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Igbo religion and spirituality
Chukwu is the supreme being of the Igbo religion. In the Igbo pantheon, Chukwu is the source of all other Igbo deities, and is responsible for assigning them their different tasks. The Igbo people believe that all things come from Chukwu, who brings the rains necessary for plants to grow and controls everything on earth and the spiritual world. They believe Chukwu to be an infinitely powerful, undefinable, supreme deity encompassing everything in space and space itself.
Linguistic studies suggest that the name "Chukwu" or "Chukouuee" is a portmanteau of the Igbo words "Chi" ("spiritual being") and "Ukwu" ("great in size").
Conception of Chukwu
According to the Igbo people from the south-eastern region of Nigeria, Chineke is the creator of the world and everything good in it along with rain, trees, and other plants. Chukwu is a supreme God represented by the sun. The ancient God is not humanized in Igbo tradition belief. Because the Igbo deities Amadioha and Ikenga are masculine, Chukwu is assumed to be male.
Many Igbo Christians refer to the Christian God as Chukwu as well. The Igbo believe it is impossible for humans to conceive of the unlimited power of Chukwu. Many Igbo dialects refer to God by names such as "Chukwu", "Chiokike", or "Obasi."
There are five aspects of Chukwu:
- Chukwu - the first force and existence of all beings.
- Anyanwu - symbolic meaning of the sun. The sun reveals everything so Chukwu is the source of knowledge and the author of all knowledge.
- Agbala - the fertility of Earth, its people, and its spiritual world full of sub-deities.
- Chi - a sub-deity functioning as a personal, spiritual guide.
- Okike - creator of laws that govern the visible and invisible.
- Egboh, Edmund O. (1972). "A Reassessment of the Concept of Ibo Traditional Religion". Numen. 19 (1): 68. doi:10.2307/3269588.
- Afigbo,Adiele Eber Chukwu. Myth, History, and Society: the Collected works of Adiele. Toyin Falola, Trenton, NJ:Africa World press,2006.