Christianity has had a strong impact on the religious beliefs of the Luo, today we are witnessing a mix of traditional beliefs and practices, and other brought by Christianity.
The Luo originally believed in a supreme being whose name is Nyasaye or "he who is praying" or Jok, a term that designates the souls of the dead that have merged with the soul of God, by creating a single entity.
Jok is believed to have an anthropomorphic shape although he is considered to be without any matter but only spirit and one who intervenes in human affairs, he manifests through natural events such as lightning, rain and tornadoes that are considered as the passage of Jok on earth.
The power of nature like the sun, the moon, the rain, the thunder and the lightning, the lakes and the forests are conceived by the Luo as places or events object of worship and sacrifice because pervaded by the spirit of Jok.
The Luo have also a strong cult of the ancestral spirits of their ancestors, this is easily understandable when you consider that the Luo believe a man is composed of two parts, the visible part of the body and an invisible part that indicates the soul with the name of Juok, literally translated as "shadow."
At death, the body dissolves into dust and the shadow fades and becomes spirit that joins the spirit of Jok, human life is indestructible even if material bodies are temporary, a person continues to exist even after his death.
The spirits can become the demons that adversely affect the lives of relatives if they have not honored the deceased and have neglected the rites during the burial.
The relationship between the dead and their relatives expresses in the ritual of sacrifice by which consecrated animals are offered to pay homage to the ancestors.
The basis of communication between the ancestral spirits and the world of the living is through dreams and their interpretation.
The interpretation of dreams is entrusted to the magicians who are able to prescribe the right sacrifices in order to pacify the spirits and restore balance.
The soothsayers are the people in charge also to diagnose problems difficult to determine and they do it coming into contact with the spirits, for their process of divination they use seeds, stones or shells throwing them in the air and, depending on how they arrange on the ground, they are able to identify the causes or the rebellious spirit creating the problems.
There are other figures that are traditionally important in the religious culture of the Luo: medicine men and sorcerers.
The medicine men have the power to cure diseases and to do so they use different herbs and perform ritual sacrifices.
Sorcerers, called jojuogi that means "aligned to the spirits", are feared figures because they are believed to have the power to harm or kill a person.
Life, tradition and culture of Luo people
- Music and dances of the Luo
- The rites, ceremonies and beliefs of the Luo
- Marriage in the culture of the Luo population
- Luo's religious beliefs
- The funeral rites of the Luo people