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What Were The Crimes Of Our Ancestors?

What were the crimes of our ancestors? If you were asked to give a detailed information to the excessive demonization of our African ancestry, would you rise to the occasion or continue the ignorance syndrome. It is unfortunate that our ancestors lived and died without documenting 90% of our Igbo pre-colonial history, rather we learn through folklores and idioms.

The educational system in Igbo pre-colonial society was centered on informal education which was mainly done through family socialization, other aspects of this socialization process was done on a need to know bases, this means that some sacred and mystical knowledge such as astral travels and some sacred rituals were shared only to the specified initiates (Dibias) and not made public to an Ofeke (Non Dibia).

Moonlight tales in Igbo-precolonial society

The Igbo pre-colonial society was characterized by its laws, sacredness, spirituality above all love and unity. These tenets were the guiding principals that made us who we are today. Unfortunately without proper documentation and socialization we gradually lost ourselves and identity to other peoples definition of us as well as our natural resources to the Europeans, leaving us in poverty ,corruption, immorality but above all we lost our connection to nature this include our fear/reverence/knowledge of God.

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The exclusiveness of knowledge in Igbo spirituality led to the misconception and lies surrounding our belief system ,these misconception were duly spread by the missionaries and non-initiates.

Such misconceptions include:

  1. Idol worshipping
  2. Human sacrifice
  3. Virgin Sacrifice
  4. Female dominance and servitude etc

I once came upon a Q and A session that was conducted by a Dibia, she encouraged people to speak up about their grievances with Igbo spirituality.A young man called in and said “I was told that before Christianity we worshipped a deity called Ngwu,this deity from time to time request for human blood as sacrifice”.

The Dibia smirked and said “Whatever information you have is a just a hearsay, you never witnessed it but she is very sure that the deity Ngwu only accepts white items as sacrifice. This means that if you want to give him a goat or chicken it has to be purely white and by all indication no human being is literally white”  

The Deity Ngwu

The missionaries only reported things they saw but couldn’t explain or understand its symbolic relevance hence they created an illusion that infested the minds of people.

What were the crimes of our Ancestors if one might ask?

Through out the course of my research and interactions with practicing Dibias there isn’t any trace of human sacrifice in Igbo Spirituality. Like I often say in my previous posts, we Igbos already knew God and ways through which we could communicate with him, this assertion is justified through names such as Chisom,Chidiebere,Chidubem) etc.

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These Ancestors that are often demonized by the missionary and ourselves are the reason we dare to exist. Every day we use and eat things that were invented by them but we cant call them inventors rather we rebuke and reject them for their self-sacrifice forgetting that any tree without a strong root can be easily uprooted by a measly wind.

Looking at this instance we all enjoy the combination of corn and pear or coconut, the combination of akpu and ofe egusi or oha soup.The fact that they were able to mix in different herbs and condiments to produce Oha ,Onugbu or Egusi soup shows their intensions .These so called Ancestors experimented with different items that can either kill or sustain them which could have killed some that we aren’t aware of, this goodwill is something that you and i are still benefiting from.

Igbo foods, Egusi, Abacha ,Ji ,Moi Moi and Nkwobi.

In Igbo Spirituality is the perception that we Mma-ndu aren’t the original owners of these land but would eventually vacate and sojourn upon the time of death. Every family has its original institutor mainly the person whose first name is our present surname.This comes with a realization that most pastors or reverends aren’t aware of, which is the reason for some ignorant assertions that are usually made by them.

Most of us visit pastors who ignorantly or maliciously assert that your problem is as a result of what your forefathers did and claim that it’s a revelation from God, he puts you on 3 months praying and fasting with a strong prayer point against your root but forgets that you still bear the name OKONKWO, OKAFOR etc. He also forgets that you’d go back home to meet Okonkwo whom you just humiliated and tried to forcefully evict from his home (This is a food for thought).


Ancestral Veneration in Igboland

So, I ask again What Were The Crime Of Our Ancestors that we repeatedly demonize and blame them even for our wrong doings and carelessness. Also note those that introduced Christianity to us raped, murdered, lied, stole, sabotaged and destroy thousands of lives in the name Gods work. But we adore and worship things that is culturally relevant to them while we demonize things that were created to protect and keep us.

No human culture is and evolved without its dark times, but the world has made Africa the center for its caricature and we condone and enable it and it has constantly ripped us apart. This is the age of enlightenment and its now left for you and i to sojourn for the truth and rewrite history the way it should be.


  1. The truths in this write up is a must hear for every Igbo..Without our identity we’re lost and to move forward we need to come to terms with our identity.