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22 July 2013

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Kola Nut, a Sacred Commodity for Prayers in Igboland

There are two types of cola nut in Nigeria, kola nutida otherwise referred to as ngoro are widely consumed in the northern part of Nigeria, kola acuminata also referred to as igbo cola which is or local origin and occupy an important post in social religious, economic, political and sacred live of Igbo society

Kola nut has been seen as a vital and sacred commodity. It has a lot of functions.

Kola nut seed is enclosed in its case that contains many kola nuts and each kola nut contains many cotyledons unlike kola nucida which contains little cotyledons. The number of cotyledons contained in a kola nut has its significance in Igbo culture and tradition

In Igbo religion, it is believed that the spirit of the death plays vital role in their daily activities. The Igbo people use kola nuts to commune with the spirit of their ancestors. With kola nut, the Igbos invites the ancestors to come and pray for the living.  

Since the kola nut is regarded as sacred and holy, the tongue is believed to contain life and serve as the major instrument of prayers to the ancestors.

The Igbos have a lot of respect for kola nuts. During the prayers, the tongue is carefully removed with fingers and split into smaller pieces while the prayer is going on. The split pieces can be thrown on the ground in bits while praying or thrown out together at the time of the prayer

It is believed that while praying with kola nut, you are telling the ancestors that you’ve come to make a request. Praying with the tongue of the kola nut is exclusively reserved for people who are believed to be pure. For instance; chief priest, titled men, traditional rulers and perhaps eldest son of the family
Mayor basic things requested for during prayers include good health, long life, good offspring, wealth, peace and love.

After the prayer, there is a uniform response by all present “iseeeeeeeee!”  Which means the five fingers of the hand have come out to accept the prayer.

Kola nuts are the fundamental bedrock in Igbo philosophy     

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