A widow places a thread (owulu) round her neck not only as a sign of widowhood; rather, it is to signify that she has not made ani. Should she die with this owulu still on her neck, no people of the village will touch the corpse; men must be hired from another town to bury her. The reason for this repugnance may arise from a belief that a woman dying shortly after her husband is, thereby, proved to be guilty of causing his death.

  • Source: Basden, George Thomas. Niger Ibos: a description of the primitive life, customs and animistic beliefs, etc., of the Ibo people of Nigeria. London: Cass, 1966.
  • Culture: Igbo
  • Location: Africa