Abia - Anambra - Ebonyi - Enugu - Imo

Visit ICS Facebook

ICS >> General Meeting: Last Saturday of February, April, June, August, October and First Saturday in December. << Sports Festival 2010 *Date: *Venue *Time <<

Ndiigbo (The Igbos)

The history of the Igbos is dated back to thousands of years ago in the human history. Towards the fifteenth century, the likes of European visitors with their observations and archaeological findings, including the oral traditions of Igbo people, tell us that the history is estimated to go as far back as four thousand years ago.

Although many theories have been put forward about the origin of Igbo people, some claimed that the Igbos migrated from Western part of Africa.  However, from available evidence such as population density, language diversity or even botanical (Forest Conservation) and Archaeological research suggest, that the Igbos and their forbearers have lived in much their present homes from the dawn of human history.

The traditional homeland of the lgbo people lies in the south-eastern region of Nigeria.  The geographical location of Igboland lies between the great River Niger and Cross Rivers State, with the Ibibio, Ijo, Igala, Idoma, and Edo as their neighbours. The ancient settlement at Igbo-Ukwu in Eastern Nigeria was an outpost for West African's long-distance trade routes, one of which was the Trans-Saharan trade routes. The main items traded were gold, slaves, salt, cowry shells (the major unit of currency). Others are weapons, expensive clothes, pepper, ivory, kola nuts and leather goods.

the map of igbo speaking areas in nigeria

The arrival of Europeans on the Coast of West Africa undermined the Saharan trade, but did not finally finish it until well into the 19th century. This also made the south-eastern region to flourish, primarily trading on slaves.  After the abolition of slave trade in 1807 the direction of trade was then turned to trading in palm products, timber, elephant tusk and spices.

The Igbos are a self-helping race who strongly believe in making themselves what they wish to be, hence the Igbo saying "Onye kwe Chi ya ekwe". They are a people rich in culture and tradition. Although the Igbos has generally very similar cultures, they also show some local variations in cultures and customs. Based on these variations the Igbo- land can be divided into five main subgroups namely: 

a)       The Northern Igbo - Igbo-Ukwu, Onitsha, Enugu, Nri-Awka;

b)       The Western Igbo  - Ogwashi-Ukwu, Asaba, Agbor;

c)       The Southern Igbo - Umuahia, Ngwa, Owerrinta;

d)       The Eastern Igbo   -  Afikpo, Arochukwu-Ohiafia, Bende and

e)       The North-Eastern Igbo - Ogu-Ukwu, Abakaliki.

After strong resistance to several colonial military conquests, Igboland was conquered by the better military equipped British missionaries and she came under British colonial rule. This was a style of government not very popular amongst the Igbos, hence the British were faced with a lot of protest and resistance, despite that, Igboland still became a British Colony.

In 1900 the area that was once administered by the British Niger Company now became the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. The control of the area was later passed from the British Foreign Office to the Colonial Office. In 1914 the Northern protectorate and Southern protectorate of Nigeria were amalgamated, which is the present day Nigeria.

Thereafter, the Eastern Region of Nigeria was established and was subsequently divided into several other states, which comprises the following states at present such as Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State and Imo State.