Last Updated on July 16, 2022
The Igbo tribe is a well-known ethnic group for its ambitious, independent, and adventurous spirit. They are native to the southeast of Nigeria. The tribe, Ndi Igbo in its native land, is well-known for its diverse cuisine, dance, music, musical instruments, festivals, and culture. Most of the population speaks “Igbo,” which has over 20 dialects and roughly 45 million people. Igbo people’s talent and creativity are seen in traditional and contemporary music. Their entrepreneurial endeavours are well-known both in Nigeria and around the world.
Enjoy as we share interesting facts about the Igbo people.
Igbo tradition claims that Eri, a deity, was sent from heaven to launch civilization and is the ancestor of the Igbo people. Another account describes Eri as one of the sons of Gad who came down to build the modern-day nation of Igboland, as stated in the Bible’s book of Genesis.
Igbos live in a region of Nigeria known as Igboland, which is split into two parts along the lower River Niger. They are concentrated in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states, as well as smaller portions of the states of Delta, Rivers, and Benue. There are also a few small Igbo populations in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.
Igbos have migrated to various nations as a result of the transatlantic slave trade, including Jamaica, Cuba, Barbados, Belize, and the United States, among others. Jamaican patois contains Igbo cultural elements. For instance, the Igbo word “unu,” which means “you,” is still used, and the terms “red Ibo” and “red eboe” refer to black people with fairer skin (a lighter skin tone is common among Igbos).
Eboe Town is the name of a section of Belize City after its population, who are of Igbo descent. Igbos make up a large portion of the immigrants from Nigeria who have moved to the United States since the late 20th century. More than 200,000 Igbo people are thought to reside in the US.
Thurstan Shaw unearthed several Igbo artefacts at archaeological sites in Igbo-Ukwu between 1959 and 1964, including approximately 700 high-quality artefacts made of bronze, copper, and iron as well as stone beads, glass, and ivory. The oldest bronze artefacts in West Africa are thought to be Igbo. The British Museum currently houses five of the bronze artefacts discovered during the dig.
The production of root crops is essential to the traditional Igbo economy. The three main root crops are taro, cassava, and yams. Work is divided into gendered categories. With the assistance of the women and kids, the men remove the bush and plant the yams. Plots are assigned to the women separately after the yam planting. Each lady also plants additional crops on the sides of hills and in the areas between the yams.
The Igbo have long engaged in trading. The market has grown to be a significant source of income. Igbo people are now employed in wage labour in greater numbers. Numerous work opportunities are being created by rising road development, urbanisation, emerging industries, and oil exploration.
Comparing the Igbo political system to most of its West African neighbours, there are considerable differences. The traditional republican style of governance, which is a consultative assembly of people and ensures citizens’ equality, is used by the Igbos, with the exception of a few significant Igbo communities that have an Obi (king). This style of governance deviates from the typical one where a king rules over the populace. Even though certain title holders are honoured for their accomplishments, they are never treated with the same respect as monarchs.
The Igbo’s main source of food is yam. The yam was traditionally the dish of choice at ceremonial gatherings. Rice has taken its place in modern times. Plantains, maize, taro root, and cassava are some additional starchy foods.
A typical meal consists of starch and a soup or stew made with vegetables and bits of meat such as fish, chicken, cattle, or goat. Different varieties of jollof rice are popular throughout Nigeria. The Igbos who reside close to waterways frequently make it with shrimp. The recipe that follows is particularly well-liked.
The traditional religion of the Igbo people holds that there is only one creator, known as “Chineke” or “Chukwu.” The deity of thunder known as “Amadioha” is one of many other deities and spirits that can be used to communicate with the creator in the shape of natural objects. Other deities include “Ala,” the feminine soil spirit, “Anyanwu,” the deity whose name means “eye of the sun,” and “Idemili,” the water goddess whose emblem is a serpent. More than 90% of Igbos converted to Christianity once Nigeria was colonised, and this religion still dominates the country today.
The initial stage of an Igbo marriage is known as “iku aka” (literally, “to knock on the door”), and it involves the man requesting the woman’s father for permission to marry her. The bride’s extended family will be present for the second stage, during which the groom and his family will pay a second visit to the woman’s family, and they will be required to provide their approval as well. A third visit will be made by the groom to pay the bride price and obtain the list of wedding-related items from his future in-laws.
The wedding itself, also known as “igba nkwu” or “wine carrying,” is the fourth and last stage. During this time, the bride will come out to find her groom, who has hidden in the crowd and will offer him a cup of palm wine. Celebrations start after the family and well-wishers bless the couple.
The Igbo have a set of folk beliefs that describe how the universe came into existence. It provides instructions on how to interact with gods, spirits, and one’s ancestors as well as describes the roles that the celestial and earthly bodies play.
The Igbo have a belief that both unseen and visible entities, including the living, the dead, and those who have not yet been born, inhabit the world. It is thought that reincarnation serves as a link between the living and the dead.
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