Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Main Article Content

Uwomano Benjamin Okpevra corresponding author


This paper aimed at interrogating the changes and continuity in an aspect of the Funeral rites of the Urhobo and Isoko of the Niger Delta of Nigeria. It critically examine the practice of returning the corpse of the married woman to the homestead of her family rather than bury her in her husband’s homestead. This practice has over the years been questioned and interrogated and calls for scrutiny. The paper argues that social change factors and processes have introduced continuous changes in the Urhobo and Isoko with regards to the funeral ceremony and have greatly been affected. The practice has been perceived as that which promotes Patriarchal dominance. The paper adopts the historical and analytical model, deploying both primary and secondary data in interrogating the practice of returning the corpse of the married woman to the homestead of her family rather than bury her in her husband’s homestead and avers that if not properly handled, it could affect intergroup relation. The paper, therefore, concludes that this trend is posing a serious threat to peaceful and harmonious intergroup relation among families that indulged in inter-tribal marriage. It recommends among others, that the Urhobo and Isoko should be re-socialized properly to flow with modernity in this aspect of their culture.

cultural practice, family bonding, intergroup relation, Patriarchal dominance ritual, Niger Delta

Article Details

How to Cite
Okpevra, U. B. (2022). The return of the woman corpse in the funeral rites of the Urhobo and Isoko culture of Nigeria in historical perspective. International Journal of Arts and Humanities, 3(1), 111-117.


  1. Afigbo, A. E. (1987). The Igbo and their Neighbour: Intergroup Relations in Southeastern Nigeria. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
  2. Akpojisheri, M .O. (2016). An Analysis of Rhetorical Device in the Discourse of Avwraka People in Marriage and Funeral Ceremonies. Abraka Humanities Review Journal of the Faculty of Arts, Delta State University, Abraka, 7(1), 229-240.
  3. Braine's Profile-Culture -– Nairaland. (2017). Is It Right To Return A Woman's Corpse To Her People After Marriage?
  4. Ejobee, E. L. (2021). Issues in Urhobo Culture: Instances of Burial and Marriage. IBBUL Academic, 4(1), 185-202.
  5. Ekeh, E. P. (2005). "A Profile of Urhobo Culture” in Studies in Urhobo Culture. Ibadan: Intec Printers Ltd.
  6. Idogho, J. A. (2015). Towards Understanding Drama, Culture and the African Man: A Dramatic Exploration of the Urhobos' Burial-Rites. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 5(19),
  7. Late Henrietta Kosoko's Family Allegedly Hijack Funeral From Jide Kosoko Because He Did Not Pay Her Bride Price, 2016.
  8. News: Daily Post Staff. (2016). Idoma culture threatened as women protest change in burial rites.
  9. Ogini, O. E., & Darah, O. M. (2018). Urhobo women: Do we bury them in their husbands place or take them back to their fathers place? A paper presented at the 11th Conference and General Meeting of the Urhobo Historical Society held at the Petroleum Training Institute Conference Centre, Effurun, Delta State on Friday, May 17th -20th, 2018.
  10. Okpevra, U. B. (2005). Ijo-Itsekiri Relations, 1500-1800 in Akin Ogundiran (Ed). Pre-colonial Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Professor Toyin Falola (New Jersey: Africa World Press Inc.), Chapter 16.
  11. Okpevra, U. B. (2017). Some Theories and Concepts of Intergroup and Conflict Relations in the western Niger Delta of Nigeria. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 10(3), 381-394.
  12. Okpevra, U. B. (2020). A Discourse on the History and Identity of the Isoko of the Niger Delta of Nigeria. African Identities, 19(4), 536-553.