Category Archives: Cultures and Traditions

Read outstanding articles on the cultures and traditions of Nigeria.

Ila– Yoruba Tribal Mark

Yoruba Tribal Mark

Hundreds of years ago, the drawing of Ila (tribal/facial mark) was a common practice among the Yoruba tribe of Western Nigeria. Ila are special marks drawn on the face or body of an individual shortly after birth or during childhood. Those who have this marks are refered to as Okola. Continue reading Ila– Yoruba Tribal Mark

Bori Religion In Hausaland

Bori religious dance
Bori Dancer

Bori is a traditional religion of the Hausa people of northern Nigeria which involves animism, magic and spiritual possession. The Bori religion was widely practiced in the Hausa’s pre-Islamic era but began to wane as Islam was introduced into Hausaland. “Boorii” is a Hausa word for spiritual force which can be found in physical and/or inanimate objects.  Continue reading Bori Religion In Hausaland

Osun Osogbo Festival (Video)

Osun Osogbo is a festival celebrated annually in Osogbo land, Osun State, in the month of August. The Osun goddess is believed to symbolise wealth, fertility, beauty, prosperity and love. Below is a video of the festival….

Durbar Festival In Nigeria (Video)

Durbar Festival is an annual festival celebrated in different northern cities of Nigeria such as Katsina, Bida and Kano. It is celebrated at the end of Muslim festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Below is a video of the celebration of the festival.

Ojude Oba- The Colourful Festival of the Ijebu Nation

Ojude oba festival

 

Click here to watch the video

 

Ojude Oba is an annually celebrated festival in the heart of Ijebu- Ode, the capital of the whole Ijebu nation, with an estimated population of 30,000 attendants. The colourful and glamorous festival is celebrated on the third day of the Muslim’s Eid-El-Kabir festival, otherwise known as ‘Ileya’ among the Yoruba people. The festival is used as a medium of uniting the sons and daughters of the Ijebu nation at home and abroad.

The origin of the Ojude Oba festival can be traced back to the period, Continue reading Ojude Oba- The Colourful Festival of the Ijebu Nation

Osu Caste System in Igboland- A Tradition Painted With Discrimination

Osu caste system

The Igbo ethnic group, which occupied the eastern region of Nigeria, are well known for their multi-branched culture, traditions and religious beliefs which they believe to be very essential in their way of life. Among the countless traditions of the Igbo people is the Osu caste system in which a set of people were separated from the normal Igbo society because they were believed to be sacrifices to the gods of Igboland, these people are called Osu.
According to Igbo history, Continue reading Osu Caste System in Igboland- A Tradition Painted With Discrimination

Traditional Occupations In Yoruba Land

Traditional drum

During the olden days in Yorubaland, there are many types of occupations which differ from one another, some are meant for men, definitely the dangerous and stressful ones, while the ones with less danger and stress are reserved for women. Among the Yoruba people, “ise owo” is the term used to describe an individual’s occupation or profession. In Yoruba land, a man without any occupation or profession is regarded as a useless and lazy fellow in the society, the Yoruba term given to such man is ole (lazy) or “ole a lapa ma sise” (lazy fellow that can’t work with his hands), on the other side of women, Continue reading Traditional Occupations In Yoruba Land

Five Unchallengeable Facts About The Hausa People

Hausa people

The Hausa tribe is one of the most interesting tribes in Nigeria. Their fascinating culture, beliefs and history added to their interesting lifestyle. They dwell in the northern part of Nigeria and are very large in population. The purpose of writing this article is to enlighten you more about the Hausa people therefore writing out some FACTS about the Hausa People… Continue reading Five Unchallengeable Facts About The Hausa People

Argungun Fishing Festival In The Heart Of Kebbi

Argungun fishing festival

The Argungun fishing festival is an annual festival which lasts for four days in Kebbi State , located in the North-western part of Nigeria. This fishing festival is usually held in Argungun, the capital city of the Argungun Emirate Council. People come from every part of the globe to witness the Argungun fishing festival which fills the atmosphere with a scent of the Hausa culture.

The festival was first held in 1934 to mark the end of the long period of hostility between the Kebbi Kingdom and the Sokoto Caliphate. Continue reading Argungun Fishing Festival In The Heart Of Kebbi

Ten Funny Beliefs Among The Yoruba People

Yoruba people

The Yoruba people are well known for their numerous cultural and religious beliefs which guides them mentally, spiritually and morally in life. There are legions of beliefs among the Yoruba people, but here, we are talking about some ten funny ones.

1. Child, teeth and Lizards

I bet it, those who are familiar with this one are laughing right now. It is a normal experience to have some teeth fall-out during childhood days. Continue reading Ten Funny Beliefs Among The Yoruba People

The Igue Festival- Edo’s colourful festival

igue2

The Igue festival takes the pre- eminence among festivals celebrated in Edo State. The most colorful and paramount importance to the people of Benin. It is celebrated every december by every reigning Oba and his subjects to mark the end of the Benins year and as a thanksgiving to the outgoing one. This festival is usually celebrated around the month of September in the ancient times. Continue reading The Igue Festival- Edo’s colourful festival

The Nri Kingdom of Umueri

NRI KINGDOM
NRI KINGDOM

The Nri people of Igboland have a creation myth which is one of the many creation myth that exists in various parts of Igbo land. The Nri and Aguleri people are in territory of the Umueri clan who trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king- figure “Eri”. Eri’s origin are unclear, though he has been described as a sky being sent by Chukwu (God). Continue reading The Nri Kingdom of Umueri

Mythical Creation of the Yoruba Tribe

Obatala
Obatala

The Yoruba tribe were believed to have emerged from Oduduwa (one of the servants of Olodumare- the Supreme Being) who was sent down to the world to create the earth. It was believed that he descended with a long chain from heaven and carried a calabash full of sand and also brought a five- toed fowl along with him. The whole earth was covered with water, not a single dry place could be found, then he oduduwa(Oduduwa) poured the sand on the water and placed the fowl on it, and the fowl Continue reading Mythical Creation of the Yoruba Tribe

Igbo Traditional Society

By Raymond Nicholas
society

Traditional Igbo political organization was based on a quasi democratic republican system of government. In tight knit communities, this system with a king ruling over subjects. This government was witnessed by the Portuguese who first arrive and met with the Igbo people in the 15th century. With the exceptions of such as Onitsha, which had kings called Obi, and places like Nri kingdom and Continue reading Igbo Traditional Society

Igbo -Ukwu: Home of the Roped Pots

Igbo ukwu bronze

The bronze work of Igbo-ukuw which can be found in Enugu state remains as the highest of the ancient works of Nigeria art.

It is possible that the inhabitants of Igbo-Ukwu had a metalworking art that flourished as early as the ninth century. Continue reading Igbo -Ukwu: Home of the Roped Pots

Pre-colonial Political Administration In Yorubaland

Political administration of the Oyo Empire

Before the advent of the British in Yoruba land, Yoruba kingdoms maintained an orderly and unified political system which is still in effect till today. A Yoruba kingdom (e.g. the Oyo kingdom) was made up of a headquarter (i.e. Olu-Ilu) and other local towns and villages. However, its political administration consisted of a central level and subordinate units. Continue reading Pre-colonial Political Administration In Yorubaland

Traditional Marriage Among The Hausa

hausaThe marriage ceremony among the Hausa tribe is not time consuming and expensive to that of the Igbo and Yoruba traditional marriage.
When a man sees a girl he wants to marry, he will first seek permission from the girl’s parents. The family of the girl will then conduct on the man to ascertain his religious beliefs, moral, ethics and other related things with his background. Continue reading Traditional Marriage Among The Hausa

THE EGUNGUN

The Egungun masquerade

Egungun refers to all kinds of Yoruba masquerades or masked costumed figures representing ancestral spirits from the land of the dead. It refers to the Yoruba masquerades connected with the ancestors, or to the ancestor’s lives. The singular form for a masquerade is called Egun. Continue reading THE EGUNGUN

Pre-colonial Political Administration In Hausaland

Pre- colonial political administration in Hausaland

After the great Jihad war (1804-1810) led by Usman Dan Fodio, the former fourteen Hausa states were merged and then divided into two caliphates. The eastern caliphate which included states like Yola, Gombe, Kano, Zaria and Katsina had Sokoto as its capital while the western caliphate, including Ilorin, Argungun and Kontagora had Gwandu as its capital. Usman Dan Fodio became the head (Sarkin Muslim) of the whole Hausaland while the control of Sokoto (eastern) and Gwandu (western) caliphates went to Bello, Usman Dan Fodio’s son and Abdullah, Usman Dan Fodio’s brother respectively. Continue reading Pre-colonial Political Administration In Hausaland

Traditional Marriage in Yorubaland

Marriage in Yorubaland

Marriage is an important culture in Yorubaland and the main reason behind it is because the Yorubas love kids so much. They attach so much importance to child-bearing after the wedding ceremony and count a marriage devoid of children as an unfruitful union. The idiosyncrasy of a typical Yorubaman differs so much from that of people from the western world and that’s why as a case study, although Continue reading Traditional Marriage in Yorubaland

Marriage in Igboland

Igbo marriege

Birth, marriage and burial are considered the three most important family events in most cultures, and Igboland is not an exception to that.
It is common to get invited to a traditional marriage (Igbankwu) and certainly worth witnessing one. Marriage in Igboland is not just an affair between the future husband and wife but also involves the parents, the extended family and villages. Continue reading Marriage in Igboland

Initiation into Agbalanze Society 1964

agbalanzeOne of the highest rungs in Onitsha traditional society ladder is attained through the acquisition of the Ozo title. Ozo is an expensive title whose premier function is to confer on its recipient the priesthood of the ancestral cult. Apart from this primary objective, Ozo elevates one from the status of commoner to that of an aristocrat, making him a member of an exclusive club – the, Agbalanze.
Ozo starts off with Ikpa mmuo a solemn, sacred rite which gradually broadens Continue reading Initiation into Agbalanze Society 1964

Orishas (Deities) worshipped in Yoruba Land

 

Orisa sango

An Orisha(also spelled Orisa or Orixa) is a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of God in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system.
*. Olorun(Olorun, Olodumaré, Olofin)- God, the creator.
*. Eshu(Eleggua, Exú, Eṣu, Elegba, Ellegua, Legbara, Papa Legba)- Eshu is the messenger between the human and divine worlds, Orisha of duality, crossroads and beginnings, and also a phallic and fertility deity (an Embodiment of Life). Eshu is recognized as a trickster.
*. Ogoun(Ogun, Ogúm, Ogou)- warrior deity; divinity of iron, war, labour, sacrifice, politics, and technology (e.g. railroads, tools, man-made objects). Continue reading Orishas (Deities) worshipped in Yoruba Land