The Igbo (Ibo) of the Northern Niger River Delta
are one of the largest and most important tribal
groups in West Africa. They are culturally highly
complex, with a political system based upon a
loose form of chiefdom/kingship in some areas,
and a democratic panel of decision-makers in
others. Social life was usually governed by a
number of secret societies. Their main god is
Chukwu (literally “Great Spirit”), the creator of the
world, who is also linked to the sun and all that
grows and lives. Social conduct is governed by
Ogu-na-Ofo, spirits who defend the innocent
against unjust charges. If a guilty person appeals
to them for help, they will be cursed by
Amadioha (the god of thunder and lightning).
There are numerous other gods that deal with
issues as diverse as Ahia Njoku (yams) to Ikenga
(fortune and industry) and Agwu (medicine men).
Each person has a god named Chi, which is
essentially an embodiment of a person’s fate.