THE ANCIENT AFRICAN HALLOWEEN
THE ONLY PROOF THAT ALL MEN ARE OF THE SAME DESCENT is the relativity of our customs.
In West African settlements, the initiation into the spiritual realm starts after the Harvest (post August). In Igbo land, it’s called ịma mmou/ịkpụ ani. This festival introduces the children (mainly male children) to the ghosts of the ancestral spirits.
As recorded in the book: African Child, it is the period of making men of boys by exposing them to the spirits. As a boy, this initiation was so popular in Anambra State. Young initiates always told similar tales of a spider that cut young boys genitals.
I was never initiated. My parents were prisoners of western dogma. That western dogma that saw everything in Africa as superstitious. That same group that were convinced that nothing good could come from Africa.
But in their land, almost the exact period we commune with out ancestors, they have All Hallows’ Day (popularly known as Halloween) – the day they become one with their dead ancestors.
You see the similarity in custom that might prove Darwin right. However, ours is heinous and theirs is virtuous.
They condemned the festival that introduces the new masquerades in our land. The festival that precedes the days we remember ‘Ndi Ichie’ (Our Saintly ancestors).
Meanwhile, that which they tagged evil in our land they called Halloween in their own land. This Halloween is a prelude to the most sacred event in the Christendom – All Saints’ Celebration Day.
This, permit me to say, is just a case of a 6 and a half of a dozen…
The same ritual – different nomenclature.