HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 15 no. 2 (2014)

IREMOJE FUNERAL DIRGES: YORUBA CONTRIBUTION TO EXISTENTIAL DEATH AND IMMORTALITY

Omotade Adegbindin

Discipline: Philosophy, Social Science

 

Abstract:

The theme of death is of great consequence in Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger because most of the existentialist views about death are encapsulated in the debate between them. While Heidegger, carrying with a certain religious conviction, is of the view that death confers meaning on human existence, Sartre believes that death is a great evil which makes life meaningless. Sartre’s position obviously sprouts from his atheistic persuasion which does not accommodate a presage of a future existence or embrace the ideals associated with the good life. For the Yoruba, however, Sartre’s position does not make sense and is preposterous; they believe strongly that the human personality survives death. In this paper, I want to show that the Yoruba conception of human existence and death—as conveyed by the Iremoje— reflects an extracosmic and a more comprehensive reading of existence that reinforces the values associated with an honourable life.