Religion and the Economic Ethics of the Pre-Colonial Igbomina, Eastern Yorubaland: A Lesson for the Present

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Faculty of Arts, Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State


Abstract Economic activities and religious beliefs were, to a large extent intertwined. From ages, religion has been part of every society and the life of an average man revolves around his religion which dictates his code of conduct to cultural, socio-political and economic matters. Hence, since man inhabited the planet, it has been one long struggle for survival between him and nature. The reality of the basic needs of life-food, cloth and shelter indeed made him to inevitably see necessity as the mother of invention, as well as the need to set up some guiding principles in his day to day transactions in all his cultural institutions. This is the case of the Igbomina who had evolved from very primitive origins and has made a staggering leap to the present. This paper does not only examine the central place of religion or the influence of the Supreme Deity in determining success and failure of Man in all human endeavours but also surveys the correlation between religious doctrines and the practical ethics of the economic activities of the Igbomina. The methodology was based on revision of relevant literature, reliance on archaeological sources, archival materials and oral interviews. The study concludes that in every aspect of an Igbomina, religion dominates and dictates his actions, reactions and inactions. Again, even though he/she is exposed to western education and culture vis-à-vis his economic and socio-political impetus, religion still often provides ethics, implying that traditional thought is still the source of his basic world view. On this note, the past lies like a nightmare upon the present (Karl Marx).



Religion, Economy, Ethics, Pre-colonial, Igbomina


MLA, pp. 37-52