Ghana the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2, Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language; the first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Ashanti. Beginning in the 15th century, numerous European powers contested the area for trading rights, with the British establishing control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, Ghana's current borders were established by the 1900s as the British Gold Coast, it became independent of the United Kingdom on 6 March 1957. Ghana's population of 30 million spans a variety of ethnic and religious groups.
According to the 2010 census, 71.2% of the population was Christian, 17.6% was Muslim, 5.2% practised traditional faiths. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests. Ghana is a unitary constitutional democracy led by a president, both head of state and head of the government. Ghana's growing economic prosperity and democratic political system have made it a regional power in West Africa, it is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, Group of 24 and the Commonwealth of Nations. The etymology of the word Ghana means "warrior king" and was the title accorded to the kings of the medieval Ghana Empire in West Africa, but the empire was further north than the modern country of Ghana, in the region of Guinea. Ghana was recognized as one of the great kingdoms in Bilad el-Sudan by the ninth century. Ghana was inhabited in the Middle Ages and the Age of Discovery by a number of ancient predominantly Akan kingdoms in the Southern and Central territories.
This included the Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Bonoman, the Denkyira, the Mankessim Kingdom. Although the area of present-day Ghana in West Africa has experienced many population movements, the Akans were settled by the 5th century BC. By the early 11th century, the Akans were established in the Akan state called Bonoman, for which the Brong-Ahafo Region is named. From the 13th century, Akans emerged from what is believed to have been the Bonoman area, to create several Akan states of Ghana based on gold trading; these states included Bonoman, Denkyira, Mankessim Kingdom, Akwamu Eastern region. By the 19th century, the territory of the southern part of Ghana was included in the Kingdom of Ashanti, one of the most influential states in sub-saharan Africa prior to the onset of colonialism; the Kingdom of Ashanti government operated first as a loose network, as a centralised kingdom with an advanced specialised bureaucracy centred in the capital city of Kumasi. Prior to Akan contact with Europeans, the Akan people created an advanced economy based on principally gold and gold bar commodities traded with the states of Africa.
The earliest known kingdoms to emerge in modern Ghana were the Mole-Dagbani states. The Mole-Dagomba came on horseback from present-day Burkina Faso under Naa Gbewaa. With their advanced weapons and based on a central authority, they invaded and occupied the lands of the local people ruled by the Tendamba, established themselves as the rulers over the locals, made Gambaga their capital; the death of Naa Gbewaa caused civil war among his children, some of whom broke off and founded separate states including Dagbon, Mossi and Wala. Akan trade with European states began after contact with Portuguese in the 15th century. Early European contact by the Portuguese people, who came to the Gold Coast region in the 15th century to trade and established the Portuguese Gold Coast, focused on the extensive availability of gold; the Portuguese built a trading lodge at a coastal settlement called Anomansah which they renamed São Jorge da Mina. In 1481, King John II of Portugal commissioned Diogo d'Azambuja to build the Elmina Castle, completed in three years.
By 1598, the Dutch had joined the Portuguese in the gold trade, establishing the Dutch Gold Coast and building forts at Fort Komenda and Kormantsi. In 1617, the Dutch captured the Olnini Castle from the Portuguese, Axim in 1642. Other European traders had joined in gold trading by the mid-17th century, most notably the Swedes, establishing the Swedish Gold Coast, Denmark-Norway, establishing the Danish Gold Coast. Portuguese merchants, impressed with the gold resources in the area, named it Costa do Ouro or Gold Coast. Beginning in the 17th century — in addition to the gold trade — Portuguese, Dutch and French traders participated in the Atlantic slave trade in this area. More than thirty forts and castles were built by the Portuguese, Dano-Norwegians and German merchants. In 1874 Great Britain established control over some parts of the country, assigning these areas the status of British Gold Coast. Many military engagements occurred between the British colonial powers and the various Akan nation-states.
The Akan Kingdom of Ashanti defeated the British a few times i
Nigeria the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country. Nigeria has been home to states over the millennia; the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, it experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.
Nigeria is referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18; the country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa and Yoruba. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided in half between Christians, who live in the southern part of the country, Muslims, who live in the north. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities; as of 2015, Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa's largest economy in 2014.
The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. However, it has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies, it is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC; the name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator; the origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa; the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo-Ukwu, a city under Nri influence; the Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively.
The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures. Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo; the Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 19th centuries, their dominance reached further. At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire; the territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria. For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lago
Rivers State known as Rivers, is one of the 36 states of Nigeria. According to census data released in 2006, the state has a population of 5,198,716, making it the sixth-most populous state in the country, its capital and largest city, Port Harcourt, is economically significant as the centre of Nigeria's oil industry. Rivers State is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by Imo and Anambra States, to the East by Akwa Ibom State, to the West by Bayelsa and Delta states, it is home to many indigenous ethnic groups: Ogoni, Ekpeye, Ibani, Eleme and Kalabari, Ogba, Egbema and others. The people from Rivers State are known as "Riverians"; the inland part of the state consists of tropical rainforest. Rivers State, named after the many rivers that border its territory, was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 1893, when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900 the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria.
The state was formed in 1967 with the split of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. In 1996 the state lost territory to form Bayelsa State. In the early days of the colonial period, several protection treaties were signed between various indigenous communities and the British colonial government. Between 1941 and 1952, agitation for the creation of Rivers province began with the formation of the Ijo Rivers People's League. By 1953, the Council of Rivers Chiefs was birthed as a replacement body for the League, the same year, another organisation, the Calabar Ogoja Rivers State Movement became existent; the Council of Rivers Chiefs was renamed in 1954 to Rivers Chiefs and People's Congress and in 1956, the organisation became known as the Rivers Chiefs People's Conference. Until 1958, hopes of an independent state resonated with the region, lingered in the minds of its natives. During the constitutional conference that year, the country's nationhood was affirmed while an agreement was reached on some measures to mitigate the fears of the ethnic minorities in the area.
Around this time, the COR State Movement had broken away to press their own case. Thereafter, the British launched a commission led by Sir Henry Willink to look into the misgivings of these autochthons; the Willink Commission initiated the conception of the Niger Delta Development Board. The purpose was to tackle the problems of underdevelopment, this failed to rise to the expectations of the masses. After much discontent, some of the people attempted to take the extralegal route to achieve their goals. In February 1966, Isaac Boro, Sam Owonaro and Nottingham Dick alongside their supporters proclaimed a "Delta People's Republic"; the rebellion was crushed by the Federal and the old Eastern Nigeria government. On 27 May 1967, under the administration of General Yakubu Gowon, decree No. 14 was issued, allowing the creation of Rivers State. From on, complaints about political marginalisation, environmental degradation and economic pauperisation remained among the Ijaw groups, such that a separate Bayelsa State was carved out of Rivers State by the military government during 1996.
Rivers State is a predominantly low-lying pluvial state in southern Nigeria, located in the eastern part of the Niger Delta on the oceanward extension of the Benue Trough. The inland part of the state consists of tropical rainforest, towards the coast, the typical Niger Delta environment features many mangrove swamps. Rivers State has a total area of 11,077 km², making it the 26th largest state in Nigeria. Surrounding states are Imo and Anambra to the north, Akwa Ibom to the east and Bayelsa to the west. On the south, it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, its topography ranges with a network of rivers to tributaries. Rainfall is seasonal, variable, as well as heavy, occurs between the months of March and October through November; the wet season peaks in July, lasting more than 290 days. The only dry months are February having little to no effect. Total annual rainfall decreases from about 4,700 mm on the coast, to about 1,700 mm in the extreme north, it is 4,698 mm at 1,862 mm at Degema. For Port Harcourt, temperatures throughout the year are constant with little variation throughout the course of the seasons.
Average temperatures are between 25 °C−28 °C. Some parts of the state still receive up to 150 mm of rainfall during the dry period. Relative humidity dips below 60% and fluctuates between 90% and 100% for most of the year; the land surface of Rivers State can be divided into three zones: freshwater swamps, mangrove swamps and coastal sand ridges. The freshwater zone extends north wards from the mangrove swamps; this land surface is less than 20m above sea level. As a lower Niger floodplain, it contains a greater silt and clay foundation and is more susceptible to perennial inundation by river floods; the floodplain's total thickness rises to about 45m in the northeast and over 9m in the beach ridge barrier zones to the southwest. On coastal sand ridges, the soils are sandy or sandy loams. Various crops are supported including oil palm, raffia palm and cocoyam; the drier upland region of Rivers State covers 61% of landmass while the riverine areas, with a relief range of 2m to 5m, take up 39%. Due to its geographical location, Rivers State has always played an important role in the natural history of Nigeria, having been found to host a vast array of wildlife and plants.
Its tropical rainforests are home to more species than all other local
The Berom is the largest autochthonous ethnic group in the Plateau State, central Nigeria. Covering about four local government areas, which include Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom, Berom are found in southern Kaduna State local government areas; the Berom speak the Berom language, which belongs to the Plateau branch of Benue–Congo, a subfamily of the large Niger–Congo language family. It is not related to the Hausa language or other Afro-Asiatic languages of Plateau State, which are Chadic languages; the Berom people have a rich cultural heritage. They celebrate the Nzem Berom festival annually in April. Other festivals include Wusal Berom, its one of the major aborigine groups in Nigeria that believes in a Judeo-Christian God. Some Berom festivals include: Festivals in Berom culture are related to agriculture and hunting, which have been the main events revolving around Berom livelihood and cosmology; the influx of Christianity and western Education paved way for many socio-cultural changes in Berom culture.
The changes devalued the rich culture of the people bringing serious predicament of a severe social and cultural crisis. In order to avoid the danger of losing the socio-cultural practice of the ancestor, the overall precolonial activities such as the Mandyeng, Worom Chun, ceremonies were brought into a single umbrella festival called Nzem Berom. Nzem Berom is held within the first week of April, to coincide with the period when Mandyeng and Badu Festival was held; the Nzem is a period when different cultural displays are exhibited from different parts of Berom land in music, dance and culture. Mandyeng is a major festival celebrated in Berom land to usher in the rainy season; the festivals take place in March/ April. In the past the Berom regard Mandyeng/Nshok the most vital festivals which ensured a good farming and hunting period and harvest. Not all the Berom communities celebrate Nshok; those that perform'Mandyeng' claim their roots from Riyom, they include. Nshok: Nshok varies from Mandiyeng due to the fact that it associates hunting with the rainy season farming.
It is held once a year around the months of April and May, to usher in the new season just as the Mandyeng. In the pre-colonial era the Berom regarded hunting as a sport. Although economically it was not as important as farming, hunting was regarded as a show of skill and bravery. So much so, that most Berom names are derived from game animals, most duiker, due to their perceived beauty. Names such as Pam, Chuwang, Badung etc. for boys are most common, while girls answer to Kaneng, Chundung, Kangyang. These are names for different species of duiker. Others, such as Bot Tok, Tsok etc. are names for other animals that are non-domesticated, but not game. These names typify how important game was in pre-colonial Berom society. Nshok was not the only hunting festival in Berom land. Festivals such as Mado and Behwol are not as important as Nshok; some of the musical instruments among the Berom include: Yom Nshi: a two-string banjo made with calabash and skin as resonators Yom: a straw string instrument kwag or Gwashak: a scraper made from dry cactus played with a stick slid across the sawed body of the dry cactus to produce a scraping sound Kundung: a xylophone made of cattle horns and cobwebs.
The Berom have a paramount ruler called the Gbong Gwom Jos. The traditional stool was created in 1935 by the British colonial administration of Northern Nigeria. Northern Nigeria was composed of different linguistic and cultural features between the ethnicities on the Plateau and the other groups; this ignorance of ethnic differences had encouraged the formation of vassal Hausa heads to oversee the created Jos Native Authority, which proved tumultuous with the Berom due to conflicting views and interests. Through a circular. 24p/1916, dated 15 August 1917, the Resident at Bauchi Province was instructed to send potentials from various native authorities including district and village heads to be elevated as chieftains by His Excellency the Governor General. In response to the circular, the Resident wrote back to the secretary Northern Province Kaduna via a memo No. 24/1916 dated 27 October 1917, recommended a paramount ruler to superintend the native areas. In the pre-colonial period, the Berom were divided into autonomous political groups based on regions, but the colonial authority merged them under the Gbong Gwom in 1952 to help coordinate the activities of the natives.
The first chief Dachung Gyang assumed leadership from 1935 to 1941. Under Dachung Gyang, the traditional institution was designated as the Berom Tribal Council composing of local chiefs within the Jos Native Authority, its authority only included the Berom and excluded the chiefs of Buji, Naraguta and Bukuru. However, the government, in a Gazette of 7 February 1918, modified the list to include the Buji, Naraguta and Bukuru; the emergence of Da Rwang Pam saw the elevation of the head of the Tribal Council to the stool of the Gbong Gwom Jos. Since 1969, the stool has been held by the following: Da Fom Bot, 19th August 1969 to his death on 1 December 2002 Da Victor Dung Pam, 17 April 2004 to 7 March 2009 Da Jacob Gyang Buba, 1 April 2009 to the presentThe immediate past governor of Plateau State, Jonah David Jang, is o
The Fon people called Fon nu, Agadja or Dahomey, are a major African ethnic and linguistic group. They are the largest ethnic group in Benin found in its south region, their total population is estimated to be about 3,500,000 people, they speak the Fon language, a member of the Gbe languages. The history of the Fon people is linked to the Dahomey kingdom, a well-organized kingdom by the 17th century but one that shared more ancient roots with the Aja people; the Fon people traditionally were a culture of an oral tradition and had a well-developed polytheistic religious system. They were noted by early 19th-century European traders for their N'Nonmiton practice or Dahomey Amazons – which empowered their women to serve in the military, who decades fought the French colonial forces in 1890. Most Fon today live in small towns in mud houses with corrugated iron gable rooves. Cities built by the Fon include Abomey, the historical capital city of Dahomey on what was referred to by Europeans as the Slave Coast.
These cities became major commercial centres for the slave trade. A significant portion of the sugar plantations in the French West Indies Haiti, Dominican Republic and Trinidad, were populated with slaves that came from the Slave Coast, through the lands of Ewe and Fon people; the Fon people, like other neighboring ethnic groups in West Africa, remained an oral tradition society through late medieval era, without ancient historical records. According to these oral histories and legends, the Fon people originated in present-day Tado, a small Aja town now situated near the Togo-Benin border, their earliest rulers were a part of the ruling class in the Aja kingdom of Allada. The Aja people had a major dispute, one group broke up and these people came to be the Fon people who migrated to Allada with king Agasu; the sons of king Agasu disputed who should succeed him after his death, the group split again, this time the Fon people migrated with Agasu's son Dogbari northwards to Abomey where they founded the kingdom of Dahomey sometime about 1620 CE.
The Fon people have been settled there since, while the kingdom of Dahomey expanded in southeast Benin by conquering neighboring kingdoms. The oral history of the Fon further attributes the origins of the Fon people to the intermarrying between this migrating Allada-nu Aja group from the south with the Oyo-nu inhabitants in the Kingdoms of the plateau; these Yorubas were known as the Igede. The fusion of the immigrant Aja conquerors and the original Indigenous Yorubas of the Abomey plateau thus created a new culture, that of the Fon. While references and documented history about the Fon people are scant before the 17th century, there are abundant documents on them from the 17th century written by European travelers and traders to West African coasts; these memoirs mention Abomey. Among the most circulated texts are those of Archibald Dalzel, a slave trader who in 1793 wrote the legends and greedy slave trading practices of the Fon people in a book titled the History of Dahomey. Modern era scholars have questioned the objectivity and accuracy of Dalzel, to what extent his pioneering book on Fon people was a polemic or dispassionate scholarship.
In the 19th century and early 20th century, as the French presence increased and the colonial period began in the Benin and nearby regions, more history and novels with references to the Fon people appeared, such as those by Édouard Foà, N. Savariau, Le Herisse and M. J. Herskovits' anthropological study on Fon people published in 1938; these histories suggest that Fon people's kingdom of Dahomey expanded in early 18th century during King Agaja's rule through the 1740s, reaching the Atlantic coast from their inland capital of Abomey. During this period, 200 years after Portugal had settled in the Kongo people lands on the Atlantic coast of Central Africa in the 16th century, there were numerous plantations in the Caribbean and Atlantic coastline of South America, which had created a booming demand for slaves from the European traders; the expanded territory of the Dahomey kingdom was well positioned to supply this transatlantic trade and the 18th and 19th century history of the Fon people is presented within this context.
The Fon people did not invent slavery in Africa, nor did they have a monopoly on slavery nor exclusive slave trading activity. The institution of slavery long predates the origins of the Fon people in the Aja kingdom and the formation of the kingdom of Dahomey; the sub-Saharan and the Red Sea region, states Herbert Klein – a professor of history, was trading between 5,000 and 10,000 African slaves per year between 800 and 1600 CE, with a majority of these slaves being women and children. According to John Donnelly Fage – a professor of history specializing in Africa, a "slave economy was established in the Western and Central Sudan by about the fourteenth century at least, had spread to the coasts around the Senegal and in Lower Guinea by the fifteenth century". By the 15th century, Songhay Empire rulers to the immediate north of the Fon people, in the Niger River valley, were using thousands of captured slaves for agriculture; the demand for slave labor to produce sugarcane, palm oil and other goods in the plantations of European colonies around the globe had grown between 1650 and 1850.
The Bight of Benin was shipping slaves in the late 17th century, before the Fon people expanded their kingdom to gain control of the coast line. The Fon rulers and merchants, whose powers were established on the Atlantic coast between 1700 and 1740, entered th
The Zarma people are an ethnic group predominantly found in westernmost Niger found in significant numbers in the adjacent areas of Nigeria and Benin, along with smaller numbers in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso. The Zarma people are predominantly Muslims of the Maliki-Sunni school, they live in the arid Sahel lands, along the Niger River valley, a source of irrigation, forage for cattle herds, drinking water. Prosperous, they own cattle, sheep and dromedaries, renting them out to the Fulani people or Tuareg people for tending; the Zarma people have had a history of caste system, like many West African ethnic groups. Like them, they have had a historical musical tradition; the Zarma people are alternatively referred to as Zerma, Dyerma, Zabarma or Zabermawa people. The estimates for the total population of Zarma people as of 2013 has been placed over 3 million, but it varies, they constitute several smaller ethnic sub-groups, who were either indigenous to the era prior to the Songhai Empire and have assimilated into the Zarma people, or else are people of Zarma origins who have differentiated themselves some time in the precolonial period, but these are difficult to differentiate according to Fuglestad.
Groups referred to as part of the Zarma or Songhay, but who have traceable historical distinctions include the Gabda, Tinga, Kalles, Golles and Kourteys peoples. The Zarma language is one of the southern Songhai languages, a branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family; because of the common language and culture, they are sometimes referred to as "Zarma Songhay". The Zarma people are an African ethnic group with no ancient texts. Like other ethnic groups of the region, much of their known history comes from Islamic records after the 8th century from the medieval accounts of Arabs and North African historians, states Margari Aziza Hill – a professor of Humanities; the Islamic conquest was motivated and facilitated by the pre-existing trade between West Africa and the Mediterranean before Islam arrived, in turn the arrival of Islam influenced the history of all people including the Zarma. North African Muslims increased the trans-Saharan trade, becoming of growing importance to the fortunes of ethnic groups and their chiefs.
The Muslim traders were major actors in introducing Islam. The Sahel, which forms the origins and historic home of the Zarma people, has been the economic and ecological transition zone and travel route strategically located between the inhospitable Sahara desert and dense sub-Saharan forest zone of Africa; the Niger delta region had major settlements of people before Islam arrived. Early Arab documents from the eighth century suggest that Muslims went into West Africa for trade, exchanging salt, horses and camels they had from the North and Arabian lands with gold and food from Niger river valley and nearby regions controlled by Songhay-Zarma people; this trade and commerce ultimately led to cultural and religious conversion. Various theories have been proposed as to how and why Zarma people converted to Islam. According to Arabic records, the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence became the predominant system of rule in Niger river region and West Africa by the 11th-century, after the Almoravid conquest of North Africa, Niger river, Ghanaian Koumbi Saleh and Senegal river regions.
Muslim scholars dispute if these early Islamic documents are reliable, with some disputing the "conquest" language, insisting that it was a peaceful, willing conversion from the old Islamic system to the new Maliki school. For example, Ahmad Baba in 1615 CE stated that black African Muslims willingly adopted Islam, not because of military threat; the Zarma people migrated south-eastward from Niger Bend region of Mali where Songhay people are found in high concentration, into their current geographic concentration around the Niger river valley during the Songhai Empire period, settling in many towns, what is now Southwest Niger near the capital Niamey. Forming a number of small communities, each led by a chief or ruler called Zarmakoy, these polities were in conflict for economically and agriculturally attractive lands with the Tuareg people, the Fula people and other ethnic groups in the area; this medieval era migration is attested by the legends and mythologies within the Zarma community, with some mentioning their historic origins to be Malinke and Sarakholle, one driven by persecution by local Muslim rulers or inter-ethnic rivalries.
According to Abdourahmane Idrissa and Samuel Decalo, the Zarma people had settled the Dallol Bosso valley, called Boboye in Zarma language, by the 17th-century. In 18th-century, they came under sustained violence from the Fulani people and Tuareg people who attempted to impose their version of Jihads in West Africa; the violence against the Zarma people settlements included raids for grain stocks, burning down standing crop, forced collection or seizure of surplus or wealth from homes, capture and forced migration of the people. Slavery has been a historic practice in West Africa long before the arrival of colonialism. In Niger and Mali, where the largest population of Zarma people has lived and have their origins, there is textual evidence of a series of annual campaigns during the rules of Sunni'Ali and Askiya Muhammad to capture people as slaves, both for domestic use as well to export them to North Africa Morocco, Algiers and Tripoli; the 15th-century ruler Sunni Ali is an integral part of the legends revered by the Zarma people.
The slavery system was a large part of the society and political arra
Ijaw people are a collection of peoples indigenous to the Niger Delta in Nigeria, inhabiting regions of the states of Ondo, Delta, Akwa Ibom,Southern part of Abia and Rivers. Many are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon. Population figures for the Ijo vary though most range from 13 million to 15 million, they have long lived in locations near many sea trade routes, they were well connected to other areas by trade as early as the 15th century. The Ijaw speak nine related Niger–Congo languages, all of which belong to the Ijoid branch of the Niger–Congo tree; the primary division between the Ijo languages is that between Eastern Ijo and Western Ijo, the most important of the former group of languages being Izon, spoken by about five million people. There are two prominent groupings of the Izon language; the first, termed either Western or Central Izon consists of Western Ijaw speakers: Tuomo Clan,Egbema, Sagbama, Apoi, Boma, Ogboin and Kolokuma-Opokuma.
Nembe and Akassa dialects represent Southeast Ijo.. Buseni and Okordia dialects are considered Inland Ijo; the other major Ijaw linguistic group is Kalabari. Kalabari is considered an Eastern Ijaw language but the term "Eastern Ijaw" is not the normal nomenclature. Kalabari is the name of one of the Ijaw clans that reside on the eastern side of the Niger-Delta who form a major group in Rivers State, Other "Eastern" Ijaw clans are the Andoni, Okrika and Nkoroo, they are neighbours to the Kalabari people in present-day Rivers Nigeria. Other related Ijaw subgroups which have distinct languages but close kinship and territorial ties with the rest of the Ijaw are the Epie-Atissa and Degema; the Ogbia clan, as well as residents of Bukuma and Abuloma. It was discovered in the 1980s that a now extinct Berbice Creole Dutch, spoken in Guyana, is based on Ijo lexicon and grammar, its nearest relative seems to be Eastern Ijo, most Kalabari. The Ijaw ethnic group consists of 50 loosely affiliated clans; these clans shared cultural and religious traditions.
The Ijaw were one of the first of Nigeria's peoples to have contact with Westerners, were active as go-betweens in the slave trade between visiting Europeans and the peoples of the interior in the era before the discovery of quinine, when West Africa was still known as the "White Man's Graveyard" because of the endemic presence of malaria. Some of the kin-based trading lineages that arose among the Ijaw developed into substantial corporations which were known as "houses"; the other main occupation common among the Ijaw has traditionally been farming. Being a maritime people, many Ijaws were employed in the merchant shipping sector in the early and mid-20th century. With the advent of oil and gas exploration in their territory, some are employed in that sector. Other main occupation are in the civil service of the Nigerian states of Bayelsa and Rivers where they are predominant. Extensive state-government sponsored overseas scholarship programs in the 1970s and 1980s have led to a significant presence of Ijaw professionals in Europe and North America.
Another contributing factor to this human capital flight is the abject poverty in their homeland of the Niger Delta, resulting from decades of neglect by the Nigerian government and oil companies in spite of continuous petroleum prospecting in this region since the 1950s. The Ijaw people live by fishing supplemented by farming paddy-rice, Cassava, cocoyams and other vegetables as well as tropical fruits such as guava and pineapples. Smoke-dried fish, palm oil and palm kernels are processed for export. While some clans had powerful chiefs and a stratified society, other clans are believed not to have had any centralized confederacies until the arrival of the British. However, owing to influence of the neighbouring Kingdom of Benin individual communities in the western Niger Delta had chiefs and governments at the village level. Marriages are completed by the payment of a bridal dowry, which increases in size if the bride is from another village. Funeral ceremonies for those who have accumulated wealth and respect, are very dramatic.
Traditional religious practices center around "Water spirits" in the Niger river, around tribute to ancestors. Although the Ijaw are now Christians, with Roman Catholicism and Pentecostal being the varieties of Christianity most prevalent among them, they have elaborate traditional religious practices of their own. Veneration of ancestors plays a central role in Ijaw traditional religion, while water spirits, known as Owuamapu figure prominently in the Ijaw pantheon. In addition, the Ijaw practice a form of divination called Igbadai, in which deceased individuals are interrogated on the causes of their death. Ijaw religious beliefs hold that water spirits are like humans in having personal strengths and shortcomings, that humans dwell among the water spirits before being born; the role of prayer in the traditional Ijaw system of belief is to maintain the living i