Igbo tribe is one of the biggest and most inflectional ethnic group in Nigeria. This is an ancient and well-developed culture. This ethnic group is also very urbanized, their living place is known as Igboland and consists of such cities as Onitsha, Owerri, Nnewi, Okigwe, Aba, Orlu. Igboland.
Igbo tribe is the biggest ethnic group in southeastern and south-central Nigeria. The language of this ethnic group is consists of many dialects. During the old history of Nigeria, the people of this tribe were known as farmers, craftsmen, and traders.
Origin of Igbo tribe
Scholars recognize archaeological findings dated at around 2500 BCE as Igbo tribe style pottery. According to genetic research, Igbos are most close to Niger-Congo-speaking peoples.
If we are talking about the origin of Igbo, we should start with the story of Nri Kingdom. According to popular believe, Nri Kingdom people originated from king-figure Eri. This mysterious king was described as “sky being”. Igbos trace their origin back to the divine ancestor. The Nri Kingdom was theocratic or religion-oriented state of the central area of Igbo territory.
Traditional society of the Igbo tribe was based on quasi-democratic statements. The Nri Version is just one version of Igbo origin. Read the following information and you will find out that the origin of Igbos is a very unclear question.
Mystery origin of Igbos
The origin of Igbo tribe is very controversial. The story of Nri Kingdom is not the only theory of Igbo people’s origin. Igbo tribe have no such historical identification with the founders as Yoruba or Hausa.
From the ancient times, this tribe had no centralized states. There were five groups of Igbo people:
- The Northern Igbo
- The Western Igbo
- The Igbo of North-eastern Nigeria
- The Igbo of South-eastern Nigeria
- The Igbo of eastern Nigeria
This differentiation to the groups makes it more difficult to find one single origin.
There is the Israeli version of Igbo origin. This is a quite popular migratory story, it points to Israel as the origin of thise tribe. The version is based on the similarities between ancient Hebrew and Igbo cultures. According to this version the Igbos are off-shoots of south Hebrew tribes.
There are also versions of Igbo migration from the Middle East, and the version that Igbo tribe was in its present area from the beginning. According to another version the tribe originated from ancient Orlu or Awka towns.
All these are the most probable versions, as you see the issue of the origin of this tribe is quite complicated.
Origin of Igbo language
There is such notion as Igboid languages, these are the languages originated from Volta–Niger family. The Igbo language has around 24 million speakers and 20 dialects. In 1972 the standard literary language was approved.
The first book with the notion of Igbo language was published in 1777. Igbo language is tonal and has high and low tones. In the 1960s the Ọ́nwụ́ orthography was officially recognized as Igbo language orthography.
As we found out there is no clear answer to the question of the Igbos origin, but one can definitely say that this is a very ancient and developed ethnic group.