Socio-cultural Implications of Household Sepulchres among the Ekiti-Yorubas of Southwest Nigeria


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




Positioning the sepulchres of loved ones within residential areas has been the cultural practice of the Yoruba people until it was outlawed by the colonialists. Interestingly, this tradition is still observed by Ekiti-Yoruba people till date. This cultural practice, coupled with how it survived the hurdles posed by colonialism, proliferation of orthodox beliefs, and the demands of modern and postmodern lifestyles among the Ekitis is intriguing. Consequently, a number of questions come to mind: what are the historical, sociological and cultural issues that inform the burial of the dead within the home vicinity? Aside this, what form of interaction takes place between the graves and the living humans within residential vicinities? Further, in what ways does this affect the living in their day to day social negotiations? Using participant observation, in depth interviews with key informants and archival search, this study seeks to interrogate these problematic in Usi-Ekiti southwest Nigeria.