The Igbo Culture Thread

Anwulika

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I've seen a lot of threads here pertaining to certain aspects of Igbo culture and it seems to me that a lot of it is misunderstood. I've created this thread to give a very basic analysis of Igbo culture in general and to show that I'm not being biased, I'll start with a bad aspect of Igbo culture before anything else. Feel free to add to the thread or correct me if any parts of my analysis are incorrect.

I'll start with the Osu Caste System.

1. Osu people (ndi osu), are the descendants of people who either sacrificed themselves to a deity (in order to escape punishment for a crime) or given up as a sacrifice to a deity i.e. by their village if they wanted to seek favour from the gods. This sacrifice resulted in them having to live near the deity's shrine and do menial tasks there.

2. I think that the reason why the osu status passed down to one's children is because the Igbos believe in reincarnation; so if you were one thing in life and you died, you would come back and become that same thing again. I think that it was to show us that not even death could sever an osu person's connection to the gods.

3. Osu people were not allowed to cut their hair so they had a rugged appearance that made their status visible to anyone that passed them by. They had to remain separate from freeborn Igbos (nwa diala) i.e. couldn't go to the market with them, couldn't invite them in their homes or visit them, couldn't take take chieftaincy titles, couldn't marry them etc.

4. All of these stipulations are not practiced anymore, as the osu and oru/ohu caste systems were officially abolished in 1956, with the exception of the marriage one (all over Igboland) and the chieftaincy title one (in a handful of villages).

5. I think that the marriage one still exists because of superstition. Many Igbos believe that if you marry an osu person then you become osu too or that your marriage will be cursed in some way or another.

6. There is no connection between the osu caste system and the Transatlantic Slave trade. It's highly unlikely that many Osu people were kidnapped and taken to the Americas as most Igbo slave traders would have been too afraid to even approach them, let alone kidnap them. It's possible but unlikely.

Can't remember all of the Igbo posters so someone please tag them or anyone interested in Igbo culture if you know them.

@Hiphoplives4eva @Golden @Ugo Ogugwa
 

get these nets

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Thanks. I hope to learn some things here. There's an Igbo presence genetically and culturally in most parts of the diaspora to different degrees.

If this thread is to discuss culture and history among fellow Igbos or countrymen, it will work.

If it is intended to correct Coli misperceptions, it is futile. Black immigrants/foreigners have been the running scapegoat on this site for over two full years. Propaganda, misinformation, and "gotcha" campaigns going full speed. Members of different ethnic groups and nationalities who are informed about their culture and history have debunked and corrected misinformation to counter that propaganda.
It hasn't stopped, and it won't stop.
 

Anwulika

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Thanks. I hope to learn some things here. There's an Igbo presence genetically and culturally in most parts of the diaspora to different degrees.

If this thread is to discuss culture and history among fellow Igbos or countrymen, it will work.

If it is intended to correct Coli misperceptions, it is futile. Black immigrants/foreigners have been the running scapegoat on this site for over two full years. Propaganda, misinformation, and "gotcha" campaigns going full speed. Members of different ethnic groups and nationalities who are informed about their culture and history have debunked and corrected misinformation to counter that propaganda.
It hasn't stopped, and it won't stop.

It's more geared towards discussing Igbo culture and traditions not only with fellow Igbos but with anyone who's interested in learning about Igbo culture.

All black people have interesting cultures and I think it would be good if people from those cultures created threads about them so that the rest of us could be enlightened about them.
 

Ezigbo Nwanyi

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Will contribute when I get time. To lead the discussion of Igbo culture with "osu" is distasteful, and is this all those who know anything about igbo culture ever talk about? The funny thing is that I know nothing about osu until I read it on here a year ago, and when I asked my mom she ask me who told me about it and how it was abolished in her parents days.
 

Anwulika

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Will contribute when I get time. To lead the discussion of Igbo culture with "osu" is distasteful, and is this all those who know anything about igbo culture ever talk about? The funny thing is that I know nothing about osu until I read it on here a year ago, and when I asked my mom she ask me who told me about it and how it was abolished in her parents days.

I can see why you'd think it distasteful but, in my opinion, it actually teaches us a few things about Igbo spirituality and culture in those days.

1) Reincarnation: the Igbos believed that the osu status was passed down from generation to generation because they believed in reincarnation. Not really the sins of the father being passed down to the son, rather the sins of the father being revisited upon him in a later life.

2) The dichotomy between the gods and men: the osu was hated yet also feared as a result of their closeness to the gods. I believe that, in Igbo culture, there is this recurring theme of trying to keep anything that's associated with the gods separate from men. For instances, men usually kept their personal shrines to their deities on the outskirts of their homes.

3) Community: marriage was (and still is, to an extent) looked upon as a communal affair- it's a union between two families, not just between two individuals.

I'm going to go through all of these topics in this thread so I thought that the osu caste system was a good starting point because it covers all three.
 

Takerstani

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I can see why you'd think it distasteful but, in my opinion, it actually teaches us a few things about Igbo spirituality and culture in those days.

1) Reincarnation: the Igbos believed that the osu status was passed down from generation to generation because they believed in reincarnation. Not really the sins of the father being passed down to the son, rather the sins of the father being revisited upon him in a later life.

2) The dichotomy between the gods and men: the osu was hated yet also feared as a result of their closeness to the gods. I believe that, in Igbo culture, there is this recurring theme of trying to keep anything that's associated with the gods separate from men. For instances, men usually kept their personal shrines to their deities on the outskirts of their homes.

3) Community: marriage was (and still is, to an extent) looked upon as a communal affair- it's a union between two families, not just between two individuals.

I'm going to go through all of these topics in this thread so I thought that the osu caste system was a good starting point because it covers all three.

Thanks for this insight. Are you familiar with Leopards of the Magical Dawn: Science and the Cosmological Foundations of Igbo Culture by
Nze Chukwukadibia E. Nwafor, After God is Dibia by Anenechukwu Umeh, or Odinani: The Igbo Religion by Emmanuel Kaanaene Anizoba ?

Good, informative reads.
 

tuckgod

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Thanks. I hope to learn some things here. There's an Igbo presence genetically and culturally in most parts of the diaspora to different degrees.

If this thread is to discuss culture and history among fellow Igbos or countrymen, it will work.

If it is intended to correct Coli misperceptions, it is futile. Black immigrants/foreigners have been the running scapegoat on this site for over two full years. Propaganda, misinformation, and "gotcha" campaigns going full speed. Members of different ethnic groups and nationalities who are informed about their culture and history have debunked and corrected misinformation to counter that propaganda.
It hasn't stopped, and it won't stop.

It could stop if we all started being honest with each other.

I would love to learn more about Igbo culture.

These "diaspora wars" caused me to do a little amateur research and I found out that my part of the country, Southern Virginia especially, used to be called Igboland because the citizens were majority Igbo and they ran shyt, which caused the white folks to make all these laws stripping their rights and ultimately tying them together with the imported African slave population, even though it's a very good chance that they got here before Europeans and established their settlements independent of them.

I hope you guys understand that a lot of our "ignorance" about African culture is not our fault.

We have a lot of pieces to connect in order to learn our history because our history was purposely and systematically destroyed.

Be patient with us, there are people out here willing to be patient with you all as well, but there's always growing pains.
 

Anwulika

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Thanks for this insight. Are you familiar with Leopards of the Magical Dawn: Science and the Cosmological Foundations of Igbo Culture by
Nze Chukwukadibia E. Nwafor, After God is Dibia by Anenechukwu Umeh, or Odinani: The Igbo Religion by Emmanuel Kaanaene Anizoba ?

Good, informative reads.

No problem. I don't think I've read any of these books you've mentioned but I'll certainly add them to my reading list as there's still lots for me to learn regarding Igbo culture.
 

Anwulika

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It could stop if we all started being honest with each other.

I would love to learn more about Igbo culture.

These "diaspora wars" caused me to do a little amateur research and I found out that my part of the country, Southern Virginia especially, used to be called Igboland because the citizens were majority Igbo and they ran shyt, which caused the white folks to make all these laws stripping their rights and ultimately tying them together with the imported African slave population, even though it's a very good chance that they got here before Europeans and established their settlements independent of them.

I hope you guys understand that a lot of our "ignorance" about African culture is not our fault.

We have a lot of pieces to connect in order to learn our history because our history was purposely and systematically destroyed.

Be patient with us, there are people out here willing to be patient with you all as well, but there's always growing pains.
I agree, I don't think that anyone should judge any diaspora black person that doesn't know much about any specific African culture as much of it is taught by oral tradition and this was largely taken away from them by white people.


I've heard of the Igbo landing but I had no idea that there was a whole Igbo community established there. Do you know if they managed to retain any Igbo traditions?
 

get these nets

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This is a no BS section of the board, so I won't derail the thread. But for posting a joke about a line said by a movie character, I was told to "stop using Black American references and acting like us" even though I grew up with family members of the recently deceased man that the thread was about.
We don't have anything to say to each other.
 

tuckgod

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@tuckdog
This is a no BS section of the board, so I won't derail the thread. But for posting a joke about a line said by a movie character, I was told to "stop using Black American references and acting like us" even though I grew up with family members of the recently deceased man that the thread was about.
We don't have anything to say to each other.

Breh, I understand the rules of each board, and I promise you that I will not joke or derail the thread in any way because this is supposed to be the NO BS section.

I can't excuse anything that anyone has said, and I'm sure I've done the same or worst.

In the Locker Room, it's supposed to be mostly shyt talk with a little real shyt mixed in.

Here, I'm a humble man, looking to be educated on a topic that I am not familiar with.
 

im_sleep

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I have to catch up, these are the first two videos he posted. He has a full hour video regarding Osu as well.

These videos definitely resonated with me, learning more about Igbo culture will better help me connect some more dots about my own.
 

im_sleep

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I have to catch up, these are the first two videos he posted. He has a full hour video regarding Osu as well.

These videos definitely resonated with me, learning more about Igbo culture will better help me connect some more dots about my own.

Getting back to this, one of the things mentioned in the first video that really stood out was...

Chi being masculine and associated with God.
Ékè being feminine and associated with the Earth.
(Any Igbo folks please correct me if I’m misinterpreting this wrong)

Makes me think of 5 percenters.
Not to mention Clarence 13x was from Southern Virginia. Of course I gotta dig deeper but this is where my mind is going at the moment.
:jbhmm:
@tuckdog

And to be honest this concept as well as some of the concepts I’ve looked up so far seem to coincide with how many Black folks view life and religion in general regardless of affiliation.

Odinani is rarely touched on, if at all. We usually here much much more about Ifá or Vodou. I think there’s a lot to unlock here for us folks in the diaspora, as @Get These Nets mentioned, the Igbo presence is well distributed so any knowledge gained will only help us understand ourselves even more IMO.

@Anwulika Thank you for sharing information, I look forward to hearing more.
:salute:
 

tuckgod

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Getting back to this, one of the things mentioned in the first video that really stood out was...

Chi being masculine and associated with God.
Ékè being feminine and associated with the Earth.
(Any Igbo folks please correct me if I’m misinterpreting this wrong)

Makes me think of 5 percenters.
Not to mention Clarence 13x was from Southern Virginia. Of course I gotta dig deeper but this is where my mind is going at the moment.
:jbhmm:
@tuckdog

And to be honest this concept as well as some of the concepts I’ve looked up so far seem to coincide with how many Black folks view life and religion in general regardless of affiliation.

Odinani is rarely touched on, if at all. We usually here much much more about Ifá or Vodou. I think there’s a lot to unlock here for us folks in the diaspora, as @Get These Nets mentioned, the Igbo presence is well distributed so any knowledge gained will only help us understand ourselves even more IMO.

@Anwulika Thank you for sharing information, I look forward to hearing more.
:salute:

Yes sir, they were both from Southern Virginia.

And some historians say that when Nat Turner killed the first slave owner during his rebellion, he tied a red scarf around his waste and performed a Igbo warrior ritual.

He was from Southern Virginia as well.

They built a replica Igbo Village in Staunton, Virginia to further educate the general public on the Igbo presence throughout the state’s history.

 
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