I am on a high!! So, we have just welcomed 2 new babies into the family within the last 8 weeks. It’s very exciting, expanding family, love that expands and accommodates. And it’s always interesting.
I figured I would share with you what goes on from a Nigerian (Yoruba specifically point of view after childbirth) . Now the Nigerian culture is as fascinating as that of other countries in the African region. Among others, one of the most popular is the child naming ceremony that the Yoruba’s call “Ikomo.” This has been a part of African tradition for ions. This is a proof that even at a young age, at a time they won’t even remember, Nigerians are already celebrating. Psst…Nigerians (perhaps, Africans) love merriments in all forms.
So what is Ikomo or Naming Ceremony? Do we not just fill out the birth certificate at the hospital and call it a day and begin the diaper changes and vigils? Not quite. Traditionally, the naming ceremony is held on the eighth day following the birth of the child. Depending on how big the event is, the celebration usually gathers friends and immediate family (Elders in the family are quite important) to the tune of the size of your living room (more likely) or a rented hall ( if you are the party kind). Moving along, at this ceremony is where the names of the child are revealed. …uhmm yea, the child doesn’t have …or we don’t call the child the first 8 days.. It is part of the Nigerian tradition so people do not question. It’s very much understood A lot of times, the role of the eldest member of the family present is to lead the prayer for the baby while engaging in various “ceremonies” as well.
There are different traditional key substances and spices used in the ceremony, each with its own meaning, significance or importance to the life of the child. Everyone present gets to take a little taste of the these items. For instance, Water - No one is enemies with water, therefore, the prayer is that the baby will favored with both God and man Salt, Sugar, & Honey - symbolize sweetness
Kolanut - “obi ni mbi iku, obi ni mbi arun” - meaning Kolanut vomits death & diseases therefore, this child will not die young
Orogbo (bitter kola nut)
Signifies longevity - the baby shall live long Ataare (Alligator Pepper) - “Ataare kii do Omo re l’aabo” - signifies fertility - He/she shall be fertile
Epo - (Palm Oil) - this is a neutralizer - signifying nothing toxic will harm the baby
The naming ceremony is always a joyous and fun filled time. Look out for the headwraps, African Inspired gear, freshly done braids, Ankara dresses, and the real danshiki (dashiki) game going. Always memorable.
#amazeafrica #grandparents #overthemoon #ankaraprint #newbornchild #nigerianculture #africanculture #drummergirl #madewithlove #innocence #yorubatradition