Religious Changes in Southwestern Nigeria
No messianic movements have developed in southwestern Nigeria. With the exception of the separatist Aladura churches, there have been few, if any, religious movements of large scope in Nigeria. Examples of nativistic movements involving the use of traditional symbols expressively include the Ijo Orunmila religion and the Ogboni cult. In two reformative religious movements, the Atinga cult of the early 1950's and the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, traditional symbols have been utilized expressively. In the city of Ibadan and in nearby villages, very few new elements seem to have been introduced into traditional Yoruba religions in recent years. Public participation in the large annual ceremonies is decreasing rapidly, but a majority of the Yoruba retain some degree of belief in the orisa. The Orunmila religion may persist longer than other traditional faiths because of the close relationship between Ifa divination and the beliefs and practices associated with sorcery, witchcraft, and traditional medicine. In some cases, the town deity may now provide a sense of identity and unity for a religiously mixed population. In situations of fairly rapid cultural change, persons who claim to be Moslems or Christians develop synthetic-eclectic views as they come to terms with new situations.
Simpson, George E. April 1970. “Religious Changes in Southwestern Nigeria.” Anthropological Quarterly 43(2): 79-92.
George Washington University, Institute for Ethnographic Research