Simply put , Culture is the way of life , it is the beliefs , values , behavior and material objects that constitute people’s way of life. In anthropology, culture is any knowledge passed from one generation to the next,not necessary with respect to human being.. Ideally , culture is the arts , customs and habits that characterize a particular society or nation. As Nigeria has different clans and tribes, it also have diverse culture , which differs at different pole of the country. Although they have foreigners among them , who now claim to be Nigerians , for example , the Fulani people . The first set of Fulani to enter Nigeria entered through Hausa land from Senegal, they settled as clerics, some impacted Islamic knowledge , while some continued their nomadic life .They had taught the Hausa people pastoral farming , grazing of animals , animal husbandry and all what it entails .
In every way , through marriage , these people have exchanged culture with the Hausa people of Nigeria, moreover the culture similarities of both tribe opened door for a significant integration between the groups , who in modern times are often demarcated as “Hausa-Fulani”, rather than an individuated groups. The architecture of the Hausa is perhaps one of the least known but most beautiful of the middle age..
Also, they have the Ogu people, who are called ” Egun” by the Yorubas, this set of people were original setters in Dahomey (present day Republic of Benin). It is important to discern that the ogu people now occupy 15% of Lagos population, in terms of spatial distribution. It is Paramount to discern that the Ogu people are now certified citizens of the country who In every Way as same right as an average Nigerian..
The Egungun festival originated from them , some part of western region now practice Egungun festival too due to intercultural exchange of the Egun-yorubas. The Igbo culture is well known and distinct , bright and unique probably because it wasn’t influenced by foreign tribes . The culture comprises of archaic practices as well as new concepts added to it .
In singing , the Igbos have a melodic and symphonic music style , which they designed from forged iron called “Opi” , its a Wind instrument similar to flute . The Igbos are also known for rhythmic songs and dances . They call their supreme God Chuku , meaning “great spirit” . Chukwu can also be called solar diety.
Surprisingly , we also have the Ibibio people whose culture are not well known but in fact are distinguished set of people . These people originated from Cameroon ,while migrating , one group reached Nigeria by an overland route and settled at Ibom(Arochuku) , there they erected the famous shrine known as “The long juju of Arochukwu” . The other group migrated to Nigeria mainland by sea . They include the Oron and Ibeno people . In worship , before christianization of beliefs , they invoke the God of heaven and consult the God of earth , they are known to be the oldest tribe among those who migrated . They call their chief “The king of the Principalities
the Earth”. The Ibibios have four steps of marriage known as ; To know the house , Knocking on the door , To give something , and ceremonious display on marriage . Indeed they are unique set of people.
Although we all know that Nigeria has diversity of languages , but we must discern that with over 500 languages , Nigeria is home to 7% of all languages spoken on earth. Also the ancient walls of Benin are the largest or second largest man-made structure on earth , after the great wall of China. The wall was built between 800 – 1400AD to protect the royal precinct of the Benin king . Archeological evidence indicates that humans lived in Nigeria as far back as 900BC making it one of the oldest spots on earth for human settlement . Yes! , the Nok civilization which survived between 500BC – 200AD is the oldest civilization in Nigeria .
Well , among Nigerian culture is heirachy. Age and post earns value and respect in the society . Age is believed to confer wisdom , so older people are granted respect. The common and most accepted food in Nigeria Is the pepper soup , it is a light food made from a mix of meat and fish with herbs and spices . This is one of the few soups in Nigeria cuisine that can be taken alone and is not used as a sauce for carbohydrate main dish , say Pounded yam or Eba. An average Nigerian know how to greet and meet new friends with the word “Hello”. It is a very polite word which portrays a good manner of introducing a chat . It is a pleasant word from the Lingua franca of the Nation.
Conclusion; The Nigerian culture as a whole is really large and more than meets the eye, it’s definitely worth exploring as it is indirectly or directly an eye opener to the norms and values of various denominations/ ethnic groups in the Country.