The Igbo ethnicity is one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa totaling 35.5 million alone in Nigeria and about 45 million Igbo speakers worldwide. Truth been told the Igbo blood-line could be more than that as many other Igbo descents who left the plains of Africa by slave trade to the Americas have incorporated other languages.
Within Africa the Igbo groups could be found majorly in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equitorial Guinea.
NIGERIA: Igbos in Nigeria are a very large ethnic groups consisting about 17% of the Population. Most southern tribes in Nigeria especially those across the Niger are Igbo disperse, the Ibibios, Ikwerres, Aniomas, e.t.c and many others are actually Igbo decent. The Igbos have lived with their neighbors the Yorubas, Binis, Ijaws and Idomas for centuries, with whom they share linguistic ties and are considered one of the earliest settlers in the geographical plain called Nigeria today.
The Igbos in Cameroon are estimated to be around 120,000, they are considered one of the ethnic tribes in Cameroon, during the colonial era the British reported stated the Igbos in Cameroon where abruptly stubborn not yielding to authorities, but the reason behind this was, during the German rulership colonial era the Igbos where already holding strategic positions and controlled trade in this region, and the British found it very hard to break them apart than stipulate rebellion against them so they can subdue the group. Nevertheless the Igbos gained more influence in this country over the years.
In the oil rich country of Equitorial Guinea, the Igbos make up 5% of the population about 53,000 they are regarded a minority the Igbos here where said to have migrated centuries ago from Arochukwu in Abia state. One of the notable personality of Igbo decent is
William Napoleon Barleycorn de Fernando Po. They are notably Christians.
The Igbo, whose traditional territory is called the Bight of Biafra (also known as the Bight of Bonny), became one of the principal ethnic groups to be enslaved during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. An estimated 14.6% of all slaves were taken from the Bight of Biafra between 1650 and 1900. were Igbos. This where taken to the west indies, also known as the Americas as they where enslaved workers in Sugar, cotton and tobacco plantations. Igbos in Jamaica where shipped to the Island by Europeans between 18th and 19th century the where the largest African group to have been enslaved in the Island. The Igbo where also known as Red Eboe because relative to other African tribe they them to be of more light skinned. There language and culture have greatly impacted the Jamaican culture cuisine and mannerism. They are found in the north western part of the Island.
The Igbos where shipped in large numbers to Barbados. Barbados was one of the European (British) colonies that received many Igbo people during the slave trade in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Igbo ancestral presence can be found in all aspects of Barbadian culture, including language. Barbados was once called bim, a variant of the Igbo word bem or bemshire by the British and locals a variant of the Igbo word “bé mú” which means home or kindred.
More than 4 million slaves where sent to Brazil, with the Yoruba and Igbo mass in them.
In the Dominican Republic, according to records the majority of African slaves came from the west African region of Bight of Biafra, which is present day southeastern part of Nigeria, comprising of the Igbos and Ibibios people, 62% of enslaved Africans which is about 57,000 in records where brought to Dominican Republic.
A larger percent of the blacks in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, still trace their decent to their Igbo ancestry. They where known as Eboe or Bites by the colonial masters, bites because of their connection with the Bight of Biafra origin. The Eboes where known to be excessively rebellious and suicidal in comparisons with other slaves, stating death is better than bondage. This brought mixed feeling with their colonial masters who saw them as a waste of investment. Many of the enslaved Igbo people in the United States were concentrated in Virginia’s lower Tidewater region and at some points in the 18th century they constituted over 30% of the enslaved black population. African American culture and is perhaps evident in such cultural vestiges as the Jonkonnu parades of North Carolina. Igbo Americans introduced the Igbo word okra into the English language.
All African Descents globally should know their History and Root.