I have shared bits and snippets about my tribe in some of my previous posts, click on any of the post titles to read about it.
But today, I am going to share a deeper insight about my culture.
In Nigeria, we have about 250 ethnic groups but only three of them constitute the majority; and they are, the Igbos, Yorubas and the Hausas.
The Igbos majorly occupy the eastern part of Nigeria, while the yorubas and hausas occupy the west and the north respectively.
Even though, many people tend to be born, school and eventually reside in other states different from their origin. Families still try to preserve their own culture and heritage regardless of which part of the country they decide to make their nest and of course, take it upon themselves to travel from time to time to visit kinsmen and relatives during holidays.
Okay, so enough of the background story let me get into the gist about my culture.
I am an Igbo girl, but I was born, raised and had my education in the west. During holidays my family journey to the east to spend time and bond with kinsmen and relatives.
There are so many interesting things about my culture and I decided to make a list of some of them.
1. Egwu nkwa ndi Igbo (Igbo Folk Music)
The Igbo people have a melodic and symphonic musical style, using local musical instruments like the opi, a wind instrument similar to the flute, igba, and ichaka.
Music is an integral part of the Igbo culture, not only is it a medium of entertainment it is also used in expressing thoughts and rendering adulations.
2. Igbo Mythology
Many Igbo folks now practise Christianity and have done away with traditional deities.
But before this new era, Odinani was the traditional ancient Igbo religion. In the Igbo mythology, the supreme God is called Chukwu (“great spirit”); Chukwu created the world and everything in it and is associated with all things on Earth. To the ancient Igbo, the Cosmo is divided into four complex parts:-
– Okike (Creation)
– Alusi (Supernatural Forces or Deities)
– Mmuo (Spirit)
– Uwa (World)
Alusi, also known as Arusi or Arushi, are minor deities that are worshiped and served in Igbo mythology such as:-
– Amadioha (god of thunder)
– Ekwensu (The trickster god)
– Njoku Ji (god in charge of agriculture)
– Idemili (the river goddess)
– Anyanwu (the eye of the sun)
– Ala (earth mother)
– Agwu (the deity of health and divination)
– Ikenga (the place of strength) etc.
3. Ọmenala (customs & traditions)
- The Ọjị tradition
Ọjị is used to welcome guests, there is a popular Igbo proverb that goes:
“He who brings kolanut, brings life”
The breaking of kolanut is an ancient Igbo tradition still in vogue today. The offering and blessing on the kolanut is usually done by the oldest person present.
- Ugwo ishi Nwanyi or Imego (bride price)
This is the second stage of the Igbo customary way of marrying after the Ikuaka (inqury/knocking/introduction).
The groom and his family are given a list of marriage requirements to bring, including money. The items on the list usually include food items, boxes of wrappers, beverages, kegs of palmwine, accessories etc. Bride price vary in different states, communities and villages.
- Igba nkwu Nwanyi (the bride’s wine carrying):
This is the final stage of the Igbo traditional marriage rites. It is the celebration day after both families have settled with the bride price.
The wine carrying is the major part of this event where the father of the bride pours wine in a cup and gives it to the bride to give to the man that she has agreed to marry.
- Omu gwo
When a woman gives birth, her mother is expected to come and help care for her and the child. Igbo mothers travel across continents just to carry out omu gwo.
There is still so much to say but I will end it here. Feel free to tell me about your culture in the comment section.
Disclaimer: All the photos used in this post do not belong to me. Photo credits are reserved for the owners.