Widowhood Practices In Traditional Ibibio Society: A Critical Appraisal

Sapientia Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Development Studies (SGOJAHDS), Vol.3 No.3


  • Aniekan Etim Nana Department of Religious and Cultural Studies Akwa Ibom State University, Obio Akpa Campus revaninana2000@gmail.com Author




Social Justice, Seclusion, Ibibio Practices, Widowhood, Gender Issues


This paper examines the phenomenon of widowhood in Ibibio and assessed the negative stereotypes that are associated with being a widow. These stereotypes are rooted in cultural and traditional practices common in all culture in Ibibio land. They also vary from community to community and the degree of intensity also varies culturally. In addition, the level of education and economic status of widow determines the degree of application or enforcement of practices culturally associated with widow. Economically strong and well educated women who are widows determine or choose which practices to accept or reject without incurring the wrath of tradition, while property stricken widows are compelled to undergo the most vicious forms of widowhood practices. Apart from the fact that the widow is usually disadvantaged in the distribution of the late husband’s poverty, the widow is also subjected to some unpleasant widowhood 
practices. Such practices include shaving of hairs, wearing of black clothes, sitting on the floor or mat, being refrain from bathing for a number of days, seclusion and being made to swear the late husband’s corpse. This paper adopts a sociological view. The paper x-rays these widowhood practices in Ibibio traditional society and makes suggestions on how to improve the position of the Ibibio widows which among others included the economic empowerment of the widows.


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How to Cite

Nana, A. E. (2020). Widowhood Practices In Traditional Ibibio Society: A Critical Appraisal: Sapientia Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Development Studies (SGOJAHDS), Vol.3 No.3. Afrischolar Discovery Repository (Annex), 45 – 54. https://doi.org/10.60951/afrischolar-179

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