Core Insight About Ebira’s traditional belief system

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‘Ohomorihi, Irevu yi!

Ete onegeere, lrevu yi!!

Ori tata anaa guda, irevu yi- – – – – ..”

We all understand and believe that Before the advent of Christianity and Islam. the Ebira people had a well-established
and promising mode of worship in the land. Then traditional religion and practice set the moral standard, for the society and hence controlled the personal lifestyle of the people.
Ebira concept of God: The Ebira strongly believes in a Supreme Being. This Supreme Being is linked with the sky and called Adayi Ebeeba, or Ihineba (our Father in the sky). He is also called by various other names like Ohomorihi and Oricha, some often referred to God as Adaka Adejo which simply means the Chief Judge of all Judges.

Ohomorihi has many attributes. These are shown in the praises and eulogies often showered on Him. He is addressed as: Ohomorihi, O ye ehe oni oza ve ini Ani, Oricha obedu-bedu, Ovara akaha hiduma, Ogodogodo oni uvo oza o yi me tu, Ikokokowukowu, O gene me Zina, O ka oni aani ge, Echiji me Okareyi, O ku oza ohuru-ku oza atito, O si ozweyi Vara ozoku – o so ozoku Vara ozweyi, O du ajini o so uhwo tenyi, etc.

This translated means: God, who knows the secret of the world man has come, The Daring one, Whose Stir Causes deep rumbling, (i.e thunder), He who is beyond the reach of man, the Almighty, He who perches but never falls, who speaks and things happen as he has said, he who passes judgment in silence, who can raise one to grace and lower one to ashes, who turns a child to adult and an adult to a child, who destroys today to build tomorrow. etc

God is the creator of all things in the universe. He asks everyone what he wants to come and do on earth and equips him accordingly. Thus, he makes man responsible for his own actions by giving him free will. In Ebira, this personal free will is called “IVEHU”. Ohomorihi is the father of all Creation (Adayi Ebeeba). His power is infinite, he has no equal, no rival nor Comparison, Never.

Next to him is mother Earth. Ohomorihi is our Father and “Ete” is our mother (Ete onyi Aniyewa). But this doesn’t suggest that Ohomorihi and Ete are husband and wife. Ete is revered but not to the level of Ohomorihi. She is addressed as: Ete onyi Aniyewa, Opopopo, Odidikiidi, O ka irema aba humahuma, O da yi oza ri – o da za here, etc. This means Earth, mother of all, owner of bounty, the Great One, who makes great heaps, who feeds one then forces him to vomit it, etc.

The last attribute is very symbolic and needs to be explained. The Earth, it says, fattens man for her own consumption. She fattens man by yielding crops to feed him. In the end, the man dies and his remains are “eaten” by the Earth.

The next in the eternal hierarchy is Ori (i.e Oracle’s and Deities) followed by the ancestral spirits of different clans. Ori is regarded as the “O gu Ohuta ana ga Isa yi wa ku” i.e. The third in the Trilogy. Such divinities about in Ebiraland e.g Ori Akoyina, Ori Adobe, Ori O’omi, Ori Ihima, Ori Eganyi, Ori Itakpe, Ori Odozonwe, These deities are regarded as divine beings who exercise immense powers over human life and Destiny.

In sacrifice and incantations, the divine Trilogy are mentioned and eulogized in turns like:

Ohomorihi Irevu yi;

Ete onegeere Irevu yi;

Ori tata anaa guda, Irevu yi oo!

Eyi ana ni ajini Irevu yi;

Anyenee kerekere, Irevu yi;

Ozu Ami, Irevu yi-Va do we pe mi haa…!

This means: ‘God, this is the sacrificial kola; Earth, here is kola; Deity, here is Kola, Woman all over, this is kola; My Guardian Spirit, here is Kola-Accept it and help me to break it.
The breaking of kola nuts during any occasion is the prerogative of the most elderly male present. He solicits the help of the trio in the above manner while elderly females present kneel down rubbing the palms of their hands in supplication and chorusing their prayer of support


  1. Am highly proud of my being an Ebira Ohomorihi Adayi ebeba ve tenyi ete Ebira tenyi Nigeria.

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