What is the origin of Igbo? What about their dwellings? Read the article and you’ll find answers about this old tribe.
If you are fond of Nigerian culture, you’ll probably ask – who are the Igbo Tribe? In this article, you’ll find all information.
Who are the Ibo Tribe?
In the 1970th years, on basis of language and cultural data was made a conclusion that the region in neighborhood of Overri, Auk, Udi and Orlu is the center of formation of nationality called Igbo.
There is an opinion that ancestors of Igbo and most of their neighbors have come from the region of the African Great Lakes and Lunar mountains in East and Central Africa, through savannas, on which place Sahara is situated now. Desertification has forced people to migrate to the south and to the north to merge of Niger and Benue, where the culture of Nok has developed.
Groups of people of Kwa migrated to the South from this merge. They left people of Ygal, Ydoma, Yoruba and Igbo. Kwa people were settled in northern part of Central height (Nsukka-Auka-Orlu) about 5000 years BC.
Igbo are one of the largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria. Due to consequences of migration and transatlantic slave trade, descendants of ethnic groups of Igbo have settled in such countries as Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, in Nigeria and also outside Africa. Their exact number outside Africa is unknown, but today many Afro-Americans and people of Afro-Caribbean origin conduct their sort from Igbo. Celebrations in honor of harvesting of yam take place annually. Other irreplaceable crops are cassava and taro.
Before British colonization, Igbo were politically fragmented groups. Between parts of their area, there were distinctions in culture, for example, in art style, clothes and religious practice. The small groups of villages, which were operated by elders with participation of all adult inhabitants, were independent political units. Such control system has been testified by Portuguese in 15th century. There were not so many centralized unions of tribes, hereditary aristocracy and monarchy. Nri kingdom and the city-states of Agbor, Onitsh and Arochukwa were exceptions. Nri kingdom was theocracy. The most ancient burials of its governors are dated with IX — X centuries. This political system has considerably changed after arrival of British colonialists in the 19th century. The power of king was entered into majority of local tribes.
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To the middle of the 20th century, the strong feeling of national identity has developed at Igbo. They made an ethnic basis of self-proclaimed Biafra state during Civil war in Nigeria. With defeat of Igbo, Biafra Republic has been absorbed by Nigeria. Some organizations continue nonviolent fight for creation of independent state of Igbo.
5 facts about the Igbo tribe
1. Among representatives of people of Igbo, there are many famous politicians of Nigeria, and also British writer, the seaman and fighter for cancellation of slave trade – Olaudah Equiano.
2. Major activity of Igbo is a manual agriculture (yam, cassavas, corn, vegetables and others). The main tools are mattock and knives of several types. In the southern areas, the main culture is olive palm tree, products of which are exported to many countries of the world. Wood preparation is developed. Its most valuable breeds go for export. Igbo are also engaged in fishery, trade, collecting of wild-growing fruits of grain and other trees, berries, medicinal herbs and plants. Cattle are appreciated very much and have mainly ritual value. Crafts are developed: forge, weaving, woodworking and woodcarving. Hunting is widely developed.
3. In rural areas, Igbo generally are farmers. The most important tuberous culture in African places of residence of Igbo is yam.
4. There are several types of dwellings. Traditional dwelling is rectangular or round in the plan. Walls are constructed from poles, which are covered with clay. Dwellings are roofed with grass, palm leaves and corrugated iron. At western Igbo, they are rectangular in plan, walls are from clay, a roof is covered with grass or palm leaves. In some areas external walls of dwelling are decorated with ornament in form of mosaic from splinters of plates, cockleshells etc. New type of dwelling — rectangular house with windows and doors extends. The traditional type is no so widespread. On a site, there are economic constructions and storages for products.
5. At Igbo many traditional holidays and practically all genres of folklore remain. Applied art is presented with various masks, totemic columns, clay and wooden sculpture. The masquerade festival Mmanvu, which is sponsored by state, is held annually.
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