Timeline of Igbo history

Last updated

The history of the Igbo people starts from the migrations that have brought the Igbo to their present homeland.



c. 3000 BC Neolithic man's existence in Igboland. [1]
c. AD 850 Bronzes found at the town of Igbo-Ukwu are created, among them iron swords, bronze and copper vases and ornaments and terracotta sculptures are made. [1]

Early history

1043 Kingdom of Nri begins with Eze Nri Ìfikuánim.
1434 Portuguese explorers make contact with the Igbo.
1630The Aro-Ibibio Wars start.
1690The Aro Confederacy is established.
1745 Olaudah Equiano is born in Essaka, but later kidnapped and shipped to Barbados and sold as a slave in 1765.
1797Olaudah Equiano dies in England a freed slave.
1807The Slave Trade Act 1807 is passed (on 25 March) stopping the transportation of enslaved Africans, including Igbo people, to the Americas. Atlantic slave trade exports an estimated total of 1.4 million[ citation needed ] Igbo people across the Middle Passage
1830European explorers explore the course of the Lower Niger and meet the Northern Igbo.
1835 Africanus Horton is born to Igbo ex-slaves in Sierra Leone
1855 William Balfour Baikie a Scottish naval physician, reaches Niger Igboland. [1]

Modern history

1880–1905 Southern Nigeria is conquered by the British, including Igboland.
1885–1906 Christian missionary presence in Igboland.
1891 King Ja Ja of Opobo dies in exile, but his corpse is brought back to Nigeria for burial.
1896–1906Around 6,000 Igbo children attend mission schools.
1901–1902The Aro Confederacy declines after the Anglo-Aro war.
1902The Aro-Ibibio Wars end.
1906Igboland becomes part of Southern Nigeria
1914 Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria are amalgamated to form Nigeria.
1929November Igbo Women's War (first Nigerian feminist movement) of 1929 in Aba.
1953November Anti Igbo riots (killing over 50 Igbos in Kano) of 1953 in Kano
1960October 1Nigeria gains independence from Britain; Tafawa Balewa becomes Prime Minister, and Nnamdi Azikiwe becomes President.
1966January 16A coup by Igbo military officers takes over government and assassinate the Northern leaders. The Federal Military Government is formed, with General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi as the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Federal Republic.
1966July 29A counter-coup by military officers of northern extraction, deposes the Federal Military Government; General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi is assassinated along with Adekunle Fajuyi, Military Governor of Western Region. General Yakubu Gowon becomes Head of State.
1967Ethnoreligious violence between Igbo Christians, and Hausa/Fulani Muslims in Eastern and Northern Nigeria, triggers a migration of the Igbo back to the East.
1967May 30 General Emeka Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, declares his province an independent republic called Biafra, and the Nigerian Civil War or Nigerian-Biafran War ensues.
1970January 8General Emeka Ojukwu flees into exile; His deputy Philip Effiong becomes acting President of Biafra.
1970January 15Acting President of Biafra Philip Effiong surrenders to Nigerian forces through future President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, and Biafra is reintegrated into Nigeria.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Odinala</span> Religious practices and beliefs of Igbo people

Odinani or Odinala, also known as Omenala, Omenana, Odinana, Ọmenani, Ọdịlalị, or Ọdịlala, are the traditional cultural beliefs and practices of the Igbo people of south east Nigeria. These terms, as used here in the Igbo language, are synonymous with the traditional Igbo "religious system" which was not considered separate from the social norms of ancient or traditional Igbo societies. Theocratic in nature, spirituality played a huge role in their everyday lives. Although it has largely been supplanted by Christianity, the indigenous belief system remains in strong effect among the rural and village populations of the Igbo, where it has at times influenced the colonial religions. Odinani is a pantheistic and polytheistic faith, having a strong central deity at its head. All things spring from this deity. Although a pantheon of other gods and spirits, these being Ala, Amadiọha, Anyanwụ, Ekwensu, Ikenga, exists in the belief system, as it does in many other Traditional African religions, the lesser deities prevalent in Odinani serve as helpers or elements of Chukwu, the central deity.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chinua Achebe</span> Nigerian author and literary critic (1930–2013)

Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who is regarded as a central figure of modern African literature. His first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart (1958), occupies a pivotal place in African literature and remains the most widely studied, translated, and read African novel. Along with Things Fall Apart, his No Longer at Ease (1960) and Arrow of God (1964) complete the so-called "African Trilogy"; later novels include A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). In the West, Achebe is often referred to as the "father of African literature", although he vigorously rejected the characterization.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Igbo people</span> Ethnic group in Southern Nigeria

The Igbo people are an ethnic group in Nigeria. They are primarily found in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo States. A sizable Igbo population is also found in Delta and Rivers States. Ethnic Igbo populations are found in Cameroon, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea, as migrants as well as outside Africa. There has been much speculation about the origins of the Igbo people, which are largely unknown. Geographically, the Igbo homeland is divided into two unequal sections by the Niger River—an eastern and a western section. The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa.

<i>Things Fall Apart</i> 1958 novel by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, first published in 1958. It depicts pre-colonial life in the southeastern part of Nigeria and the invasion by Europeans during the late 19th century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. The novel was first published in the United Kingdom in 1962 by William Heinemann Ltd, and became the first work published in Heinemann's African Writers Series.

In Igbo mythology, Ahia Njoku, also known as Ifejioku, Aha Njoku, is a goddess worshipped by the Igbo people of Nigeria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Culture of Nigeria</span> Overview of Nigerian culture

The culture of Nigeria is shaped by Nigeria's multiple ethnic groups. The country has 527 languages, seven of which are extinct. Nigeria also has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausas that are predominantly in the north, the Yorubas who predominate in the southwest, and the Igbos in the southeast. There are many other ethnic groups with sizeable populations across the different parts of the country. The Kanuri people are located in the northeast part of Nigeria, the Tiv people of north central and the Efik-Ibibio are in the south south. The Bini people are most frequent in the region between Yorubaland and Igboland.

Mbaise is a region in Imo State in southeastern Nigeria. In the heart of Igboland, the region includes several towns and cities. It is a group of indigenous clans, connected by intermarriage. With a population density of over 1,000 people per square kilometer, Mbaise is West Africa's most densely-populated area; its 2006 population was 611,204.

Orji Uzor Kalu is a Nigerian politician and businessman who is the Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, He also serves as the Chief Whip of the Senate. He served as Governor of Abia State from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. Kalu is the chairman of SLOK Holding and the Daily Sun and New Telegraph newspapers in Nigeria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Igboland</span> Cultural region in Nigeria

Igboland, also known as Southeastern Nigeria, is the indigenous homeland of the Igbo people. It is a cultural and common linguistic region in southern Nigeria. Geographically, it is divided into two sections by the lower Niger River: an eastern and a western one. Its population is characterised by the diverse Igbo culture and the speakers of equally diverse Igbo languages.

An ọgbanje is a term in Odinani for what was thought to be an evil spirit that would deliberately plague a family with misfortune. Belief in ọgbanje in Igboland is not as strong as it once was, although there are still some believers.

Nigerian Americans are Americans who are of Nigerian ancestry. The number of Nigerian immigrants residing in the United States is rapidly growing, expanding from a small 1980 population of 25,000. The 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated that 461,695 U.S. residents were of Nigerian ancestry. The 2019 ACS further estimated that around 392,811 of these (85%) had been born in Nigeria. Similar to its status as the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria is also the African country with the most migrants to the United States, as of 2013. In a study which was carried out by consumer genetics company 23andMe which involved the DNA of 50,281 people of African descent in the United States, Latin America, and Western Europe, It was revealed that Nigeria was the most common country of origin for testers from the United States, the French Caribbean, and the British Caribbean. Most Nigerian Americans, like British Nigerians, predominantly originate from southern Nigeria, as opposed to the Islamic northern half of the country.

Ikwerre, sometimes spelt as Ikwere, is a type of Igboid language spoken primarily by the Ikwerre people, who inhabit certain areas of Rivers State, Nigeria. It is the biggest Igboid variety along with Ngwa of Abia State.

Abiriba pronounced [/E`biriba`/] is an ancient Enuda kingdom in Abia State, in southeastern Nigeria, traditionally an Igbo speaking region. It is in the Ohafia local government area.

Igbo Americans, or Americans of Igbo ancestry, are residents of the United States who identify as having Igbo ancestry from modern day Nigeria. There are primarily two classes of people with Igbo ancestry in the United States, those whose ancestors were taken from Igboland as a result of the transatlantic slave trade before the 20th century and those who immigrated from the 20th century onwards partly as a result of the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s and economic instability in Nigeria. Igbo people prior to the American Civil War were brought to the United States by force from their hinterland homes on the Bight of Biafra and shipped by Europeans to North America between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Igbo culture are the customs, practices and traditions of the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria. It consists of ancient practices as well as new concepts added into the Igbo culture either by cultural evolution or by outside influence. These customs and traditions include the Igbo people's visual art, music and dance forms, as well as their attire, cuisine and language dialects. Because of their various subgroups, the variety of their culture is heightened further.

Ohafia is an Igbo town in the Ohafia local government area (LGA) in Abia State, Nigeria. It is an Igbo speaking region. The ancestral capital of Ohafia town is the centrally located village of Elu. Ohafia Local Government Area, is an administrative jurisdiction assigned by the Nigeria Government, which covers the entire Ohafia villages and other towns such as Abiriba and Nkporo, with its Administrative Headquarters at Ebem Ohafia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ikwerre people</span> Igbo subgroup in Nigeria

The Ikwerre is one of the Igbo subgroups in Rivers State. They are the biggest ethnic group in Rivers state.Traditional history has classified Ikwerre into seven groups called "Ikwerre Essa". They are Elele, Isiokpo, Rumuji, Emohua, Choba, Aluu, Igwuruta and Obio group. This division was recognized by Forde and Jones; (1950) in their ethnographic study of the Igbo speaking peoples of South Eastern Nigeria though has been disputed by indigenous ikwerre people. It was also in line with this grouping those seven customary Courts were established in Ikwerre during the Colonial administration. These Courts were located at Elele, Isiokpo, Umuji, Emohua, Choba, Aluu and Obio in Ikwerreland.

<i>The Thing Around Your Neck</i> 2009 short-story collection by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Thing Around Your Neck is a short-story collection by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, first published in April 2009 by Fourth Estate in the UK and by Knopf in the US. It received many positive reviews, including: "She makes storytelling seem as easy as birdsong" ; "Stunning. Like all fine storytellers, she leaves us wanting more".

Michael Crowder was a British historian and author notable for his books on the history of Africa and particularly on the history of West Africa.

Elizabeth Allo Isichei is an author, historian and academic. Her parents are Albert and Lorna Allo. On 23 July 1964 she married Uche Peter Isichei and they have five children. In 1959 she earned her BA from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, B.A. In 1961 she completed her M.A. at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and in 1967 she completed her PhD at Oxford University. She was a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Otago. She has been a professor in the Department of History, University of Jos in Jos, Nigeria since 1976. She is the general editor for Jos Oral History and Literature Texts.


  1. 1 2 3 Understanding 'Things Fall Apart' by Kalu Ogbaa

Further reading