If you are familiar with alot of Yoruba History, you would have come across the word Abiku before. Even though Abiku may seem strange to some people, it used to be real and popular amongst the Yoruba people. Back then in the old days, some kids are born only to die and to return again to life. These kids will come back with the same face, the same body complexion and even gender, these type of children are Identified as Abiku or Ogbanje by the Igbos.
The thing about children Identified as Abiku or Ogbanje is the fact that they would stay with their mother for a while. They may grow up to reach a certain age before the give up the ghost only to return as another child. The Yoruba and Igbo people normally give tribal marks to these kids, they may cut off their fingers or give them a huge mark on their faces so as to know if they will ever return.
When a Yoruba Woman gives birth to a child that is seen as an Abiku, they would give the child some names to plead in their behalf. The child may be called Durosimi, Durojaiye etc, these names means the child should please stay with them and not die anymore.
People used to believe that these Abiku children derive joy in watching their mothers cry whenever they die. They say the kids are happy because the tears of their Mother is important to them in the spirit world. The sad thing about being an Abiku is the fact that they live short lives, sometimes they die at the happiest moment in their lives
The Yorubas believe that these type of children normally have an agreement with those in the spirit world, once their duration on Earth is over they will die and go back. Some Yoruba tradition also assume that these kids may have their own families in the spirit world, that's why they find it hard to marry and reproduce on Earth.
These children Identified as Abiku are said to be good looking and attractive, they also love to stay close to the water. Many people also see them as goodluck charm while others are then as agents of a deity.
The Yorubas also believe that Abiku is fond of moving around different roads, trees, jungles and many more areas. That's why alot of Pregnant Women avoid going to some certain places because of fear of giving birth to an Abiku.
In other to prevent a pregnant Woman from giving birth to such a child, the Pregnant Women normally put needle or a pin in their clothes. Even though this is not as common as it used to be, there are still alot of people that believe in the Abiku spirit.
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