The Igbo are a heterogeneous society with its clans migrating to their current locations at different times. However, the core Igbo, from which most of the culture, tradition, and religion come from, can trace their origins to village of nri, located in present day Anambrara state, which was founded by its progenitor, Eri, around 900 A.D from this village, nri spread all across what is now considered Igbo land, mixing with its indigenous people and assimilating aspects of their culture.


The language of the Igbos is known as “Igbo” or Ibo” (asusu Ndi Igbo in Igbo) it is the language spoken in Nigeria by around 40 million speakers. Igbo language is predominant in, such cities like Onitsha, Aba, Owerri, Enugu, Nnewi, Nsukka, Akwa, Umuahia and Asaba among others.


Igbo has a number of dialects, not all are mutually intelligible, these includes the Idemili Igbo dialect, Owerri, Ngwa, Umuahia, Nnewi, Onitsha, Awka, Abiriba, Arochukwu, Nsukka, Mbaise, Ohafia, Enugu, Okigwe, Orlu, Abakaliki, Oguta, Ikwerre, Etchee in Rivers state, Umuezeokoha in Benue state.
The wide variety of spoken dialects has made agreeing, a standardized orthography and dialect of the Igbo language very difficult. The current onwu orthography is a compromise between the older Lepsues orthography and newer orthography advocated by the International Institute of African Languages and cultures. The central Igbo was accepted which is based on the dialects of two members of the Ezinehite group of Igbos in Central Owerri province between the towns of Owerri and Umuahia, Eastern Nigeria.


In the Igbo society, traditional education starts from infancy. The child is surrounded by members of the family who are teachers to the child. He is taught everywhere and so for an Igbo child, he learns the entire etiquette, good moral through examples. The child therefore learns through imitation and this helps him to develop socially, physically, politically, religiously so as to become a full fledged man in the society.
Igbo customs are basically similar with local variations. The Cola nut custom, music, dance, art, oral literature and taboo are basically patterned to reflect an identical conception of Igbo social and ritual system.


In Igbo, we operate on the Umunna system and the Nnamochie or Ikwunne concept, The Umunna system stresses the father’s lineage which is dominant in Igbo social organization. We also have the Ikwunne or Nnamochie concepts which are based on the cultural and biological realities that an individual is derived from both his father and mother.


The traditional Igbo concept of political power and authority is structured and determined by the concept of the Umunna, and the membership of associations based on elaborate title system such as Ichi Ozo, or Ichi Eze or Duru. Even where the concept of kingship and Umunna organisations occur together, as in some places in Igboland, the basic political organisation remains the same, centered on the Umunna and title system.


A series of ethnic clashes between Northern Muslims and the Igbo (and other peoples) of Eastern Nigeria living in Northern Nigeria took place between 1966 and 1967. This was followed by the assassination of the Nigerian military head of state General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi by elements in the army and by the failure of peace talks between the military government that deposed Ironsi and the regional government of Eastern Nigeria at the Aburi Talks in Ghana in 1967. These events led to a regional council of the peoples of Eastern Nigeria deciding that the region should secede and proclaim the Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967. General Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu had made this declaration and became the Head of state of the new republic. The war, which came to be known as the Nigerian Civil War or the Nigerian-Biafran War, lasted from July 6, 1967, until January 15, 1970, after which the federal government reabsorbed Biafra into Nigeria. Several million Eastern Nigerians, especially Igbo, are believed to have died between the pogroms and the end of the civil war. In their brief struggle for self-determination, the people of Biafra earned the respect of figures such as Jean Paul Sartre and John Lennon, who returned his British honor, MBE, partly in protest against British collusion in the Nigeria-Biafra war.
In July 2007, the former leader of Biafra, General Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, renewed calls for the secession of the Biafran state as a sovereign entity. “The only alternative is a separate existence…What upsets the Igbo population is we are not equally Nigerian as the others”, General Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, July 2007.


After the Nigerian–Biafran War, Igboland was devastated. Many hospitals, schools, and homes had been completely destroyed in the war. In addition to the loss of their savings, many Igbo people found themselves discriminated against by other ethnic groups and the new non-Igbo federal government. Some Igbo subgroups, such as the Ikwere, started disassociating themselves with the larger Igbo population after the war. The post-war era saw the changing of names of both people and places to non-Igbo sounding words such as the changing of the name of the town of Igbouzo to the Anglicized Ibusa.
Due to the discrimination, many Igbo had trouble finding employment, and the Igbo became one of the poorest ethnic groups in Nigeria during the early 1970s. Igboland was gradually rebuilt over a period of twenty years and the economy was again prospering due to the rise of the petroleum industry in the adjacent Niger Delta region. This led to new factories being set up in southern Nigeria. Many Igbo people eventually took government positions, although many were engaged in private business and constituted and still constitute the bulk of Nigerian informal economy. Recently, there has been a wave of Igbo immigration to other African countries, Europe, and the Americas


The chief traditional source of wealth is yam cultivation and production. Later Igbo economy was diversified by the introduction of new crops like cassava and maize but even at that, yam continues to feature as a prestige food that is to be owned by a man of substance.
Recently, Igbos now embarked on trading which is also a source of wealth.


To the Igbos the universe is divided into four major departments – Uwa, Mmuo, Alusi, Okike. According to them, Uwa is represented by the visible world map up of Igwe na Ala, the firmament and the earth. It is occupied by human beings (mmadu), animals (anumanu) and forests (ohia)
Mmuo are dead ancestors, men who lived on earth and founded the lineages. While okike is Chukwu or Chineke, the creator which we also call Chi okike who also manifests itself as the author of light and knowledge (Anyanwu), author of fertility (Agbara) and author of procreativity (Chi). They belief that Chukwu created everything on earth.

The Igbos are very industrious, very accommodating and believe in being “your brothers keeper”.