Mountain Worship and the Philosophical Conception: A Study of the Idoma on the Functions of Effigies and Symbols

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Langaa RPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group, P.O.Box 902 Mankon, Bamenda North West Region Cameroon


The presence of Western education in Idoma society would have swayed the conception of Idoma persons from the significance of artefacts in the cultural makeup of Idomaland. Some Idoma believe that the use of effigies and other symbols are more efficacious when used at mountains, particularly for exorcisms. This study examined the philosophical conceptions of illiterate and literate Idoma persons of Central Nigeria, on the usefulness of effigies and symbols in Idoma society. It made use of descriptive survey method where 2700 Idoma illiterate and literate persons were sampled using simple random sampling technique. Researchers drew questionnaires, and interview schedule, while observation technique was also used for the data collection. Frequency counts, percentages and t-test were used for data analyses. The results showed that majority of Idoma literate and illiterate persons in Idoma communities regarded effigies and symbols as important traditional religious items for honouring the dead, and paying tribute to the ancestors and fallen king which helped them to drive away evil spirits from possessed bodies during mountain worship, they also served as items used to banish evils, release emotional worries, combat spiritual challenges, and generate spiritual powers that connects individual to the ancestors, gods and spiritual world among others. It is then concluded that effigies and symbols are significant in social and cultural lives of Idoma people, and there was no discordant in the philosophical conception of literate and illiterate Idoma persons on the use of effigies and symbols in the society. Thus, it was recommended that effigies and symbols should be viewed in the light of their functions and the contributions they have made to socio-cultural lives that were of values to Idoma people.



Mountain Worship, Philosophical Conception, Idoma, Functions of Effigies, Symbols