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.
POPULATION DISTRIBUTION IN ABIA STATE(1991)
|9.||Isiala Ngwa North||Okpula Ngwa||43,758||50,141||93,899|
|10.||Isiala Ngwa South||Ornoba||47,772||53,024||100,796|
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.
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.