Professor of Intro to Anthropology
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The purpose of this project is to explore, describe, and explain the culture of Ibos, pronounced ee-bo. While gathering information on this area of Nigeria that I was unfamiliar with I have gained great knowledge of not just of their way of living but I have read and seen much incite of past and present day ways of how they operate on a day to day basis. The location of the Ibos tribe is in southern Nigeria Africa in an area called Iboland. Iboland is the home of the Ibos and covers most of Southeast Nigeria. This area is divided by the Niger River into two unequal areas; the eastern region in the Midwestern region. The river does not act as a barrier to the unity of the culture. More so it has provided easy means of communication in an area where many settlements claim different origins; The Ibos is surrounded on all sides of the rivers by various tribes; The Bini, Warri, Ijaw, Ogoni, Igala, Tiv, Yako, and Ibibio.
The early history of the Ibos started in the mid fifteenth century between Ibosland and Europe with the arrival of the Portuguese. In the time period 1434-1807 the Niger coast acted as a contact point between Africa and Europe traders, beginning with the Portuguese, the Dutch then finally English. There was an emphasis on trade rather the empire building, the trade consisted primarily of Ibos slaves. With the slave trade in 1807, a new trading era began concentrating on industry products such as palm products, timber, elephant trunks, and spices. This is the point of the time when the British began to combine aggressive trading with aggressive imperialism. In 1900 the area had been administered by the British Niger Company and became the Protectorate on Southern Nigeria. Control of this area passed from British Foreign Office to the Colonial Office. Before this Iboland was being treated as a British Colony.
Like many other ethnic groups in Africa, the Ibo did not exist as a self-conscious and unified community prior to the colonial period. Instead, they were broken down into smaller clans and it wasn’t until the early 19th century that a more solid identity emerged (Smock & Smock, p.499). It was suggested that the Jewish Ibo people originated from a migration of Israelites who fled to West Africa. The Igbos tribe is described as an immensely proud, dynamic, progressive and ambitious group of people. In research that was performed by archaeologists and historians looking into their origin, the part the Igbo played in the development of Nigeria shows that they are people who, once converted to Christianity by foreign missionaries, placed their greatest emphasis on education. The Ibo people in modern day Nigeria is as diverse as the people themselves. Today, there is an estimated 25 million Ibo, mostly living in Nigeria, but can also be found in several other African areas.
Ibos is the second largest group of people living in the Southern Nigeria region. Their culture makes up a very diverse group of individuals. The three basic ethnic groups that are more seen thru out the area are the: Yorubas, the Hausas, and of course the Ibos. Igboland lays with in Nigeria with a total of 15,800 square miles. There are four distinct areas; the low lying deltas, riverbank, central belt, and the highlands.
Igbo people are among the largest single ethnic groups in Africa . They are based mostly in southeastern Nigeria constituting about 25% of the population of the country. Igbo people make up 100% of the five states of the southeast zone comprising Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. The states of the Delta and Rivers in the south zone also have very significant Igbo populations. Prominent cities/parts in the Igbo country include