Idoma people

The Idoma are a medium Nigerian people which has 300,000 members.

They speak Idoma, a idomoide language. Its neighboring peoples are the Idibio, the Ibo, the mom and the Mumuye.


The Idoma - art in Western collections exist primarily wooden masks, which are used for funerals and for social control, and human-like wooden figures, which often turn out quite large.


Linguistic evidence show that the Idoma for at least four to five thousand years of living in their current region and that their ancestors probably with those of the Yoruba, Bini and Igbo from the north migrated to the area. All these peoples belong to the Kwa language family. Linguists are able, on the basis of differences between languages ​​estimate the time they are living apart since. They parted at a time from the larger ethnic groups in the area and began to build their own culture in relative isolation.


Most Idoma are farmers. Its main products are yams and taro, locally called " Cocoa yams ". Autumn is the time of great celebration. Yams are efficiently produce enough to export them to the neighbors. You reap fruits of the oil palm, which are processed into oil and exported in large quantities to Europe, making it a fairly profitable cash crop. Other important income are maize, cassava, peppers, peanuts, squashes and sweet potatoes. Goats, sheep, chickens and dogs are kept by almost everyone. Although hunting is no longer contributes a significant contribution to the local economy, fishing is still very important in the whole region.

Political system

The Idoma live in densely populated villages or in relatively scattered farms. Political trains exist primarily at the community level with the position of tribal leader whose position is inherited patrilineal. His successor among the Idoma often alternates between two patrilineal structures, whereby the power of the leader is weakened to some extent. The leader is usually developed a council of elders for advice before making important decisions. In the past, age - grade societies and the associated masking traditions contributed to social control.


In the Idoma religion by focusing on honoring the ancestors. Funeral ceremonies among the Idoma are often quite dramatic, the combination of age and prestige decides on the attention given to become a Member. Large burials are available for both men and women made ​​in order to send them on their final journey from her village to the spiritual world on the other side of the river. A memorial service or a second funeral is held for the dead shortly after the actual funeral, to make sure that the dead made ​​it into the world of the ancestors.