Traditions of Nigeria: Basic Facts

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The main oil producer in Africa, Nigeria is the continent’s most economically developed country. In recent years, it has seen a large influx of tourists and businessmen, so more and more Europeans are interested in the old traditions and bright culture of Nigeria.
Nigerian Modern Culture

The culture of today’s Nigeria is strongly influenced by folk traditions. They can be seen in the wooden Yoruba sculptures and Ibibio, Yoruba, and Ijo masks. Traditional cultural elements are also present in the works of the talented Nigerian sculptor and artist Ben Enwonwu as well as the wall paintings and architectural style of Felix Idubor. Numerous shows performed by the national theater, music bands, and festivals are imbued with traditional art.

Religions of Nigeria

Two main religious groups in Nigeria are represented by Muslims and Christians. Only 4% of the population sticks to the traditional local beliefs. The peoples living in the western, southwestern, and northern parts of Nigeria are Muslims. Sharia law is valid in twelve states of the country. Christianity dominates in the east and south, with Catholics, Pentecostals, and Anglicans being the main confessions. In addition to representatives of traditional beliefs, Islam, and Christian confessions, Nigeria also has small communities of Buddhists, Baha’is, and Jews.

Nigerian Art

The country is famous for its ancient artworks. Nigerian art gained recognition worldwide thanks to the 10-century Ife bronze and terracotta ware and 15-century bronze and ivory artifacts. Music and dances are based on traditional motifs, as the culture itself which dates back to the Nok civilization. In addition to popular folklore, there’s also well-developed English literature. Nigeria is considered one of the literature centers of Africa.

Nigerian Cuisine

A distinctive feature of the local cuisine is local agricultural products. They still remain the main part of the ration of financially weaker part of the country. Until recently, rice was considered a product of wealthy Nigerians, but now it has firmly entered the diet of the vast majority of the population. Also, a significant part of its ration is based on wheat and legumes. The country’s geography strongly influences all local dishes that are traditionally prepared with a lot of spices, seasonings, onions, and peppers. Most dishes are prepared on the palm, peanut and, coconut oil.

Families in Nigeria

As for family relationships, solidarity is a characteristic feature in the country. They believe that a person’s security depends on the family and not on material well-being. If the whole family sticks together, and the family ties are always preserved, then every member of it can count on their relatives’ support, and if the family is supported by each of its members, it will always stay prosperous, and love will always prevail in it.
Today, most Nigerians don’t want to stay individualists and tend to imitate Western cultures and tendencies, including dating (different online dating services, like romancecompass.com, are gaining more and more popularity). Traditions and real views on people’s lives are beginning to lose their significance.

Sports in Nigeria

Just like in other countries, the national sport in Nigeria is football. The country’s team has already achieved great success, including participation in the world championships and the victory in the Cup of Africa. Many Nigerian football players take part in European championships. But the other kinds of sport in the country are also well developed. For instance, Nigerian athletes take part in the Olympic Games.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Dear Ope,
    Thanks for this illuminatig piece.
    I’d like to correct the bit on relious affiliation: “The people living in the Western, Southwester and Nortern … are Muslims” is no thatnaccurate.
    Nigeria seems to be divided between the Southern and Northern parts into the two major religions, Christianity and Islam. While MAJORITY of the .south practise the Christian religion, MAJORITY in the North,are Moslems.
    The line is not therefore rigid. In the Southwest, there are many Moslems while in the Southeasr and South-South, the vast majorities are Christian. In the North, however, most of the Northwest is Muslim while parts of the country’s central part and Northeasr have many Christian, especially states like Taraba, Plateau, Benue and a dew others have majority or near 50-50 Muslim-Christian population.
    In the Southwest, home of the Yorubas, Christians and Muslims have always lived harmoniously because in many areas, there are many families with Christians as well as Moslems.
    All in all, Nigeria is neither a Christian nor an Islamic country. It is also a multi-nationality/multi-ethnic country whose culture vsries greatly.

    1. Oh! Thanks so much, Mrs. Tola. That’s a costly mistake from the writer. This is a sponsored posts ma. Nevertheless, I will make the necessary corrections. Thanks so much ma. E ma pe fun wa o. Agba yin naa a d’ale.

  2. I appreciate everything about your website/blog! As an African-American with ancestors removed from our Motherland I thank you for your insightful articles and information. I cannot get enough. My DNA suggest my descendants come from the Benin/Togo regions of Mother Africa! Thank you!!!

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