The Igbo People James Allen Chris Clark Jose Gutierrez Jose Lopez Victor Ramirez Brendan Walsh Population Thirty million Igbo People They are surrounded by the Ibibio, Ijo, Ekoi, Igala, Idoma, and Nupe Tribes The Igbo people are primarily farming Government Governed by village councils The councils are made up of the Elders of the tribes The Elders’ power is held in balance by secret societies There are title holders but they do not really have any extra power Masks The Igbo are well known throughout history for their masks Used for initiation ceremonies and entertainment Most masks have a central crest and elongated faces Work Most people within the Igbo territory are farmers The swampy areas help to grow many things They are also given credit for the beginning of the Iron Age groundnuts, palm oil, cocoa, coconut, citrus fruits, maize, millet, cassava, yams and sugar cane Location The Igbo People live in southeastern Nigeria Located near the Niger River Delta Forested and swampy area They also live near the river which is good for fishing Origin The Supreme Deity Chukwu is the supreme deity of the Igbo people. He is also referred to as the “great spirit”. His symbol is the sun. He is associated with nature and all its parts, like rain and plants. Chukwu created the whole world and other gods, or deities. Many people name their children after this Overlord. Supreme Deity The rains he brings upon the world are used to help the Igbo people be prosperous when planting. All good that happens in the lives of the Igbo is directly related to Chukwu. Ala is the daughter/wife of Chukwu that is responsible for fertility as well as death. She is the god that rules both at the beginning and at the end of life. Deities Chukwu created all earth, so in turn, all the deities of the Igbo originate from earth. Deities can be made of wood and worshiped as gods. There are many deities in the Igbo religion. Deities Deities are said to be messengers of god to the people. The Igbo people know and immediately fear the deities. Although Chukwu is supreme, deities are feared because they can immediately affect the lives of the Igbo people. Deities Chukwu appoints these messengers because His work is too much for him alone. The gods, Ofo and Ogu, are responsible for compensating innocent people accused of crimes. If not prayed to, people will be subject to punishment by Amadioha. The Personal God All Igbo people believe they have an inner god within them called Chi. Their Chi is the person’s fate. A person’s luck and misfortune come from their Chi. The name of a person can affect their Chi, this is why Igbo males are usually given the names of deities. Establishment of Death It is said that Chukwu sent a dog to lay the dead bodies of people on the earth and cover them with ashes so that they can be revived. The dog was tired behind in his work, so Chukwu sent a sheep to do the job. The sheep forgot what he was supposed to do, so he told the people to bury their dead. When the dog returned, he was not believed and so death became permanent. Economy, Tribal System, and Family Economy The majority of the Igbo people are farmers. Yam is their staple crop and the harvesting season is a time for great celebration. With the surplus amount of yam, they are able to export some to their neighbors. They also produce palm-oil which is exported to Europe in large quantities. Tribal System There are various subgroups according to clan, lineage, and village affiliations. Neither the Igbo nor any of their neighbors have a centralized chieftaincy, hereditary aristocracy, or kingship customs. They usually have the village council take the responsibility of leading the tribe. Tribal System Cont. The village council consists of the heads of lineages, elders, titled men, and men who have established themselves economically within the community Family Life In the Igbo tribe it is normal to have more than one wife. Depending on the wealth a man has, he can have more wives if he is richer. A rich, successful man can have as many wives as he can support. Family Life Cont. The polygynous family is made up of a man and his wives and all their children. Aside from that, there are other family members which eventually add up to and anywhere from five to thirty people in a family. Colonialism Colonialism Mid-fifteenth century Portuguese (1434- 1807) Dutch England People Fear “But I am greatly afraid. We had heard stories about white men who made the powerful guns and the strong drinks and took slaves away across the seas, but no one thought the stories were true” (Achebe,117.) Differences Culture Religion Life style Authority “They had built a court where the District Commissioner judged cases in ignorance” (Achebe,142) Conversions Preach in the ilo Christianity One God Reading Writing Churches Schools Conversions/Conflict “… he decided to go Religion conflict to Umuofia where the Spread of religion white missionary had Take over of land set up a school to teach young Killings Christians to read and War write” (Achebe, 127.) The destruction of villages. Ja Ja of Opobo Past Leader Ja Ja of Opobo Born 1820 Political and military strategist Led revolution against British influence in Southern Nigeria Original name: Mbanaso Named Jubo Juboghaa after becoming a slave Ja Ja of Opobo Exact information about his parents or childhood is unknown, widely available in oral tradition though Most common claim is he was born in the lineage of Umuduruoha of Amaigbo village group in the center of, as it was called, Igoboland Sold into slavery in the Niger Delta Bought by Chief Iganipughuma Allison of Bonny Ja Ja of Opobo Chief Allison gave Ja Ja to Chief Madu of the Anna Pepple House as a gift Anna Pepple House was one of the royal family houses Madu’s son, Alali, died in 1863, leaving behind a huge debt to European supercargoes. None of the eligible chiefs offered to head the Anna Pepple House Ja Ja took over the empty position and within two years had paid off the debt completely Ja Ja of Opobo Christianity was introduced in 1864 Ja Ja’s house was against it, whereas the other royal family house was for it In 1865, King Pepple died, meaning an heir was needed from either the Anna Pepple House or the Manila Pepple House Ja Ja of Opobo September 13, 1869 fighting commenced between the houses Ja Ja was outnumbered and decided to retreat, accept his defeat, and sue for peace Peace carried on for weeks, giving Ja Ja much needed time Ja Ja moved to the Andoni country at the head of the Imo river Ja Ja of Opobo Named his new settlement Opobo In 1873, was recognized as the king of the independent nation Opobo by Britain Ja Ja actually helped Britain in their war against the Ashanti kingdom in the Gold Coast Ruled over his kingdom for 18 years Ja Ja of Opobo Died 1891 Died at Teneriffe Island Died returning to his country after being allowed to return from exile A statue of Ja Ja stands in the center of Opobo and reads “A king in title and in deed. Always just and generous.” Conclusion This presentation helps us better understand the Igbo culture and traditions, such as: Obierika’s marriage arrangement, the significance of Akueke’s waist beads and the importance of the titles given to the people of the village. This can also help you understand the lack of cultural understanding between the whites and Nigerians; this is demonstrated when Okonkwo is discussing the dispute over Aneto’s land when he says: ““Does the white man understand our customs about land?” “How can he when he does not even speak our tongue?”” (Achebe, 144) Bibliography "What is Things Fall Apart?" 30 Oct. 2006 <http://www.stfrancis.edu/en/student/achebe/c hinua/tfa.htm>. "Igbo Information." Art and Life in Africa Online. 3 Nov. 1998. 30 Oct. 2006 <http://www.uiowa.edu/~africart/toc/people/Ig bo.html>. Gale, Thomas. "Igbo." Ed. Timothy L. Gale and Gall S. Bevan. 2006. Thomson Corporation. 30 Oct. 2006 <http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Mauritania- to-Nigeria/Igbo.html>.
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