Taboos are found in any part of the world. They differ from country to country. Learn more about the Nigerian ones.
For many years, Nigeria has been a place of numerous migrations and invasions. That is why the ethnic situations in the country differ. It became the reason of various moral customs, traditions, and laws in different parts of the country. Cultural taboos also got under influence. Let's find out which of them act on the territory of Nigeria.
Before we start, it is worth learning about what tribes live in Nigeria and what areas we will talk about.
- Ibibio – a tribe in the southeast of Nigeria. Their number is 6.77 million people. They are Christians. However, there are supporters of traditional beliefs.
- Idemilli is an area, which is situated in east Nigeria. It is divided on north and south parts. It is a Local Government Area in Anambra State.
- Idoma is an ethnic group, which lives in the west of the country. These people are well-known hunters. Nevertheless, they are rather hospitable and peaceful.
- Yoruba – the group of related nations. The majority of Yorubas are Christians and Muslims. They also practice the most ancient religion of Ifa'Orish. Culture of Yorubaland left the mark on the Latin American music as well.
- Igbo people live in south-east Nigeria. The main occupation of these people is manual agriculture. Most of them are Muslims, but the strictness of their beliefs differs according to particular region.
Cultural taboos in Africa
Now, when we have learned some facts about the people of Nigeria, it is possible to notice their taboos. The most interesting are:
- Not so long ago, women (especially pregnant ones) were forbidden to carry a Masquerade make-up. People believed that the woman with the Masquerade face will look like this for the rest of her life. And if the woman is pregnant, her child will be born ugly. However, now it is possible to see a woman with brightly-painted face.
- On the territory of Idemilli, killing of any kind of snakes is considered a crime.
- In Idemilli, it is also impossible to kill monkeys. This taboo exists in spite of the fact that their murder isn't widespread on the Nigerian land.
- In the Ibibio tribe, it is also forbidden to commit suicide. Nevertheless, if a person decided to do it, responsibility would be laid on his family. They would have to pay money for death of their relative.
- If the governor dies on the territory of Idoma, people cannot put on mourning clothes for his funeral.
- In some areas of Yoruba land, pregnant women are forbidden to pass by a corpse. It is a bad sign, which testifies troubles with her future child.
- In Benin, displaying the fruit, which are gathered from a palm tree on public, is a taboo. People believe that the person who has done it can even lose his head.
- Eating sweet potatoes in Igbo lands is not possible for the whole August.
- If a man lives in some parts of Urhobo, Delta State and he decides to chop firewood at night, it will be a bad thing. And it is not because cutting firewood at night is a little strange. People just believe that the person who does it, during full moon, can turn into a statue.
- In the Urhobo tribe, frequent usage of the left hand is also a taboo. It is considered a certain insult in relation to other people. Besides, it is forbidden to eat with the left hand and to express the consent with it.
Of course, you shouldn't perceive all these taboos literally. These are only traditions and signs, which any nationality has. They were made up by people who were scared of the power of nature and some unknown mysterious things. However, these taboos are an important part of their culture and allow us to learn more about its unique features.