The Igala tribe is found in the eastern part of the river Niger and Benue confluence in Lokoja, Kogi state of Nigeria.
The “Attah” is the ruling figure of the Igala ethnic group. The word “Attah” simply means ‘Father’ and the full title of the ruler is ‘Attah Igala’, meaning, the Father of Igalas .
Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko and Attah Ameh Oboni are two of the most revered Attahs of the Igala kingdom. Legend has it that Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko buried his most beloved daughter Princess Inikpi alive to ensure that the Igalas won a war of liberation from the Jukuns’ dominance.
Princess Inikpi statute presently stands with grace at Idah (Igala national headquarter).
Attah Ameh Oboni is remembered for his bravery. His stiff resistance against the British and his struggles to uphold some ancient traditions of the Igalas stands him out. He died by committing suicide in other to forestall the plan of the British who wanted him deposed and exiled.
The Igala people believe in the supremacy of Ojo Ogbekwugbekwu ( God Almighty). They also worship the deities of their ancestors with diligence.
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The marriage procedures commence after the agreement between the intending couple, after which both families run a background check on the family of their in-laws to be.
After a satisfying check, the groom’s family selects some elders of their family to go and ask for the lady’s hand in marriage.
On the day of the marriage, the two families and their loved ones assemble to witness the matrimonial bonding. In accordance with the marriage rites, a mat is laid and a new wrapper is spread on the mat. The bride will then arrive in the company of her friends and sit on the mat.
The groom dresses in the same attire as the bride and sits on the mat with two of his friends.
Thereafter, the groom’s family’s spokesperson will approach with kola nuts, bride price, and drinks and present them to the bride’s family. The bride’s family would proceed to ask their daughter if they should accept the presented gifts. The gifts are accepted only after she answers in the affirmative.
Then they counsel the groom’s family that the feeding, clothing, and health of their daughter will be their responsibility henceforth. The bride is now formally given out for marriage.
One interesting thing about the Igala traditional wears is that the colours are symbolic. According to the elders of the Igala tribe, black and yellow colours means a lot to their history. The black colour shows the richness of Igala land. The yellow colour symbolizes the hospitality of the tribe.
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