Every society has its own narrative of how the journey of humans evolved and their subsequent departure back home- when they die. The stages according to detailed accounts, have always taken their root from the oral tradition and are often times thought-provoking. How well do you know the meaning of Bome, Kodzogbe and Tsieƒe as found in typical Eʋe cultural narration? Come along as you get educated on human’s journey on earth and the afterlife.
Bome, according to historical narratives and folklore – the home of the potter, is a place where the body of humans are moulded before handing them over to a man and woman as a baby. This represents the embryonic and foetal stages. Before a soul in sent to Mother Earth, it has to make promises to Earth(gbeƒoƒo) on how it will live. The assurances are received by Mother Earth. The Bomenɔ (the potter) is responsible for the activities in Bome. Everything that transpires concerns the potter. The expression in Eʋe, ” Etsi bome”, means that part of you is still at “Bome”. This expression is used when someone is not able to execute activities expected of him or her as a human being. It has often times gained prominence amongst the southern Eʋes.
Kodzogbe(Earth) is called Anyigbã. It is a place where human beings dwell and execute whatever they may have received from Bomenɔ (the potter). At this point, the soul (which lives in the human body) carries out all the pledges it has made to the Bomenɔ (the potter). When the time is up for the soul to leave the Earth, the body dies and becomes unresponsive. The soul or the spirit (ghost) stays in a realm called Agbogbome for forty (40) days and forty (40) nights before moving to Tsieƒe. There, according to narratives, there is a linguist called “Kutsiami” who ferries the spirit across the river for a token. It is the reason when a body is laid in state, there is a collection bowl placed at the side of the corpse for monies to be given. It is deemed the transport fare.
The last stage in the transitional journey is known as Tsiẽƒe or Aʋlime. It is a place mainly for the dead. At Tsiẽƒe, the soul is evaluated to ascertain whether the pledges it has made have been fulfilled or not. If the soul fails to account for the stewardship through assessment, it is sent back to Bome and later to Kodzogbe for the task to be accomplished. It is the reason people die and are seen miraculously back to life. They regain consciousness and carry out the assignment to the latter. Better still, when the person dies and is buried, he or she is sent back from Tsiẽƒɛ to Bome and Bomenɔ sends him or her back to Kodzogbe to go and complete his or her task on earth. This is known as reincarnation. Those who give a good account of their stewardship whilst sojourning through Tsiẽƒe are allowed to pass without any difficulty.
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