Igbo names and spellings for various settlements
Abakaliki is Abankaleke; Afikpo is Ehugbo; Awgu is Ogu; Awka is Oka; Bonny is Ubani; Enugu is Enugwu; Ibusa is Igbuzö; Igrita is Igwuruta; Oguta is Ugwuta; Onitsha is Onicha; Owerri is Owere; Oyigbo is Obigbo... any more will be added.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, December 24, 1772

Chesterfield, December 15, 1772. Run away from the Subscriber, on Sunday the 22d of November, a new Negro Fellow of small Stature, and pitted with the Smallpox; he calls himself BONNA, and says he came from a Place of that Name in the Ibo Country, in Africa, where he served in the Capacity of a Canoe Man; his Clothing is a new Felt Hat, new Cotton Waistcoat and Breeches, and new Shoes and Stockings; his Stockings were knit, and spotted black and white. Whoever secures him so that I get him shall have TWENTY SHILLINGS reward, besides what the Law allows.

— Richard Booker

Location: Williamsburg, Virginia | Date: December 24, 1772 | Credit: Richard Booker

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Agbogho Mmuo

Agbogho Mmuo are maiden spirit masks that represent the spirit of dead girls that have manifested in the dancer to come back to parade in their communities. The masks also symbolise the ideals of female beauty among many Nri-Awka Igbo communities. Their extremely white faces symbolise that they are spirits.

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Friday, December 3, 2010


Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sacrifice to Agwu

Agwu is the Alusi of Dibia ('medicine men').

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Young man of Igbuzor

Location: Igbuzo, Aniocha, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tooth filing

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Young Man of Ubuluku

Location: Ubuluku, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Original (correct) names/spellings for Igbo City's/Towns/Villages

* Abakaliki is Abakaleke
* Afikpo is Ehugbo
* Asaba is Ahaba
* Awgu is Ogu
* Awka is Oka
* Bonny is Ubani
* Enugu is Enugwu
* Ibusa is Igbuzor
* Igrita is Igwuruta
* Oguta is Ugwuta
* Onitsha is Onicha
* Owerri is Owerre
* Oyigbo is Obigbo
* Port Harcourt is Diobu

....plus others....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Old Man

Location: Igbuzor, Alaigbo | Date:  Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Dike's 20ft Tower [Igbo]

Any person referred to as ‘Dike’ in Igbo land is a great man and must have performed an extraordinary feat to deserve the title. In times past, it was used for great warriors who had shown exceptional bravery at war. Dike Madueke, who lived and died in Ukpor before 1700, falls under this category. He is reputed as the greatest warrior in Ukpor land. He led the people to many wars, perfecting a strategy that enabled the people defeat their enemies all around. The early European adventurers who came to Ukpor met such stiff resistance from the local soldiers that they had to retreat for re-enforcement before they were able to subdue the people.

It was said that in the process of perfecting his war strategies, Dike Madueke erected in his family compound which still stand today, a twenty-foot tall multi-purpose pyramid tower that aided the people to thwart the plans of their enemies. The interior of the tower has three decks, spy holes all around it and with the aid of ladder people climb from one deck to another. a sentry is constantly posted on top of the deck from where he observes the surrounding are and reports the movement of soldiers from every direction. The middle rung is reserved for sharp-shooters armed with Dane guns and darts. The height gives them the advantage of reach over enemy soldiers.

The ground floor of the tower is the most spacious and acts as a refuge for women and children, considered the most vulnerable in war times. While the men fight, they ensure their loved ones are protected from attack. Dike’s tower has recently been reduced in height to enable maintenance and preservation of this important historical monument. It has survived years of weathering due to special indigenous architectural skill that went into its construction, which according to the people has been lost, years ago. Dike Madueke is also reputed to have been a powerful rainmaker in his day. The art of rainmaking i Igbo land is one that can only be inherited; a jealously guarded secret of the families that are its custodian. Emmanuel Madueke, a direct descendant of Dike Madueke is presently in charge of this art as was evident during the research visit. Having been informed of the visit and its significance, he promised that there would be no rain for the duration and though the clouds were very heavy at a point, the rains remained at bay. The NACD team was informed that the rain stone was already smoking truly the smoke could be seen gushing out from somewhere within the inner compound. The walls, hedging the Madueke family compound are as old as the tower itself and still stand as strong as ever.

— Nigerian Arts and Culture Directory (NACD)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Queen Elizabeth II visit to Port Harcourt

Location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria | Date: 1956 | Credit: nicolb50

Probable Igbo Woman

It is unknown whether she is definitely Igbo, but her headdress looks so. She was noted as Nigerian.

Two Igbo Boys with Dead Primate


Young gorilla (?) killed at Asaba, So. Nigeria, West Arfica, 1906. The two boys belong to the Ibo tribe.

— R. L. Beard

Location: Ahaba, Alaigbo | Date: 1906 | Credit: R. L. Beard

A Medicine Man with his Stock in Trade

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1922 | Credit: Basden


Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1922 | Credit: Basden?

Magnificent Headdress of Awka Woman [Igbo]


Her scanty toilet has been completed, apparently to her entire satisfaction, and the gladiatorial headdress represents the dernier cri of in the fashion world of Awka. The crest of wood, ornamented with large pearl buttons, is tightly secured on the top of her head.

— Thomas Whitridge Northcote

Location: Oka, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Discomfort of fashion


The vocation of this woman of Achala, Ibo country, is dancing, but the regulation anklet plates on her legs confine her dance-steps to a few measured "pas" made slowly and with caution to right and left.

— Thomas Whitridge Northcote

Location: Achala, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Young Man of Achala

Location: Achala, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Willing Submission to Life Sentence to the Stocks [Igbo]


Immense ankle plates are a main part of female costume in the Ibo country. Many of them are made in Birmingham and afterwards decorated with incised designs by native smiths. The women wear them permanently, stuffing rags between the skin and the metal to prevent chafing, and walking with a curious swing of the leg to avoid rubbing the plates together.

— Thomas Whitridge Northcote

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1913 | Credit: Thomas

Town Deities [Alusi], Adonta, Near Ogwashi [Ukwu]

Location: Adonta, Aniocha, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1921 | Credit: Basden

A Blacksmith at Work

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1921 | Credit: Basden

Puddling Clay Preparatory to House Building

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1930 | Credit: Basden

Climbing A Palm-Tree for Nuts and Wine


A rope composed of twisted creepers encircles the trunk and the body of the climber, and by a series of jerks it is raised a foot or more at a time, the weight of the man's body preventing it from slipping. The rapidity with which these climbers literally "walk" up a palm-tree is marvellous. The large knife is for the purpose of severing the bunches of nuts.

— George Thomas Basden

Location: ?Unsure?, Alaigbo | Date: ?Unsure?, Before 1921 | Credit: George Thomas Basden


This blog is about images of Igbo culture and people before colonisation and modernisation.