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Igbo Tribe of Nigeria-Coming of Age

social studies project
by

suzanne caruthers

on 14 December 2012

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Transcript of Igbo Tribe of Nigeria-Coming of Age

by Elizabeth Madrid and Sara Eve Caruthers Coming of age in
Igbo Society One of three tribes in Nigeria on the continent of Africa. Who are the Igbo? Mothers, aunts and grandmothers
teach the life lessons: Girls Ritual Boys Ritual Nigerians living in America have adapted the celebration. Celebration in America These are some native foods of the Igbo culture. A cultural heritage Ms. Chi Ezekwueche for her time in sharing information about her personal experiences in Nigeria and the coming of age ceremony she has organized here in Georgia. A very special thank you The Igbo tribe is more than 2000 years old. Igbo Society celebrates children becoming responsible adults in the community. Names for the ritual include mbanye ebe, ahia ebe, imeebe... Girls and boys traditionally celebrate the rite of passage separately. coming of age education begins at 9-12 years old cooking, cleaning, hair braiding, body paint, sex education and family values. One month before the final ceremony, the girls meet as a community group and learn what it means to be a daughter, wife and mother. They also practice their dance, hair style, body paint and dress for the ceremony. Finally, the girls gather on market day and wrestle, dance and eat in the village square. The entire tribe is invited to watch, including the eligible bachelors. Most of the girls are married within six months of the ceremony. The girls are dressed beautifully with body paint, hair braids and beads around their waist. Sadly, much of the girls ritual was lost after the British colonized Nigeria and the Christian thinking erased many of the tribal traditions. coming of age at 9-12 years old The boys ceremony is a masquerade system
for a secret rite of passage. Boys lessons are taught by the men in the family and tribe. Lessons include: self-respect, how to respect women, how to provide for a family, and the values of Igboland. The ceremony takes seven Igbo weeks of four market days in each week (same as one month for Christian calendar). During the ceremony all of the lights are off in the village, so that no one else can see what takes place. The villagers can hear the drums and the music along with singing during the ceremony, but no one knows what's taking place. When the ceremony is complete, the men bathe in the stream to wash off the "femaleness" and they are now a MAN of the Igbo tribe. Oto Umunne Cultural Organization, Inc. designed a local tradition as similar to their cultural tradition as possible. The first initiates were excited to participate in 1997. The adults of the Oto Umunne Cultural Organization, Inc. begin preparing their girls and boys for the rite of passage initiation at 9-12 years old. The girls and boys have separate community lessons once a month organized by the Oto Umunne Cultural Organization, Inc. The students learn about teamwork, leadership and values of the Igbo tribe.They also learn about cleanliness, grooming and how to be an adult in the Igbo tribe. The Oto Umunne Cultural Organization, Inc. rents a hall once a year in Atlanta for their celebration where they use candles instead of moonlight. After high school graduation, the girls and boys spend the night before the ceremony with their group and gender learning what the Igbo community expects of them. Boiled Rice moi moi Mr. Nzelueaka Chris Okafor for his information about the loss of Igbo tradition due to colonialism. http://www.anogusa.org/Member_Orgs/Igbo_Union.htm http://lib.lbcc.edu/ukwu/chiamaka/riteofpassage.htm http://www.religioustolerance.org/wicpuber.htm http://www.igbofocus.co.uk/html/igbo_foods.html and to the following websites: When a man gets married,
he has to pay his bride or her family a fee for the loss of a daugher. Currently, more than 3/4 of Igbo people are now Christian. Igbo people greet visitors with kola nuts. Igbo call on the Almighty Chukwu (God) to guide them. There are about 38 million Igbo people in the United States today. Neither Ms. Ezekwueche nor her Chrisitan mother who was born in 1930 participated in the coming of age ceremony. However, Ms. Ezekwueche's son went back to Nigeria in 1991 to take part in the masquerade ceremony. Her daughters participated in the local GA ceremony she helped to design. Yams Fun Facts:
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