Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

A child carried on its mothers back does not know the walk is long

Family Igbo African Proverb

According to an ancient African proverb of the Igbo People, a child being carried on its mother's back is oblivious to the length of the journey they are undertaking. This proverb highlights the idea that when we are supported and protected, we are less likely to be aware of the difficulties that lie ahead.

In Igbo culture, the family's kinship systems hold significant importance, emphasizing the descent on the father's side. This means that lineage and inheritance are primarily traced through the father's family tree. This patrilineal system is deeply rooted in Igbo traditions and affects various aspects of social and cultural life, including marriage, naming ceremonies, and other forms of social recognition. The Igbo people believe that maintaining strong ties with their paternal ancestry is crucial in preserving their cultural identity and passing it down to future generations.

About Igbo people

The Igbo culture originated around the Awka-Orlu plateau nearby the Niger and Benue Rivers sharing linguistic ties with their neighbors the Bini, Igala, Yoruba, and Idoma. Igbo’s traditionally farmer staples of yams, cassava, and taro. The other crops grown are corn, melons, okra, pumpkins, and beans, for which men are chiefly responsible for yam cultivation and women for the other crops. 

The land is owned communally by kinship groups and is made available to individuals for farming and building. Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Traditional Igbo religion includes belief in a Creator God Chukwu or Chineke, an Earth Goddess Ala, and numerous other deities and spirits as well as a belief in ancestors who protect their living descendants. 

Divination and oracles seek The revelation of the deities' will. Many Igbo are now Christians, some practicing Christianity intermingled with indigenous beliefs. The Nri people of Igbo land is known as the oldest kingdom in Nigeria and the cradle of the culture and civilization of the Igbo tribe. 

The Kingdom of Nri dates back to the 9th century and existed until it collapsed in 1911 on account of internal disputes, the slave trade, colonization, British invasion and expansion of kingdoms. The Nri Kingdom was structured around traditional beliefs and systems, including sacrifices, myths, taboos, norms, and values.

Igbo Proverb

A child carried on its mothers back does not know the walk is long - Igbo Proverb


Did you know?
Today, many Igbo people are Christians; however, some Igbo people practice traditional Igbo religious beliefs called Odinani. Odinani played a considerable role in the everyday lives of the Igbo people.

Wise African Proverb

Wise African Proverb

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