A Brief History Of Bilikisu Sungbo – The Powerful Woman Who Is Believed To Have Commissioned The Great Walls Of Eredo
By Woman.NG, February 8, 2017
The story of Bilikisu Sungbo is one that draws the attention of both locals and foreigners to a village called Oke Eri in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state. Pilgrims from all over the world have been said to come to Oke Eri village where they believe Bilikisu Sungbo is buried.
The Sungbo Eredo is a system of defensive walls and ditches said to have been commisioned by Bilikisu who was believed to be a wealthy queen and complexly built in 1000 CE. Although, it has been covered by forest, it was described as Africa’s largest single monument, with more earth and rock used to make the wall than was used in the Great Pyramid. Continue reading
Funeral Ceremonies of the Ibo
By Karen Hauser (1992) [Edited]
The Ijaw and Ibo perform intricate burials and funeral ceremonies. The most elaborate performances are for the chiefs, and there are several types of death that are considered shameful and are not given any burial at all.
In the Kalabari, when a chief dies, his family takes his body to a special funeral compound (“Oto Kwbu”) to be washed. This involves a painstaking ceremony in which special pot of water and cloths are brought in, both of which are forbidden to touch the ground. Then the chiefs sisters tie an Okuru around his waist and his legal wives dress him with special cloths. Continue reading
is an ancient system of graphic communication indigenous to the Ejagham peoples of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon in the Cross River region. It is also used by neighboring Ibibio, Efik and Igbo peoples.
Aesthetically compelling and encoded, nsibidi does not correspond to any one spoken language. It is an ideographic script whose symbols refer to abstract concepts, actions or things and whose use facilitates communication among peoples speaking different languages.
Yoruba Gods and Deities
The Yoruba are the majority ethnic group living in south west Nigeria and there is a Yoruba minority in east Benin, numbering approximately 20 million in all. The Yoruba language belongs to the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family. The Yoruba kingdom was broken up in 1820 by an invasion of the Fulahs who captured the city of Ilorin.
According to Kola Abimbola, the Yorùbá have evolved a robust philosophy, in brief, it holds that human beings possess “Àyànmo” (destiny, fate) and are expected to eventually become one in spirit with Olódumarè (the Supreme Creator) or Olorun. The emissaries of Olodumare are the Yoruba Gods and deities called Orishas. The Orishas rule over the forces of nature and the endeavors of humanity. All the Gods have their own duties; and while perfectly independent in their own domain, they cannot trespass upon the rights of others.
Aganjú, Aganyu (m): Orisha of volcanoes, the wilderness and rivers. Aganjú is a force that is essential for growth, like his symbol the Sun. Like the volcano, Aganju forms the foundation upon which societies are built and is the catalyst for the production of vast amounts of wealth and commerce needed for advanced development, assisting humans in overcoming great physical as well as psychological barriers. Aganjú is noted for his legendary strength and his ability to bring about drastic change. As the third Orìsha to have come to earth, Aganjú is a God of great antiquity. Together with his sister Yemaja, he is the offspring of Heaven and Earth (Obatala and Odudua). Continue reading
Igbo Gods and Deities
Igbo traditional religion is based on the belief that there is one Creator God, also called Chineke or Chukwu. The word that is used for God in Igbo is Chi. It is a reference to the individual spark of divinity that exists within everyone. The collective spirit of everyone and everything is known as Chukwu. It is a contraction of two words: Chi (God) and Ukwu (great or large in size). Literally, Chi-Ukwu or Chukwu means the Great God or the Great Spirit.
The Creator can be approached through numerous other deities and spirits in the form of natural objects, most commonly through Ala, the Goddess of Earth or Amadioha, the God of thunder. There is also the belief that ancestors protect their living descendants and are responsible for rain, harvest, health and children. However, the western influence, Christianity, has taken a dominant role in modern Igboland. Continue reading
The largest historical monument in the world
Sungbo’s Eredo is a system of walls and ditches that surrounds the Yoruba town of Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state southwest Nigeria. It is reputed to be the largest single ancient monument in Africa.
Hidden in the Nigerian rainforest, the earthworks at Eredo are just a few hour’s drive from Lagos.
More than 100 miles (160 kilometers) in circumference with some sections having walls which reach 70 feet (20 meters) in height, it encloses an area 25 miles (40 km) north to south and 22 miles (35 km) east to west. The Eredo served a defensive purpose when it was built in 1000 CE, a period of political confrontation and consolidation in the southern Nigerian rain forest. It was likely to have been inspired by the same process that led to the construction of similar walls and ditches throughout western Nigeria, including earthworks around Ile-Ife, Ilesa, and the Benin Iya, a 6,500 kilometer series of connected but separate earthworks in the neighboring Edo-speaking region. Continue reading
Yoruba and Oyo
The African peoples who lived in Yorubaland, at least by the seventh century BCE, were not initially known as the Yoruba, although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. The historical Yoruba develop out of earlier (Mesolithic) Volta-Niger populations, by the 1st millennium BCE.
Oral history recorded under the Oyo Empire derives the Yoruba as an ethnic group from the population of the older kingdom of Ile-Ife. Ife was surpassed by the Oyo Empire as the dominant Yoruba military and political power between 1600 CE and 1800 CE. The nearby kingdom of Benin was also a powerful force between 1300 and 1850 CE.
Most of the city states were controlled by Obas, elected priestly monarchs, and councils made up of Oloyes, recognised leaders of royal, noble and, often, even common descent, who joined them in ruling over the kingdoms through a series of guilds and cults. Oyo had powerful, autocratic monarchs with almost total control, while in the Ijebu city-states, the senatorial councils were supreme and the Ọba served as something of a figurehead. In all cases, Yoruba monarchs were subject to the continuing approval of their constituents as a matter of policy. Continue reading