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This effort at bringing together disparate forms of life is manifested in human spiritual connection with animals as evidenced in religious totemism. Quarcoopome (1987) says that totemism is: The relationship that is supposed to exist between a person or group of persons and an animal or object or a group of animals or objects. The practice of totemism appears therefore to be an acceptance of spiritual co-equality or even supremacy of chosen animals over their human affiliates and thereby, an acceptance of their influence over the people that have chosen them as totems. Totemism is spiritually deep in meaning and animal totems exert great control over the life of people. The following excerpts show this: •

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Totemistic relationships have diverse origins. In some cases, the belief is that a clan might have descended from the totem. For example some Yoruba praise names like omo ekun, omo erin, (i.e. child of leopard, child of elephant) show this belief in descent. In other cases it is held that the totem might have done something beneficial to the clan. Some riverine tribes in Nigeria see the Python as protective father. They feel safe leaving their children to the python to look after while they attend to other business. When the python dies, these tribes give it a befitting human burial. Some totemistic associations have their origin connected with the myth of creation. The python is treated with reverence among the Fon because from their myth it was the python who opened the eyes of the primeval pair.

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Professor Oluremi Aina Bamisaiye University Lecture  

University LEcture

Professor Oluremi Aina Bamisaiye University Lecture  

University LEcture

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