Igbo Names and Initiation
Is there any factor besides birth, which qualifies one for membership in/into typical Igbo genealogical Tree of life? Put positively, how does the biological offspring of the Igbo family acquire personal identity? The paradox of personal identity in the Igbo socio-cultural milieu arises by nature of the African world, namely, the African perception of the nature of the universe and man s status in it, indeed his notion of life and the human destiny; which unique perspective appertains in a general way to the unique manner of responses or behaviors that is regarded as his culture. This discourse observes that birth in Igbo community or into the Igbo family is authenticated by some institutional acts and processes which culminate in initiations. Initiations in the course of life of the Igbo person may include but are not limited to Name giving (the Personal Names System), the Masquerade practice or cult of living dead, Ozo title taking, Iru Mgbede (pre-marriage course for brides). The name giving and masquerade practices are outstanding because they symbolically introduce the individual into the Igbo family tree of life and value systems.