The indigenous people of Nigeria and their way of life

by | Jul 8, 2021 | 0 comments

The Indigenous Ethnic Groups Of Nigeria – their cultural beliefs and way of life.

Nigeria is the most populated country in all of Africa with an estimated populace of 200 million people who belong to roughly 300 tribes. This makes Nigeria one of the most ethnically diverse country in Africa today.

However, regardless of the large number of ethnic groups in the country, there are 3 that are considered the major groups. These are the Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba ethnic tribes. And following the history of Nigeria, it is from these 3 that the vast majority of the other groups have their roots.

Just as their names differ, so do their beliefs and way of life. Let’s look at some indigenous knowledge, beliefs, and cultural practices of ethnic groups in Nigeria with a focus on the 3 major tribes.

The Yoruba ethnic group

The Yoruba ethnic group is the second largest in the country and they occupy the North Central and South Western regions of Nigeria.

The culture or way of life and belief system of the Yoruba people is very opulent and all-encompassing. For the Yoruba peoples, everything has an explanation rooted in Olorun (meaning God). From the big things like the origin of man and the universe down to the little things like why it rains or where rain comes from. They have their own beliefs concerning life in general.

The Hausa ethnic group

The Hausa people speak the Hausa language and have practiced Islam since the 11th century. Today, this religious practice has not changed and these indigenous peoples remain the tribe that was least affected by Nigeria’s colonization. This is as a result of their strong, unbending traditions, pride, and the system of government they practiced in pre-colonial times.

A huge part of their culture is their dressing and a typical Hausa man will be seen in a free-flowing gown (Babban riga) and trousers with a turban in some cases. While a Hausa woman usually wears wrappers (zani), a blouse, a head tie, as well as a shawl.

The Igbo/Ibo ethnic group

For the Igbos, tradition (Odinani) is a serious concept, and regardless of religious beliefs, every Igbo man or woman is answerable to the traditions of the land. While in the days of old, you will find the Igbo people tying small pieces of wrapper around their bodies, these days, an Igbo man wears an Isiagu (lion head) top and trousers. An Igbo woman on the other hand wears a blouse and ties two wrappers with a head tie to match.

In Conclusion

For the Igbos, tradition (Odinani) is a serious concept, and regardless of religious beliefs, every Igbo man or woman is answerable to the traditions of the land. While in the days of old, you will find the Igbo people tying small pieces of wrapper around their bodies, these days, an Igbo man wears an Isiagu (lion head) top and trousers. An Igbo woman on the other hand wears a blouse and ties two wrappers with a head tie to match.

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