Saturday, October 20, 2007


There are many many ethnic groups in Nigeria. The three most popular
ones are Yoruba, Ibo (also spelled Igbo), and Hausa-Fulani, and I intend
to have a lot more information in this section, especially about my
own. For now though, here are some other links I found that MIGHT help (I
haven't looked at them closely myself). Also, many of these ethnic
groups have organizations worldwide, and I have an ever-growing list here.

The Yoruba people live mostly in the Southwestern states. Since it is
the ethnic group I am from, some of this site has somewhat of a Yoruba
focus, only because I am having trouble getting information on the other
groups. So, things like food, language, attire, marriage and family,
music for this group are on Motherland Nigeria.

The first well-documented kingdom in what is now southwestern Nigeria
was centered at Ife, which was established as the first of the Yoruba
kingdoms in the 11th or 12th century. Over the next few centuries, the
Ife spread their political and spiritual influence beyond the borders of
its small city-state. Ife artisans were highly skilled, producing,
among other things, bronze castings of heads in a highly naturalistic
style. Terra-cotta, wood, and ivory were also common media.

Shortly after the rise of Ife, the kingdom of Benin emerged to the
east. Although it was separate from the Yoruba kingdoms, Benin legends
claim that the kingdom’s first rulers were descended from an Ife prince. By
the 15th century, Benin was a large, well-designed city sustained by
trade (both within the region and, later, with Europe). Its cultural
legacy includes a wealth of elaborate bronze plaques and statues recording
the nation’s history and glorifying its rulers.

At about the same time as Benin’s ascendance, the major Yoruba
city-state of Oyo arose. Situated northwest of Ife, Oyo used its powerful
cavalry to replace Ife as Yorubaland’s political center. (Ife, however,
continued to serve as the spiritual center of Yorubaland.) When the
Portuguese first arrived in the late 15th century, it was the Oyo who
controlled trade with them, first in goods such as peppers, which they secured
from the northern interior lands and transferred to the southern coast,
and later in slaves. In Oyo, as elsewhere throughout coastal West
Africa, the traffic in slaves had disastrous results—not just on those
traded, who were largely from the interior, but also on the traders. As
African nations vied for the lucrative commerce, conflicts increased, and
other forms of advancement, both agricultural and economic, fell by the
wayside. As a result, when Britain banned the slave trade in the early
19th century, Oyo was hard-pressed to maintain its prosperity. The Oyo
state of Ilorin broke away from the empire in 1796, then joined the
northern Sokoto caliphate in 1831 after Fulani residing in Ilorin seized
power. The Oyo empire collapsed, plunging all of Yorubaland—Oyo, Ife,
and other areas—into a bloody civil war that lasted for decades.

The Ibo people live mostly in the Southeastern states.

In southeastern Nigeria, archaeological sites confirm sophisticated
civilizations dating from at least ad 900, when fine bronze statues were
crafted by predecessors of the modern-day Igbo people. These early
peoples, who almost certainly had well-developed trade links, were followed
by the Nri of northern Igboland. With these exceptions, Igboland did
not have the large, centralized kingdoms that characterized other parts
of Nigeria. A few clans maintained power, perhaps the strongest of which
was the Aro; the Aro lived west of the Cross River, near present-day
Nigeria’s southeastern border, and rose to prominence in the 17th and
18th centuries. The Aro were oracular priests for the region and used
this role to secure large numbers of slaves. The slaves were sold in
coastal ports controlled by other groups such as the Ijo.

The Hausa people live mostly in the Northern states.
Fulani, people of Africa numbering about 13 million and dispersed in
varying, often sizable, concentrations throughout the grassland areas of
West Africa from Senegal and Guinea to Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad.

Their Fulfulde language is closely related to the languages of Senegal,
suggesting the possibility that their ancestors migrated from the
Middle East through North Africa to Senegal. By the 10th century, they had
adopted a new language in Senegal and begun to spread eastward,
reaching present-day Nigeria by about the 14th century.

Although traditionally most Fulani have been cattle herders, through
the centuries many settled down and turned to politics, successfully
establishing a series of kingdoms between Senegal and Cameroon by the 19th
century, and conquering the Hausa by about 1810. The Fulani held much
of northern Nigeria in subjection until defeated (1900-1906) by the
British. The religious beliefs of a large percentage of the cattle-herding
Fulani are animistic, although many of the politically oriented Fulani
are Muslim and have often justified their conquests on religious

The Languages Of Nigeria
Degema Edo Efik English Esan Hausa Ibibio
Idoma Igala Igbo Ikwere Isekiri Isoko Kalabari
Nupe Okobo Oron Pidgin Tiv Urhobo Yoruba.


Alternate language names: Atala, Udekama

Dialect names: Atala, Usokun (Kala, Degema)

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Edoid, Delta

Geographical region: Rivers State,Degema L.G.A.


Alternate language names: Bini, Benin, Addo, Oviedo, Ovioba

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Edoid,
North-Central, Edo-Esan-Ora

Geographical region: Bendel State, Ovia, Oredo, and Orhionmwon LGA's.


Alternate language names: Calabar

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Cross River,
Delta Cross, Lower Cross, East

Geographical region: Cross River State, Calabar Municipality, Odukpani
and Akamkpa LGA's.


Alternate language names: Ishan, Isa, Esa, Anwain

Dialect names: Ekpon,Igueben

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo,
Volta-CongoBenue-Congo, Edoid, North- Central, Edo-Esan-Ora

Geographical region: Delta State,Bendel State, Agbazko, Okpebho,


Alternate language names: Hausawa, Haoussa, Abakwariga, Mgbakpa, Habe,

Dialect names: Eastern Hausa, Western Hausa, Nothern Hausa

Genetic affiliation: Afro-Asiatic, Chadic, West, A, A.1

Geographical region: Spoken as a first language in large areas of
Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano and Bauchi states, and in Niger. Spoken as a
language in the northern half of Nigeria. Also in Chad, Benin, Ghana,


Dialect names: Enyong,Nkari

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Cross River,
Delta Cross, Lower Cross, East

Geographical region: Akwa Ibom State, Itu, Uyo, Etinan, Ikot Abasi,
Ikono, Ekpe-Atai,
Uruan, Onna, Nsit-Ubium, and Mkpat Enin LGA's

Remarks: Closely related to Efik. Efik is used as literary language. It

is the
main trade language of Cross River State.


Dialect names: Idoma Central (Oturkpo, Akpoto), Idoma West, Idoma South

Igwaale, Ijigbam)

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Idomoid,
Akweya, Etulo-Idoma, Idoma

Geographical region: Benue State, Otukpo and Okpokwu LGA's.


Alternate language names: IBO

Dialect names: Owerri (Isuama), Onitsha, Umuahia (Ohuhu), Orlu, Ngwa,
Afikpo, Nsa,
Oguta, Aniocha, Eche, Egbema

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Igboid, Igbo

Geographical region: Anambra State, Igbo-Eze, Nsukka, Isi Uzo, Igbo
Etiti, Uzo Uwani,
Anambra, Udi, Enugu, Nkanu, Eze Agu, Awka, Njikoko, Awgu, Onitsha,
Aguatu, Idemili, Nnewi, Ihiala LGA's; Abia State Imo State; Rivers
Ikwerre-Etche, Bonny, and Ahoada LGA's; and Bendel State, Oshimili,
Anoicha, Ika, and Ndokwa LGA's.


Alternate language names: Ikwerre, Ikwerri

Dialect names: Obiopo-Mgbu-Tolu, Ogbakiri, Emowhua, Ndele, Elele,
Omerelu, Egbeda, Aluu, Igwuruta, Ibaa, Isiokpo, Omagwa

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Igboid, Igbo

Geographical region: Rivers State, Ikwerre-Etche, Port Harcourt-Obio,
and Ahoada LGA's

Remarks: Considerable local interest in language and literacy.
Important language. A separate language in the Igbo language cluster.


Alternate language names:Itsekiri, Ishekiri, Shekiri, Jekri, Chekiri,
Iwere, Irhobo, Warri,
Iselema-Otu, Selemo

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Defoid,
Yoruboid, Edekiri

Geographical region: Bendel State, Warri, Bomadi, and Ethiope LGA's.


Alternate language names: "Igaba", "Sobo", Biotu

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Edoid,

Geographical region: Bendel State, Isoko and Ndokwa LGA's.


Genetic affiliation:Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Ijoid, Ijo, Eastern,

Geographical region: Rivers State, Degema and Bonny LGA's

Printings of whole books of Bible: 1980-1991

Remarks: A dialect cluster within the Ijo language cluster. Okrika and
Ibani are closely related.


Alternate language names: Nufawa, Nupeci, Nupenchi, Nupecidji,

Dialect names: Nupe Central (Nife, Anupe, Nupecizi, Nupencizi, Ampeyi,
Anupecwayi, Anuperi, Tapa, Tappah, Takpa), Ganagana (Ganagawa, Dibo,
Shitako, Zitako), Kakanda (Akanda, Hyabe, Adyaktye,Budon), Bassa Nge
(Ibara),Eggan, Nupe Tako, Edzu, Agbi, Gupa, Kami, Gbanmi-Sokun, Kupa,

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Nupoid,

Geographical region: Niger State, Lavun, Mariga, Gbako, Agaie, and
Lapai LGA's; Kwara
State, Edu and Kogi LGA's; Federal Capital Territory; Benue State,
Bassa LGA.


Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Cross River,
Delta Cross, Lower Cross, West

Geographical region: Akwa Ibom State, Okobo LGA.


Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Cross River,
Delta Cross, Lower Cross, West

Geographical region: Akwa Ibom State, Oron LGA.


Alternate language names:Nigerian Creole English, Nigerian Pidgin

Genetic affiliation: English based creole, Atlantic, Krio

Geographical region: Southern states and in Sabon Garis of the northern

states, coastal and
urban areas

Remarks:gin between Africans and Europeans, and Africans from different

languages. No unified standard or orthography. Used in novels, plays,
poetry, advertising. Increasing in importance and use. Partially
intelligible with Krio of Sierra Leone and Cameroon Pidgin.


Alternate language names: "Munshi"

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Broad Bantu, Tivoid

Geographical region: Benue State, Makurdi, Gwer, Gboko Kwande,
Vandeikya, and Katsina Ala LGA's; Plateau State, Lafia LGA; Gongola
Bali, Takum, and Wukari LGA's. A few in Cameroon.


Alternate language names: Biotu, Sobo

Dialect names: Agbarho, Isoko (IGABO)

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Edoid,

Geographical region: Bendel State, Ethiope and Ughelli LGA's.


Alternate language names: YOOBA, YARIBA

Dialect names: Oyo, Ijesha, Ila, Ijebu, Ondo, Owo, Owe, Jumu, Iworro,
Igbena, Yagba, Gbedde, Egba, Akono, Aworo, Bunnu (Bini), Ekiti, Ilaje,
Ikale, Awori, Akoko

Genetic affiliation: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo,
Benue-Congo, Defoid,
Yoruboid, Edekiri

Geographical region: Most of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos states, parts of

Kwara State, Borgu,Ilorin, Moro, Asa, Ifelodun, Oyun, Irepodun, Oyi,
and Kogi LGA's. Also
in Benin and Togo.

The Akokos
The Akokos' are some of the largest ethnic clans in Nigeria, and the
most wonderful and unique thing about this Akokos' is that as close as
the towns and villages are to each other, so is the distance in their
various languages, they are so close they dont share the same language.

Each Akoko town or village is unique in her own language. (that's where

the story of tower of Babel sneaked-in ok).

Some of the Akokos, in their spoken languages have great similarity to
the Edos' e.g the people of Ipe-akoko, while some have their so similar

to that of the Kogis', like the ikaramus'.

The Akokos' alone have four local Govt councils to their credit in
which makes up 60-70% of Ondo North Senatorial District of Ondo State.

Some of the Akoko town and villages include: Ipe-Akoko, Ikare-Akoko,
Akungba-Akoko, Ikaramu-Akoko, Oka-Akoko, Isua-Akoko, Ogbagi-Akoko,
Ifira-Akoko, Irun-Akoko, Ugbe-Akoko, Epinmi-Akoko, Buran-Akoko,
Oba-Akoko,Ogbagi-Akoko, Ibaramu-Akoko, Ikun-Akoko.

Urhobo Information

Location: Southern Nigeria
Population: 450,000
Language: Edo (Kwa)
Neighboring Peoples: Igbo, Izon, Isoko, Bini, Ukwani
Types of Art: The Urhobo produce numerous art forms, including
freestanding sculptures (Ivwri), a type of wooden sculpture that is
associated with the cult of the hand, and masks and masquerading.
History: Although the exact origin of the Urhobo peoples is not known,
they are closely related to their immediate neighbors based on
linguistic and cultural similarities. Urhobo oral history is
contradictory in
that it claims that their origins are related those of the Bini, but at

the same time indicate that they are not Bini people. Other connections

are made to the Igbo, Isoko, and Ijo. Since the Bini, Igbo, and Ijo all

have cultural systems, which are distinct from one another, the notion
that the Urhobo somehow emerged from all three seems doubtful.
Economy: Living in the tropical rain forests has helped to shape the
economic choices of the Urhobo. They practice slash and burn farming
requires frequent crop rotation for soil preservation. Fishing and
hunting are also important sources for subsistence. They also gather
nuts and process them into oil, a commodity which is eventually traded
on the international markets.
Political Systems: Urhobo political authority is based on kinship
groups, age-grades, and title associations. At one time Urhobo leaders
(ivie) were officially installed by the Oba of Benin. Those who had
sufficient status within their community would travel to the Oba, who
would endow them with ceremonial swords and insignia that would add
weight to their quest for power among their kinspeople.
Religion: The Urhobo recognize the existence of a dual cosmological
system: the spirit world and the physical world. It is believed that
everyone in the physical world has a replica in the spiritual world and
these two worlds have great influence over one another. Power, however,

seems to be in the hands of the spirits, who are constantly making
demands on and causing problems for the living, who in turn must
the spirits through sacrifice. Every ten years the Urhobo hold a large
masquerade ceremony for the entire community to honor the spirits

1 comment:

sundakipoetika said...

This article needs to be updated due to increase in state and population