Information about the Igbo

The Igbo or Ibo are a people living in Nigeria, where they constitute an estimated 15% of the population. Their language is also called Igbo.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the sense of a distinct cultural identity among the Igbo was much more diffuse: the Igbo did not have a centralized system of government, and lived in small, democratically organized autonomous communities. Perhaps consequently, the Europeans considered them among the more backward of Nigeria's ethnic groups. The arrival of the British in the 1870s, and increased encounter between the Igbo and other Nigerians led to a deepening sense of a distinct Igbo ethnic identity. The Igbo also proved remarkably decisive and enthusiastic in their embrace of Christianity and Western education. Under British colonial rule, the diversity within each of Nigeria's major ethnic groups slowly decreased and distinctions between the Igbo and other large ethnic groups, such as the Hausa and the Yorùbá became sharper. In 1966, political troubles in Nigeria led to a pogrom in which tens of thousands of Igbo were murdered, especially in Northern Nigeria. As many as two million Igbo people fled from other parts of Nigeria, returning to their ancestral homes in the Eastern Region. The crisis reached an apex in May 1967 with the secession of the Igbo-dominated Eastern Region from Nigeria to form the Republic of Biafra, which lasted only until January 1970.

A number of Nigeria's well-known intellectuals and professionals are of Igbo descent, of note, Dr. Philip (Emeka) Emeagwali - "Father of the Internet" and Chinua Achebe - author of Things Fall Apart.

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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