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Hrm582 Cultural Ritual

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Ancestral and Spirits Worship
Ike Ohanson
Week 4

Growing up in a different country made me aware of a lot of strange traditions and rituals around me. Back then, I imagined the things I saw and heard were normal until I started being open-minded to outside cultures and learning about them.
Ivory Coast is a country of about 16,400,000 people in which 12% are Christian, 25% are Muslim and 63% still believe in old tradition. The old tradition is to believe in “ancestral worship”. People grow up believing that the dead become a spirit that remains in contact with us and we are taught to seek for their blessing and protection.
Many ways are adopted to remain in contact with the dead spirits: one way is to sacrifice an animal like a chicken, goat or cow to them in order to get their protection. Or by donate part of money or what is important to us.
We also believe in “Magic”. It is used to keep the evil spirit and anything that is supposed to hurt us away. Whenever we struggle or need guidance, people seek help from “Medicine men or Juju priests”. I actually remember going to some Juju priests with my mom when I was a kid. She went there every once in a while when something important was going to happen in our family. For example when my dad needed a big promotion at work, when my brother or sisters were getting to take a big exam at school or when we were planning a big family trip. She did so in order to get blessing from the spirits and additional positive vibes. The Juju priests would always tell her what to sacrifice in order to get what our family needed. They would even give advice on how to fast and how to fast.
The old traditions there are still adopted by majority because there are a lot of evil spirits. People would give their soul to the devil in order to get what they want. By doing so, they will also be willing to hurt or kill their family members or just the people they know. So the protection from the dead will definitely keep the devil away. At least, it is what they believe.
Ivory Coast and its population are very interesting. It is a beautiful place to live and there is a lot to know about the culture. The tradition is very important and that will never stop. It is what keeps everyone there going.


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