Comparative Analysis of Gift Exchange among a Pentecostal Christian Denomination and an Indigenous Religious Tradition in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Bongmba, Elias K.
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation is a comparative analysis of the gift and how it impacts on interpersonal relationship among the Yoruba of Nigeria. The dissertation examines gift exchange as it is practiced among the worshippers of Ògún deity usually commemorated as an annual Olójó festival in comparison with Christ Way Church International a member of Pentecostal Charismatic group in Ilé-Ifè. In particular, the dissertation analyses a) the gift, its definition and the theoretical propositions by the anthropologists and sociologists and the principles that govern its practice; b) ethnographically, the Yoruba experience and expression of the gift, at the social, political, economic and ritual levels of interaction among immediate group and with other group of people; c) the patterns of interpersonal relationship that exists between the Òrìsà worshippers and Pentecostal Charismatic Christians using the two focused religious groups in Ilé-Ifè as test case; d) how gift exchange practices can be means of creating and maintaining boundaries, and how that can lead to identity formation between different religious groups; in short how gift and reciprocity can be means of exclusion by bringing Annette Weiner’s Inalienable Possessions in conversation with Marcel Mauss’s The Gift; e) the different senses and contexts in which the religious groups can use gift exchange practices to bring about solidarity and harmony in the Yorùbá society.