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Nigeria - People & Culture


Liuke Yang

on 13 September 2012

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Transcript of Nigeria - People & Culture

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli Nigerian Peoples and Culture
of the Pre and Mid Colonial Era This photo shows the population of specific areas in Nigeria. As you can see, the tribes were forced into their current locations during colonialization, and historically warring tribes now live next to one another. Regarding the British Colonialism, many of the indigenous populations were rounded up as slaves and shipped away.

Due to this human trade most Europeans then saw Africans as sub-human, people whose ancestors didn’t build any solid or meaningful civilization.

This ‘Dark Continent’ view held by the Europeans continued from its discovery and subsequent colonialism up through their independence in the twentieth century. Soccer is Nigeria's national sport. Most youths grow up playing soccer. Their 1st official game was played on October of 1949. Since 1994, they have participated in the World Cup and have been a major contender. Soccer's origins in Nigeria date back when to Baron Mulford, a Briton, began organizing weekly matches between Nigerian youths and Europeans in Lagos circa 1906. In 1959, an association joined the Confederation of African Football. With Nigeria's independence from the British a year later, Godfrey Amachree became the first Nigerian chairman of the NFA. Over 250 different tribes lived in the pre European ‘Nigeria’, and most were very separate and often warring tribal factions with different customs and histories.

The dominant three even to this day, are the Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani. After their conquest, they were grouped together into a single people, citizens of the new Nigeria.

This European construct continues to wreck havoc just as much today as it did then, with the people not considering themselves part of the same culture and ethnically motivated leaders sparking many civil wars. Lagos is not only Nigeria's biggest city with over 21 million people, but Africa's biggest city as well. This next diagram shows the relationship between man and female. As you can see, the average age for Nigerians is quite young. Not very many people live past 48 years of age. LAGOS Making Nigeria a British state proved to be difficult. French travelers and politicians often passed by, and the Germans also wanted a claim in Nigeria. From 1884 to 1890, Otto von Bismarck began his attempts to claim Nigeria, and the political and diplomatic efforts he made to secure the basin of the lower Niger for Germany. The Berlin Conference (1884–85) while ineffective against Nigeria, it protected free trade and led to Germany gaining a claim in certain parts of the Congo basin. The oldest evidence of a complex society in Nigeria dates back to 500 b.c. with the Nok culture. They are known for having created many fine terra-cotta figures. They also created bronze engravings. In their art they used naturalism. This involved intricate mouth and eye designs among other things. They began to raise cattle and harvest crops when the world moved from the stone age to the iron age. Sir George Dashwood Taubman Goldie, born in on the twentieth of May in 1846, was an English businessman ,who, after exploring the Niger river area in 1877, he proposed to add the lower and middle regions of the Niger area to the Empire.

Starting a charter company the likes of which not seen since the East India Company, his United Africa Company was formed, and over the next several years, Goldie and his investors drew up treaties and contracts with the natives that allowed the British to firmly take control of the lower Niger. Born 20 May, 1846 and died 20 August, 1925, Sir George Goldie played a large role in the founding of Nigeria. Colonial Nigerian House This is what traditional clothing in Nigeria looks like. Lace, jacquard, adire, and ankara are some of the materials that are used to prepare dresses in Nigeria. Nigerian clothing for women include buba, kaba, iro, gele and iborun or ipele and Nigerian clothing for men include buba, fila, sokoto, abeti-aja and agbada. Other than traditional attire, the people also wear western attires. Most of Nigeria is made up of two religious cultures, Muslims, and Christians. Modern day census shows that 48.2% of Nigerians are Christian and 50.4% are Muslim. African churches were founded by small groups breaking off from the European colonies. Christianity in Yoruba area traditionally has been Protestant and Anglican, whereas Igbo has always been the area controlled by the Roman Catholic Church. The places that preform the religion of Islam are found in the North and South Western, Yoruba part of Nigeria.

The word Igbe comes from the Urhobo word that means ‘dancing’. It has an average population of more than 20,000 believers today. The Igbe believe in a deity called Orise, meaning God. The Igbe religion categorizes the afterlife with a class structure of people and positions. Although the Igbe religion does not have full recognition, it is very common with the Urhobo people of the Niger River delta. T H E E N D The three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria are: the Hausas/Fulanis, the Igbos, and the Yorubas. The Hausas/Fulanis The Hausa and Fulani people live mostly in the northern part of Nigeria in cities like Kano, Zaria, Kastina. They have the biggest population in West Africa because of their intermarriages and interactions with new people. The Igbos The Igbos call their home Igboland which covers most of Southeast Nigeria. The Igbo people have historical heritage dated back to the stone age and they are industrious people with vibrant and colorful cultural display. Music has long been prominent in Nigerian culture. Bronze engravings from the 16th and 17th century have been discovered that show muscians with their instruments. An example of a traditional instrument is the xylophone. The Yorubas The Yoruba people live mostly in Southwest Nigeria. They have developed a variety of different artistic forms including pottery, weaving, beadwork, metalwork, and mask making. Most artwork is made to honor the gods and ancestors Prior to trading with other continents, the main meals in Nigeria were lentils, rice, and millet (a type of grain). After the Portuguese came to Nigeria and created a slave trade in the 1400's, more foods were introduced. The Portuguese introduced cassava. Cassava is a root that grows well even in drought. Other traders from Europe brought beans and maize. Spices from Asia such as nutmeg, pepper, and cinnamon were also introduced. Pictured is the top section of a cassava plant.
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