Ijaw Culture: A brief walk into the lives of one of the world's most ancient people

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Pulse-gh Oct. 2, 2021 1:17 p.m.

Ijaw Culture: A brief walk into the lives of one of the world's most ancient people

Being the first to find a settlement in the Lower Niger and Niger Delta, it is possible that they may have started inhabiting this region as far back as 500 BC.

They also believe that water spirits are like humans in having personal strengths and shortcomings and that humans dwell among the water spirits before being born.

ALSO READ:History and culture of the Itsekiri people In this practice, it is possible for an individual, who hails from an entirely different tribe or group, to become an Ijaw after undergoing some certain rites.

They can either decide to live with their father’s people or mother’s people.

And owing to the affinity they have with water, a good number of them are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon.

Here, men wearing elaborate outfits and carved masks dance to the beat of drums and manifest the influence of the water spirits through the quality and intensity of their dancing.

Believed to be the descendants of the autochthonous people or ancient tribe of Africa known as the (H) ORU, the Ijaws were originally known by this name (ORU).

With a population of over fourteen million, the Ijaws are unarguably the most populous tribe inhabiting the Niger Delta region and arguably the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria.

Here (this type of marriage) the children trace their line of inheritance through their mother to her family: Meaning that when the children grow up, they have more choices as to where they can live.

But what is certain is that the Ijaws are one the world’s most ancient people.

The first which is a small-dowry marriage, the groom is traditionally obliged to offer a payment to the wife’s family, which is typically cash.

While water spirits, known as Owuamapu, figure prominently in the Ijaw pantheon.

However, language and cultural studies prove that they are related to the founders of the Great Nile Valley civilization complex (and possibly the lake Chad complex).

In contrast to the first type, the second type of marriage is a large-dowry marriage..

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