people believe that direct communication with God is not possible for mere mortals. Therefore, they rely on the assistance of intermediary gods known as Ori.
The Ori are believed to reside in specific locations such as hilltops, groves, and caves. These sacred places serve as meeting points between humans and the divine realm. In various aspects of life, such as times of war, peace, festivals, harvest, and important events, the Ebira people visit the Ori to make requests, express gratitude, and seek protection.
When approaching the Ori, individuals bring sacrificial items such as yams, kolanuts, and domestic animals as offerings. These offerings are a form of reverence and acknowledgment of the powers bestowed upon them by Ohomorihi. The Ori act as intermediaries, conveying the prayers, appeals, and appreciation of the people to the supreme God.
It is essential to note that the Ebira tradition does not involve human sacrifices, as such acts are considered taboo and strictly prohibited. The consequences for spilling human blood are severe and widely condemned within the culture. Instead, offerings of agricultural produce and animals are considered acceptable means of communication and reverence.
In the traditional breaking of kolanuts, which holds significance in Ebira culture, there is a hierarchical acknowledgment of different entities. The process begins with recognizing the Almighty God, followed by the mother earth, and then the Ori, among others.
While the advent of Abrahamic religions, such as Islam and Christianity, may discourage the belief in Ori, many Ebira people still acknowledge the existence of these deities and continue to pay homage to them. Some participate in these rituals as a form of entertainment and enjoyment rather than religious worship. It is also important to mention that custodians within the traditional institution are responsible for the rituals associated with deification and maintaining the cultural practices.
In conclusion, the concept of divinity in Ebira culture revolves around the belief in one supreme God, Ohomorihi, and the existence of intermediary gods known as Ori. The Ori serve as intermediaries between humans and the divine realm, facilitating communication, protection, and blessings. While the influence of Abrahamic religions has led to varying perspectives on the importance and practice of worshiping Ori, the cultural significance and traditional rituals associated with these deities remain a part of Ebira heritage and identity.