Tribes In Anambra State
In recent times, a lot has been written about the non-Igbo tribes of Anambra State. These works mostly focus on the Igala-speaking people found on an island on the River Niger in Anambra West local government area of the state.
Aside the Igala-speaking people of Anambra State, there are also the Igbo-speaking Anambrarians who constitute an upward of ninety five percent of the state’s indigenous population. These Igbo Anambrarians are sub-grouped into different sub-tribes with distinct history, distinct way of life, and speak distinct dialects of the Igbo language.
Below we take a look at the different Igbo-speaking and non-Igbo-speaking tribes of Anambra State: their histories, their location and every other thing you ought to know about the people groups of Anambra State.
The Umueri are direct descendants of Eri, the purported progenitor of the entire Igbo race.
In the Nri mythology, Eri descended from the sky, sent by Chukwu (God) to make peace and provide the locals with yam and cocoyam.
Some historians speculate that Eri may have migrated to the Anambra area from Igala dynasty of central Nigeria. Others however argue that Onoja Oboli, the founder of the Igala dynasty was actually another son of Eri.
The Nri Igbo are the largest people group in Anambra State, and are found in local government areas across the three zones of the State, and also in neighbouring states.
The Onitsha Igbo constitute a hefty percentage of the indigenous population of the city of Onitsha, the biggest city in Anambra State.
The Onitsha Igbo are found in nine villages otherwise known as Ebo Itenani. These are descendants of Ezechima, the progenitor of the Onitsha Igbo.
The Onitsha people were among the first Igbos to embrace western education, producing notable people which include Nnamdi Azikiwe , the first president of a post independent Nigeria.
The Obi of Onitsha is the paramount ruler of the Onitsha Igbo.
The Olumbanasa are an Igala-speaking group found in a small island on the Niger River in Anambra West local government area of Anambra State.
Olumbanasa villages include Igbedor, Inoma, Odekpe, Owelle, Ukwala, Onugwa, Ode, Ala and Igbokenyi.
Some historians argue that the Olumbanasa people are descendants of General Ajida, a notable warrior of Idah origin who invaded the town. And for this, the Olumbanasa are not aboriginal to the land they presently occupy.
The Ifiteana people, also known as the Awka Igbo are an Igbo sub-group found in Awka South local government area of Anambra State.
The Ifiteana people claim to have sprouted from the earth, and thus the name ‘Ifiteana’ which roughly translates as ‘people who sprouted from the earth.
The deity of the Ifiteana people was known as Okika-na-ube, or the god that’s pre-eminent with the spear, and the Ifiteana people were known as umu-oka-na-ube, or the children of oka-na-ube. This name was eventually shortened to Umu Oka, and eventually Oka, and then its anglicized version, Awka which the people and their land now go by.
The Ifiteana people are most famous for their metal works, a profession they established prominence in the era preceding colonial times.
The Ifiteana people are found in 33 villages which are divided into seven groups that include Nkwelle, Ayom-na-okpala, Amachalla, Ifite Oka, Amikwo, Ezi Oka and Agulu.