Abiku refers to the spirits of children who die before reaching puberty; a child who dies before twelve years of age being called an Abiku, and the spirit, or spirits, who caused the death being also called Abiku.
Not only is an abiku a spirit of a child who dies young, the belief is that the spirit returns to the same mother multiple times to be reborn multiple times. It is the belief that the spirit does not ever plan to "stay put in life" so it is "indifferent to the plight of its mother and her grief."
The spirits themselves are believed to live in trees, especially the iroko, baobab and silk-cotton species.
ABIKU(LETTERS TO A WORLD UNKNOWN) ORIGINAL POEM
I, Abiku writes...
To a world unknown,
Thy foundations were soaked with celestial bloods
I heard you came as a mighty expression
Birthing forth creatures who thought themselves wise
To a womb unknown,
You fought and took spoils that i may survive
Fed me with the finest of wine and bread
Yet you pushed me out like an unknown being
To a mother unknown,
Sold out, naked with wine spilled over
Thy corruption oh wise one couldn't elude me
Still in joyful pain and sweaty hands you held me
It delivered me in hands of the unknown
As tears drained the bowels of my trust
I will absorb the laughter on her face
And her sight brought comfort
Am not meant for a strange world
Take me by thy sting; lay to rest my struggle
Lest my limbs walks amongst men
To the weeping ones
I will come again with sweet fragrance of hope
My entrance will be thy delight and strength
It will be thy weakness and your shame
till am back again Dear Mother
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