Culture & Dance

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The Nigerian culture is shaped by Nigeria’s multiple ethnic groups

The Nigerian culture is shaped by Nigeria’s multiple ethnic groups. The country has over 521 languages and over 250 dialects and ethnic groups. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa-Fulani who are predominant in the north, the Igbo who are predominant in the southeast, and the Yoruba who are predominant in the southwest.

The Edo people are predominant in the region between Yoruba land and Igbo land. Much of the Edo tend to be Christian while the remaining 25 percent worship deities called Ogu. This group is followed by the Ibibio/Annang/Efik people of the coastal south eastern Nigeria and the Ijaw of the Niger Delta.

The rest of Nigeria’s ethnic groups (sometimes called ‘minorities’) are found all over the country but especially in the middle belt and north. The Hausa tend to be Muslim and the Igbo are predominantly Christian. The Efik, Ibibio, Annang people are mainly Christian. The Yoruba have a balance of members that are adherent to both Islam and Christianity. Indigenous religious practices remain important in all of Nigeria’s ethnic groups, these beliefs are often blended with Christian beliefs.

Nigeria is famous for its English language literature, apart from the ‘pure’ English speaking population, Nigerian pidgin (which uses a primary English lexicon) is also a common lingua franca. Roughly a third of Nigeria’s population speak Pidgin English which is a simplified form of the language, for instance “How you dey” would be substituted for “How are you”. Since the 1990s the Nigerian movie industry, sometimes called “Nollywood” has emerged as a fast-growing cultural force all over the continent.