Category Archives: Cultures and Traditions

Read outstanding articles on the cultures and traditions of Nigeria.

The History And Mystery of Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine In Ijebu Ode, Ogun State

Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine
Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine | Naijatreks

The burial place of the legendary and biblical Queen of Sheba, locally known among Yoruba people as Bilikisu Sungbo, has turned a place of worship and tourism in Nigeria. Millions of people visit annually from different parts of the world to share the mystery surrounding Bilikisu Sungbo grave-turned-shrine located in Oke-Eri, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. The historical queen, Bilikisu Sungbo, was said to have traveled all the way from Ethiopia down to Ijebu-Ode where she died and was buried. The natives of Ijebu-Ode hold strong and popular claims about the identity of the controversial Bilikisu Sungbo. They claimed that she was the Queen of Sheba mentioned in the bible to have visited the wise king Solomon at height of his powers. They also claimed that Bilikisu Sungbo was the Quranic Queen Baliqs of Ethopia (from which the name Bilikisu was derived) who visited king Sulaiman. Another source has it that Bilikisu Sungbo was a wealthy woman and the leader of a group of women potters who traveled to far away places. Also, she was believed to possess supernatural powers with which she dug ditches around villages in Ijebu-Ode. Continue reading The History And Mystery of Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine In Ijebu Ode, Ogun State

Gbegiri Soup- A Pathway To The Heart Of Yoruba Men

Gbegiri Soup | Dobbys Signature
Gbegiri Soup | Dobbys Signature

The Yoruba people of south western Nigeria are known for their varieties of delicious and tantalizing soups that sends the bowel yearning for a lick. The delicacies of the Yoruba people compris­es predominantly solid foods (what Nigerians call SWALLOW) like: Amala, Eba, Fufu, Iyan, etc. that are needed to be eaten with soup for sweet and easy passage down the throat. One of such soups is ‘Gbegiri‘ which is prepared with beans. Are you surprised that a soup is prepared with beans?! Do not be surprised! Gbegiri is one of the best soups in Yoruba land that helps a woman construct a pathway to the heart of a man.

Here are the ingredients needed to prepare Gbegiri soup:

* 150g of beans (brown or black eyed)
* A tablespoon of grounded crayfish
* 1 cooking spoon of palm oil
* 1 smoked Titus
* Pepper, stock cubes and salt (adequate) Continue reading Gbegiri Soup- A Pathway To The Heart Of Yoruba Men

Top 5 Traditional Dances in Nigeria

Bata Dace

Nigeria is made up of over 250 tribes which all have their peculiar cultures and traditions of which dance is among. The cultural or traditional dances of Nigerian tribes are used for so many purposes which include: unifying the members of a tribe; telling folktales or the history and traditions of a community; showcasing the wealth and strength of a tribe; celebrating; performing religious duties; entertaining and so on. Below is OldNaija‘s compilation of probably the best and most entertaining traditional dances from selected Nigerian tribes.

Ekombi Dancers
Ekombi Dancers | Global Peace Production

1. The Ekombi Dance– The Ekombi dance is peculiar to the Efik people of Calabar, Cross River state. It is a beautiful and entertaining dance in which maidens are dressed in multi-coloured attires sewn in a mini skirt and blouse form which exposes their tummy. The maidens are also decorated with beads of different colours and sizes. The Ekombi dancers whine gracefully to the rhythmical beats of the Efik drummers in the movement of ocean tides. The Ekombi dance of the Efik people shows the beauty and maturity of a woman.

Nkwa-Umu_Agbogho Dancers
Nkwa-Umu_Agbogho Dancers | Imo Online

Continue reading Top 5 Traditional Dances in Nigeria

Ibi Ugwu (Male Circumcision) In Igbo Land

Circumcision in Igbo land

The act of circumcising babies in Igbo land is an ancient culture and tradition of the Igbo people which has its origin from their traditional religions. “Circumcision is the act of removing female genitalia, or a simple fold of skin (foreskin and prepuce) that covers the head of an un-erect penis”. In ancient times, the Igbos circumcise both male and female children, but as modernization set in, the circumcision or genital mutilation of Igbo female children was stopped while that of male continued till today. Continue reading Ibi Ugwu (Male Circumcision) In Igbo Land

Oruko Amutorunwa (Pre-Destined Names) In Yorubaland

Yoruba Twins
Ibeji (Twins)

In Yoruba land, one of the most important things done when a child is born is to give the child a name. This comes after the child’s ritual birth, massage of specific body parts and other rites as well. Names are given to the child by the father, mother, grandparents (paternal and maternal) and some close relatives also. But sometimes, the circumstance of a child’s birth will automatically give the child a name. This name is known as ‘orúko àmútọ̀runwá’ (pre-destined or generic name) in Yorubaland. Continue reading Oruko Amutorunwa (Pre-Destined Names) In Yorubaland

Yoruba Culture and the Left Hand

Yoruba culture and left hand

The Yoruba people are one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. They inhabit the south western part of the country and are the second most populated of the three major Nigerian ethnic groups, followed by the Igbos of eastern Nigeria. The Yoruba people are well known for their strong desire for peace and unity at home and in diaspora. They are also known for their rich cultures and traditions which include: lifestyle, religions, dressings, beliefs and so on. The Yorubas, also called Omo Odua (offspring of Oduduwa- the progenitor of the Yoruba tribe), cherish every aspect of their cultures and traditions; none is being overlooked or handled with less importance and care because they practice them daily.

Ethics is a vital aspect of the Yoruba culture. The Yoruba attach great importance to ethical significance because they believe that this aspect of their culture is highly essential to every individual’s life. They also believe that it will be easy for someone with good ethics to succeed in life and the other way round for the one who lacks it. Therefore, the Yoruba people use all means to teach their children good manners and morals and how to use them in the society. Some of the means they use are: storytelling, songs, poetry, oral lecturing and so on. Continue reading Yoruba Culture and the Left Hand

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

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

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