Pregnant women who die while pregnant or during childbirth are not buried, instead their corpses are thrown into the evil forest near Akperhe-Olomu Community within the kingdom.
It is a taboo for a woman to die with pregnancy as it is their belief that if given proper burial, the dead woman will reincarnate, hence the people do everything to prevent her reincarnation.
"Deaths from such circumstances are classified as bad deaths and such corpses are not given proper burial by not being buried in the town", says His Royal Majesty, Ovie Richard L. Ogbon, Ogoni-Oghoro I, JP, the Ohworode of Olomu, who is also the oldest person (Okpako-Orere) of Ogoni-Olomu.
In the times of old, there were cases where new-born babies had marks of women who had died from such deaths. This is why we don't bury them at home to avoid reincarnation."
In addition to dead pregnant women, the traditional ruler adds that "when someone in a family have mental illness, epilepsy or other disease that are genetical in the family, if such a person is not treated properly or cured and he or she dies with such infirmities, it is also our belief that such people reincarnate by being born as children, and it is usually shameful to the family." Such practices, he adds, are also applicable to people who died by suicide, in accidents, or from drowning.
The ruler said Western education and Christianity have affected people's belief in the practice. He said: "Some families, when they lose a pregnant woman, they immediately carry out surgery to remove the foetus so they can bring her home for proper burial. This is the very wrong practice that is going on now.
The late woman and her foetus are supposed to go to the evil forest. The Church has affected many practices. For instance, many who used to carry out such traditional functions like taking the corpses to the evil forest, have now become Christians and you can't get people to perform such traditional rites anymore."
He believes some of these disregards for cultures and tradition could pollute a community and cleansing activities are undertaken for seven days till a total purification and warding off of such spirits are attained.
Source- Vanguard Newspaper