Igbo people

The Igbo outdated, Ibo, are an African ethnic group of about 30 million people in Nigeria, the east of the Niger underflow lives mainly in the savanna punctuated by rain forest. The name of the ethnic group as the language is pronounced by its speakers [ íɓò ]. However, the correct usage is Igbo. See: Pannigerianisches Alphabet


The language of the Igbo belongs to the family of Igboiden languages ​​and enjoys in Nigeria the status of a national language - Hausa and Yoruba in addition, see Igbo (language)

Traditional society

Most Igbo groups lived, like their neighbors in egalitarian, largely democratic fabric of society: in autonomous settlements without central authority, each extended family for himself as an independent unit under the leadership of one or a family elders. The affairs of the village community were decided by a council of elders, composed of both men and women.


Most Igbo are Christians. In the traditional religion of the "Lord of the Earth" has the highest religious esteem. It saves as a priest of the earth goddess Ala fertility of the land. The earth goddess stands as her consort the God of Heaven Chi aside. In addition there are numerous divine addition to powers and spirits. Particularly significant is in the Igbo ancestor worship. At funerals and festivals occur masked dancers, who are grouped together in special secret societies. A few thousand Igbo also consider themselves to be Jews.


The Art of the Igbo (eg large clay figures on shrines and altars, as well as figurative and abstract masks) is usually in a religious context. 1938 and 1964 were discovered ( in Igbo Ukwu - ) numerous bronze implements and the grave chamber of a high-ranking figure in the north of the Igbo area. The richly decorated, superbly crafted bronzes are cast in the lost wax process. If the date is in the 9-10. Century is correct, it is the oldest example of a processing of copper and its alloys in West Africa.

Traditional economy

As a food source was the cultivation of yams and cassava, which was often supplemented by extensive fishing.


The Igbo and their neighbors had to suffer until the 19th century greatly from the slave traders. In 1900, sat in the whole area, the British colonial administration through. Today, the Igbo Yoruba and Hausa, in addition to one of the state-supporting groups in Nigeria after her attempt to create a State failed after years of bloody battles against the Nigerian central government. ( Biafran War 1967-70 ).