Those predestined to die or born to die, those who are born to honor Death.
Abiku, is a term associated with the ethnic tribes of Nigeria, mainly the Yoruba territory, and designates those babies that are born and die soon after.
The Abiku phenomenon It is very popular, although it does not stop having an infinitely sad and difficult meaning to accept. The word Abiku belongs to the Yoruba culture and as such to the Afro-Cuban cult and is composed of abi e iku.
It is translated as that which Ikú possesses, in reference to the Yoruba deity of Death. Therefore the word means "Predestined to die" o "born to Die".
The meaning of the Abiku as spiritual beings
These beings are protagonists of many Patakíes and Yoruba legends, among them we can find the one that is attributed to the birth of the Jimaguas Ibeyis, the Orishas twins who can do everything.
Abikus are children who have been born for a time after dying voluntarily and are considered spiritual beings.
In other words, it is said that they complete the cycle of death and rebirth over and over again and that sometimes it is the same child who is born several times in the family.
However, the explanation for the emergence of the Abiku is quite chilling, as it is said that they are evil spirits or demons that habitan the mountains and suffer from cold and misery, so they try to improve their condition by introducing them into the bodies of newborn children.
For this reason, when a child dies shortly after birth, it is expressed that the mother has actually given birth to an Abiku and that the child died of hunger because the demon was stealing all his food.
If the child lives after going through a near death experience, it is indicated that the Abiku was successfully removed.
And if you keep growing weak and sick, the parents and the priests of the yoruba religion They believed to make small incisions in the child's body to cause pain to the Abiku and make him come out.
Beliefs around the term Abiku
They are also known for their beauty, that is, they are born as beautiful children who die after a short time.
When they die, a visible mark is placed mainly on the face or chest, so, according to the religion, that people recognize them as spiritual children and know if they are born again.
It is said that the Abiku have strong ties that bind them to the spirit world, so they must be destroyed so that they do not continue to be born.