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ABIA STATE - BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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ABIA - Ethnic Composition, Language and Culture:
Posted to the web: 1/9/2003 12:32:32 PM
 
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Ethnic Composition, Language and Culture:

Abia State is inhabited by the lgbo. The lgbo language is spoken throughout the State, Abia State is richly endowed culturally. This is evident in the to people's mode of dressing, dancing, arts and crafts, as well as festivals and the widely known lgbo traditional hospitality. The traditional apparel for the men is an over-flowing jumper or long-sleeve shirt worn over a "George" wrapper tied around the waist and flowing down to the ankles. This dress is complemented with a cap and a walking stick for support and defence. For the women, the traditional wear is a blouse over an "Abada" or "George", around the waist. This outfit goes with a headgear, ba earrings and necklace.

Music And Dance:
In Abia State, different types of music abound to suit various occasions. There is music for work, leisure, childbirth, funeral, and for different festivals. Much of the traditional music is a combination of the vocal and instrumental artistry which produces a tuneful melody. Musical instruments such as the gong, iar, leather drums, wooden drums, traditional flute the (Oja), earthen-pot drums and a host of percussion instruments abound. Some famous traditional lit- music and dances are the Ekpe dance in Arochukwu; the Bende and Ohafia war dance; and the Egwu Ukwu (waist dance) of Isiala Ngwa.

Table 1.1
POPULATION DISTRIBUTION IN ABIA STATE(1991)
S/NO
LGA Name
Headquarters
Male
Female
Total
1. Aba South Aba 255,325 238,827 494,152
2. Aba North Eziama
3. Osisioma Osisioma 162,439 162,927 325,406
4. Ugwunagbo Ugwunagbo
5. Obingwa

Mgboko
6. Arochukwu Arochukwu 43,453 48,164 91,617
7. Bende Bende 61,200 67,027 128,227
8. lkwuano Isiala Oboro 27,925 32,043 59,968
9. Isiala Ngwa North Okpula Ngwa 43,758 50,141 93,899
10. Isiala Ngwa South Ornoba 47,772 53,024 100,796
11. Ohafia Ebem Ohafia 64,961 75,250 140,211
12. Nneochi lsuochi 68,731 79,323 148,054
13. lsuikwuato Nbalano
14. Ukwa West Okeikpe 23,776 25,108 48,884
15. Ukwa East Akwete 15,234 16,727 31,961
16 Umuahia North Umuahia 105,787 107,533 213,630
17 Umuahia South Anumi
Total 920,268 956,434 1,976,805

Festivals, Arts And Crafts:
Each community in Abia State has different festivals celebrated in honour of its gods and goddesses, or to mark important events. The beginning of the planting season as well as the harvest season are celebrated annually. The New Yam festival, celebrated as thanksgiving to God (Chukwu) by everyone, is pervasive in lgbo land.

Works of art produced in the state include carved doors, stools, walking sticks, traditional flutes, mortars, gongs and pestles. One work of ari particularly worthy of note is the traditional "Akwete' cloth of Ukwa East.

An outline of the lgbo cultural heritage will be incomplete without a word or two of the lgbo tradi- tional hospitality to visitors. This is reflected in the presentation of kolanuts to visitors. The kolanut signifies that the visitors are heartily welcome. The rituals of the presentation of the kolanut are con- summated with the offering of prayers and thanks- giving or request to the supreme God and othei deities for the protection of the visitor and the host.

Religion:
The people of Abia State are pre-dominantly Christians of different denominations There are also a good number of Muslims, with adherents of the two religions living together peacefully.

Some people in the state are animists, who believe in a Being called "Chukwu." The traditional worshippers believes in the ability of deities to exercise strong influence on the destiny of man.

 


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