The Urhobo Cultural Way Of Welcoming A New Child

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For someone who didn't know much about her culture, the cross culture contests have been the best contests for me to enter for as every contest made me more inquisitive about my culture and it has been adventurous for me. It's a wonderful thing that I get to share my cultural view about welcoming a child just after I wrote about how amazing kids are. Children are blessings that brings joy to any family in the Urhobo Culture and the way children are welcomed is sometimes very special than celebrating marriage. Here are the ways the Urhobo Culture welcome a new child.

The Goodnews Of The Pregnancy

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The sentence "You are pregnant or Your wife is pregnant" means a lot to any Urhobo married couple (There's an important reason behind it, you'll get to know as you read on). The families become very happy by the news of a new baby growing in a womb. Except on rare cases where the pregnancy is hidden, you see families of the parents to be giving so many advice on how to keep a healthy pregnancy and deliver safely... All the excitement for the new child.

Beliefs And Precautions During Pregnancy

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Every culture has its beliefs in every aspect of the human life and the pregnancy of a woman is not exempted. There are some beliefs that is followed once a woman is expecting a child. These beliefs were made because they felt blessed for having the opportunity to conceive.

  • It is believed that if a man is unable to have his own child, it means he has a curse in him and the culture forbids to have such men in the community.

  • Same as the woman, when a barren woman dies, the whole community prays for a woman like her not to come back to life.

For this reason, a woman is most loved in the Urhobo Culture when she's pregnant. Some beliefs during the pregnancy are:

  • A pregnant woman is not allowed to eat left over food
  • A pregnant woman is not allowed to attend social gatherings especially funerals.
    All these precautions for the new child

The Birth Of The Child

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In recent times, I've mostly seen and heard of women going into labor at night or midnight and in such situations, every family member available at that time panicks and they run around just to find ways in relieving the pain of the mother to be. But in the past, the time of delivery was known so the pregnant woman goes to the midwives before the day and they help her deliver safely then announce the news to the family waiting outside through an elderly lady.

At the time of announcement (sometimes at the first cry of the baby) the father throws a party immediately to celebrate the safe delivery of his child. In most families, the use of powder is available to celebrate.

You should know here that if a baby comes out of the mother safely and doesn't cry, the midwives would hit the baby so hard to make him or her cry. It is believed that if a baby doesn't cry at childbirth, the baby is bound to be dumb for life (can't speak).

Omugwo Period Begins

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After delivering the new child, the mother is bound to be weak and would need assistance. This is where the grandmother of the new child visits for a period of one to three months, some only stay for a week depending on the new mother request.

The grandmother helps the new child grow healthy and strong by running massages and giving some herbal medications to the child. They can be very talented in how they handle the child during those times, most new mothers won't do it.

  • Two to three days after birth, the male child is circumcised in the Urhobo cultural way - Removal of the foreskin of the male organ.

  • Through out a month, the new mother undergo a purification stage - Taking of hot tea or pepper soup is a very known part to help bring out the left over impurities in the mother.

  • The grandmother also massages the mother's stomach to get back in shape even if not as before childbearing.

The Naming Of The Child

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Even before delivery, any parent would have had a name in mind to give to their child but the Urhobo Culture mostly give names to a new child according to the events that happened during time of birth or by the day of the week the child was born. Generally, every Urhobo child must have a native name and most of them starts or ends with "Oghene". So you hear names like "Oghenekevwe" - "God gave me" or "Eseoghene" - "God's gift".

On the 8th day of the child, a name is given to the child by the parents (I got two names from my mum and dad) and room is given for more names from the maternal and paternal families (I got two more names from my grandmother and aunt). I think my brother got up to five names, it's a funny aspect to me and I love it.

After the naming, celebration follows and you would mostly see the Urhobo most eaten food - Banga soup and starch being served. This celebration lasts for a whole day and people bring gifts like soap, baby set, baby clothes, baby cream, baby powder and many other baby items for the baby. Some people would bring money and try to put it close to the baby to signify a rich new child has come into the family.

That is all I can think of about the Urhobo cultural way of welcoming a new child. I would like to invite @amberkashif @zellypearl and @officialuroga to participate in this contest, click Here to read about the contest.

All images were gotten from pexels.com and edited using Canva app

Thanks for reading!!!



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Wow what an interesting culture. It's funny how they don't want a woman who is barren to come back to life, what happens when she deliberately doesn't want a baby? i.e she's not barren but doesn't want to have children.

The urhobo way seems quite similar to that of the Edo people.


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Not wanting to have children is different from not being able to have children.... They don't want those who are unable to have children to come back to life.

The Urhobo and Edo have so many things in common from history. Thanks for stopping by dear

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Hihihihi. My cousin who's father is urhobo is named Oghenekevwe but we call her Kewe for short. I enjoyed reading this.

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Yeah, we mostly call the names in short removing the popular "Oghene".
I'm glad you enjoyed reading this, thanks

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.
It's beautiful to know about various traditions followed by different cultures all around the world.
A pregnant lady is not allowed to attend funerals in my culture too.
I liked your naming pattern most😊
Good luck for the contest dear @merit.ahama
Thank you😊
Stay blessed!

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Oh thanks so much dear @preets I appreciate your lovely feedback. You like our naming pattern too, it's my favorite part 😊

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Something that is being hardwired in our minds through culture is vital in many cases too.
To do steps for the safety of pregnancy is crucial I can relate to this,

A pregnant woman is not allowed to attend social gatherings especially funerals.

If the woman having a miscarriage or abortion firstly, she is being restricted to meet with other pregnant ladies just in case to secure others
Nice to know about your culture dear.
Good luck with the contest.

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she is being restricted to meet with other pregnant ladies

Oh really? That's kinda sad but she's got to obey the rules and hope that she doesn't have such bad situations again.

Thanks for stopping by girl, I appreciate

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It's fir rge safety of other ladies. Conceiving the baby is a blessing but the one who loses it feels the grief thereby they don't speak up against this custom.
Visited again on the direction of @dreemport

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(Edited)

Que gracioso los 5 nombres de tu hermano jejeje. Sabes percibo cierta similitud ante el nacimiento del bebé cuando le dan una nalgada aquí no se porque lo hacen imagino que es parte de lo mismo que mencionas,total estamos integrados por las cultura que nos anteceden. Para mi Un niño es lo más hermoso dentro cualquier vínculo y vienen ha ser nuestros maestros de vida, para ellos desde el 1er día que se sabe de su existencia amor amor y amor. Disculpame soy un romántica que ama la vida y cuando se trata de bebé me pongo muy sensible. Los festines por ellos es una grata herencia. Saludos gran gusto en leerte y visitarte @merit.ahama

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How funny the 5 names of your brother hehehehe. You know I perceive a certain similarity before the birth of the baby when they give him a spanking here I do not know why they do it I imagine that it is part of the same thing you mention, we are integrated by the culture that precedes us. For me a child is the most beautiful thing in any bond and they have become our teachers of life, for them from the first day that we know of their existence love love love love and love. Forgive me I am a romantic who loves life and when it comes to babies I am very sensitive. The feasts for them is a great inheritance. Greetings great pleasure to read and visit you.
@merit.ahama

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Thanks so much for your beautiful comment @preets so many cultures have some things in common indeed

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Such an interesting read always good to learn the ways of other cultures

I found my Way here via #Dreemport

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Yeah, I'm glad you find it interesting. Thanks for stopping by

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👍🙂👍Always a pleasure to visit your posts :)

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Another culture which I have to read through, it is worth the time reading your post because I find it very interesting especially where you said something about the banga soup I wish one day I try out that soup to know how it taste because many have been telling me to check it out which I am going to love

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You haven't eaten banga soup before? Trust me, you should try it out and you will love it

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I have not eaten it before, I must try it out so I won't be told how it taste, I will be able to taste it myself

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That's true, you should try it out yourself... You seem like a foodie 😝

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Such a wonderful way to celebrate child's naming in Urhobo. No doubt the good news about the arrival of a child is so great and it brings joy to the couple because a new bundle has arrived in their family.
@dreemport

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True sis, the news of the baby's arrival is most times the most joyous part.

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Hmm.. reading your post it seems like we were thinking on the same lines though your culture is so different from mine.
Five names LOL we have three names first name middle name and surname. That's about it.
Circumcision happen even among Christians?
That surprised me.
Great presentation here @merit.ahama

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😂 We don't make all the names public, we still use the first name, middle name and surname too... The other names are mostly called by the givers of that name.

Yeah, circumcision is done, thanks for stopping by @sofs-su

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Wow. Nice description. So the contest made you go do research on child delivery in your culture?

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😂 Don't laugh at me, yeah
These contests have been making me learn so much that I don't think I would have known on my own so I'm grateful.

Bring more of it 😃
Thanks for stopping by

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