Ascertaining Causes of Death: A Comparative Study of the Ika of Delta State and the Obolo of Rivers State

  • Wilson E. Ehianu
  • Finomo Julia Awajiusuk


The cut and thrust of this paper is the re-examination of an age long belief and practice among the Ika people of Delta State and the Obolo of Rivers State which is aimed at discouraging the practice of witchcraft and sorcery. The study critically evaluates the phenomenon which includes necromancy, divination and poison ordeal and concludes that caution is needed as the act which involves human life is not without imperfection. The discourse is comparative as it examines the methods of ascertaining death among the Ika and Obolo. It employs moral, social and philosophical springboards for the analysis. Some of the findings includes: belief in witchcraft is very strong among the people and age long practices to eradicate same will endure, if nothing is done to discourage it. A major constraint is that matters relating to witchcraft and sorcery are metaphysical and so difficult to verify.Keywords: Death, Ascertain, Cosmology, Necromancy, Divination and Ordeal by poison