A comparative study of blood symbolism in the indigenous religion and Christianity among Moba people of Ekiti state

Owolabi, Alabi Oyeleke (2010)



The study examined the phenomenon of blood symbolism in the Indigenous Religion and Christianity among Moba people of Ekiti State. It discussed the rationale for human sacrifice in the Traditional Religion of Moba people and Christianity. It also identified the role of blood in various festivals and covenant making, and its impact on the lives of Moba people. The research work provided insights and assessed the practice of blood symbolism on adherents of Traditional Religion and Christianity. The work employed comparative method of studying religion. Also a phenomenological approach was adopted to eliminate biases, and as much as possible, to present blood symbolism as seen and understood by the adherents of Indigenous Religion and Christianity. Primary data was collected through oral and structured interviews. Forty purposively selected resource people were interviewed. From the Indigenous Religion ten traditional rulers, twelve priests, and priestesses, and eight devotees of major deities in Mobaland were interviewed. From Christianity, ten pastors were interviewed cutting across selected mainline, Protestant, Pentecostal, and African Independent Churches. These churches included Anglican Communion, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Latter Rain Gospel Ministry, Christ Apostolic Church, and Cherubim and Seraphim Church, all in the Mobaland. In addition, two hundred and fifty structured interview guides were administered to adherents of Indigenous Religion and Christianity within Moba community. This number was randomly selected to include both old and young people and also male and female. Secondary sources were also consulted. The study found out that blood played a vital role in the sacrificial rites of the Indigenous Religion and Christianity among Moba people. Also the research revealed that blood symbolized life, hope, and oneness in the above mentioned religions. It was discovered that the basic reason for sacrifice in both religions was to appease God as well as promote peaceful co-existence within the family and community. It was further ascertained that the harmonious interaction between the adherents of Christianity and Traditional Religion in Mobaland was due to the fact that those who brought Christianity to Mobaland were indigenous missionaries who appreciated and understood the cultural values and religious heritage of the Moba people. The study concluded that Moba people could be authentically Christians and at the same time authentically Moba, retaining their socio-cultural and religious identities as a Traditional Yoruba and Christian community.