Igboland is the home of the Igbo people and it covers most of Southeast Nigeria. This area is divided by the Niger River into two unequal sections – the eastern region and the midwestern region. The river, however, has not acted as a barrier to cultural unity; rather it has provided an easy means of communication.
The question of the origin of Igbo people has not been fully answered but there are very intriguing theories or histories that are now being studied in order to ascertain the origin of the Igbo people
There is a school of thoughts that linked the origin of the Igbo people to Jewish state of Israel. Also, there is another one which claimed that the Igbo people might have migrated from Egypt during the stone age era.
All these aside, historians have located the Igbos originally around the Niger-Benue confluence; thence, due to population pressure, they migrated through the Niger. Igbos during the migration moved from Egypt, through the Sudan and southwards to their present location.
It has become a part of the history that the Igbos have manifested their zest for adventure and industry in their roles as national public servants, educators, captains of industry and commerce, philanthropists, and have contributed in no small measure both to the emancipation of Nigeria from colonial rule and the progress of developing the country.
Igbos are culturally rich people and they are surrounded on all sides by other tribes like Bini, Warri, Ijaw etc.
People & Culture
Igbo people are industrious, friendly and educated people and they played an important role in Nigeria political development.
Igbo people has a dynamic and fascinating cultural heritage that says lots about them, and most of the Igbo people are Christians. Their cultures are further divided into many groups, due to dialects and boundaries among the eastern states in particular and a good sample of this is their traditional way of welcoming visitors, which is usually offering kola to guests, even before they made their mission known.
The Igbo people have a melodic music style into which they incorporate various percussion instruments; the Udu, which is essentially designed from a clay jug; an Ekwe, which is formed from a hollowed log; and the Ogene, a hand bell designed from forged iron.
Other instruments include Opi – a wind instrument similar to the flute; Igba, and Ichaka. They also have a style of music called Ikorodo, which involves a vocal performance accompanied by several musical instruments.
Another musical form among the Igbos is Highlife, which is a fusion of jazz and traditional music and widely popular in West Africa.
Major towns and cities
Most of the cities and towns in eastern Nigeria are predominantly occupied by the Igbo people. Amongst these main cities are: Enugu City – The Coal City , Owerri, Onitsha, Asaba, Anambra, Abia, Abakaliki, Yenogoa, Orlu etc. Others in the South-Eastern Nigeria are Calabar – The people’s paradise, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Eket, Bonny Island, Ikot Ekpene, Abak.