Igala people


Igala / Igara

The Igala are an ethnic group of Nigeria. Their homeland, the former Igala Kingdom, is an approximately triangular area of about 14,000 km2 in the angle formed by the Benue and Niger rivers. The area was formerly the Igala Division of Kabba province, and is now part of Kogi State. The capital is Idah. In addition to Kogi state, indigenous Igalas are found in Anambra, Benue, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Nasarawa, Niger states.

Igala people

Environment / Geography

The Igalas have an unusually and richly endowed environment. They are within the “middle-belt” of Nigeria which has an advantage of the climate of the drier Savannah vegetation to the north and the wet forest regions to the south.

The area lies within the warm humid climatic zone of Nigeria. There is a distinctive wet season dichotomy. The wet season lasts from about April to the end of September or early October while the dry season lasts from about October to about the end of March or early April. Rainfall can be heavy and the effects of the harmattan can be severe, especially from about November.

The area has an average rain fall of about 50” a year.  The lowland riverine areas are flooded seasonally, making it possible for the growing of paddy rice and controlled fish farming in ponds that are owned on individual or clan basis.  The lbaji area is the major place awashed by flood. This makes the area very fertile soil more than other place in the land: “The receding floods leave behind a large quantity of fish in ponds and lakes. This facts, plays an important role in the economic and social lives of the people,”

Simply put, the vegetation is mainly deciduous, with the major rivers (Benue and Niger), a few minor ones such as Okula, Ofu, Imabolo, Ubele, Adale, Ogbagana, and many streams in the land.  Hence, is Igalaland popularly known as a blessed fishing and arable region.

 The most common economic trees are palm trees (ekpe), locust beans (okpehie). mahogany (ago), iroko (uloko), whitewood (uwewe) and raffia palms (ugala). Common plantations are of okra (oro..-aikpele), cashew (agala), banana (ogede). Some of the economic trees mentioned here provide timber for the people and for sale. In the forest regions were also found certain wild animals, such lions (idu), hyenas (olinya), leopards (omolalna or eje), elephants (adagba), bush-pigs (ehi), chimpanzee (ukabu). etc.

This favorable vegetation makes farming and hunting highly profitable. Thus. 90% of the population. practice farming.  Both forest and savannah crops thrive on Igala soil very well. Thus, the main forest crops produced are: yams, cassava, maize, melon and groundnut.  And they produce such savannah cereals as guinea corn. beans. millet and benniseed.  However, due to the shifting cultivation being practiced, bush burning and felling of trees, a good proportion of the forest is being gradually destroyed and wild animals are fast becoming extinct.

Igalaland is blessed with rich natural resources.  In the south are swamps where crude oil was prospected some years ago. It is generally believed that oil was discovered at Alade and Odolu. IS The Okabba (Adagio) coalmine is close to Ankpa in the north.  The country has benefitted from the coalmine since 1967.

There are many roads in the area. The main ones are Anyigba-ldah, Anyigba-Ankpa, Anyigba-Shintaku. Those of Anyigba-Ajaokuta, Ankpa-Otukpo, Otukpa, Ankpa-Ogobia. Idah· Nsukka and Ejule-Otukpa link the land with neighboring states. Good waterways are possible between Idah-Agenebode-Onitsha and the Shintaku-Lokoja axis of River Niger. These waterways have served as veritable means of transport in the recent past. It encouraged social and economic interactions.

Today, Igala land does not possess any airport. However, air travelers make use of Ajaokuta Steel Company’s airstrip. The Itobe-Ajaokuta Bridge constructed about two decades ago on the River Niger has also turned out to be of tremendous benefit as it has enhanced intra and inter-state links and commercial transactions.



Igala people speak Igala language which belongs to the Yoruboid languages spoken in North Central Nigeria (Akinkugbe 1976, 1978; Omachonu 2000, 2002) which also forms part of the larger West Benue-Congo phylum (formerly part of Kwa).

As a result of the strong linguistic affinities, Dr. Femi Akinkugbe (University of Lagos) has recently classified Yoruba, Itsekiri and Igala as belonging to what he calls the Proto-Yuroboid sub-group in the main Kwa group.

It is estimated that nearly 4 million people speak Igala, primarily in Kogi State, Delta State and Edo State. Dialects include Ebu, Idah, Ankpa, Dekina, Ogugu, Ibaji, Ife. The Agatu, Idoma, and Bassa people use Igala for primary school.

Although one may argue that Igala is unlikely to be so endangered in the proper sense of the word considering the number of its native speakers and linguistic researches available in the language (Armstrong 1951, 1965; Omachonu 2000, 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2006, 2007a, 2007b, 2008; Atadoga 2007; Ejeba 2009; Ikani 2010), one of the aspects always identified as being so seriously endangered in the use and study of the language is the numeral system (See Etu 1999, Ocheja 2001). This is because children nowadays rarely know how to count in Igala. Even adults, mix up Igala with Hausa and English when they count money and other objects in the language. A similar scenario was pointed out by Atóyèbí (n.d.) of the numeral system of Ọkọ which he described as the most endangered aspect of the language because the act of counting in Ọkọ, according to him, has been left to older members of the community with the younger generation preferring to express numerals in the English language instead.



The first "Ata", the title given to the ruler of the kingdom, was Ebule- Jonu, a woman; she was succeeded by her brother Agana- Poje, the father of Idoko. Idoko would later succeed him as Ata, and had two children Atiyele and Ayegba om'Idoko (Ayegba son of Idoko), Atiyele the first son of Idoko migrated eastward of the kingdom to establish Ankpa kingdom while Ayegba the second son of Idoko succeeded his father as Ata'Gala. He led a war against the Jukun, which resulted in victory. Idakwo Micheal was appointed as the new Ata in December 2012.

The ata-ship of Igala rotated among four branches of the royal clan. Igala Kingdom was founded by Abutu- Eje in the 7th century. The kingdom was ruled by nine high officials called the Igala Mela who are custodians of the sacred Earth shrine.

Igala colonisation of northern Igbo states1450-18th century .

The Igala mega state attained the height of its fame during the mid-17th century. The rise of the Igala mega state disrupted and contributed to the shift of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from the Bight of Benin to the Bight of Biafra and the decline of the Benin Empire between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Idah-Benin war (1515-1516) was a war of mutual independence. The Igala state reached its political and commercial supremacy afterwards, when it became a leading exporter of choral beads, horses, medicine, skills and of course, slaves to the coastal region. Its growing power, nevertheless, changed the dynamics of the earlier complex relationships with several northern Igbo communities. Joseph Hawkins in 1797 already captured raidings of some extreme northern Igboland by the Igalas.

In his "A History of a Voyage to the Coast of Africa" he noted the growing conflicts between the 'Ebo Country' and 'Galla'. By the late 17th century, the Igalas had influeneced the socio-economic, political and religious arenas of some of the indigenous northern Igbo mini-states. From Opi (archaeological site), Nsukka, Nsugbe, several Igbo communities on the Anambra River, the lower Niger, through Okpanam to Asaba the Igala held sway. Trading out post with Onitsha and the Ijo middlemen were fully established. The mythical Omeppa, Inenyi Ogugu set up garrison at Opi (archaeological site) and several Igala warlords played their part in the buildup of the Igala colonial take over of these northern Igbo states. But no other individual played a greater role in shaping Igala-Igbo influence during the 18th century than Onoja Oboni, the legendary Igala warrior and slave trader.

Onoja Oboni's personality and heritage has been shrouded in mythical imagery over time. Ranging from being the Son of Eri, the grandson of Aganapoje to being a descendant of one of the Idah royal families; the priestly sub-clan of Obajeadaka in Okete-ochai-attah. The key areas of consensus are; he was a master strategist, slave raider and trader, conqueror, coloniser and imperialist. Added to these were his diplomacy, expansionist traits and the acculturation of conquered territories.

He built himself a walled city in Ogurugu and recent archaeological findings of the remnant of the ruins of his fort on the grounds of the University of Nigeria Nsukka confirm this. The Igala soldiers built forts and fortifications that stretched from Ete down to Opi (archaeological site) and then to Anambra. Oboni's rise to power affected the history of the North-western Nsukka and the Igbo communities on the Anambra River and the Lower Niger during the Igala commercial and socio-cultural ascendancy and domination. This was the reinforcing of the golden age of Igala imperial expansion. In this way, Igala mega state took control and allegiance were paid. Until the decline of Igala power, the Ezes of Enugu-Ezike, Akpugo, Nkpologu, Ibagwa Ani and Opi continued to receive their titles from Idah; investiture, installation and confirmation of their office was only by the royal blessing of Attah Igala in Idah.

The Eze were only validated when they returned home with Igala choral beads 'aka', staff of office believed to be imbued with protective charms to ensure longevity and security of the Eze as well as prestige animal (horse) to bolster up their ego. There were also periodic royal visits to the Attah Igala to pay tributes and as well intended to strengthen diplomatic ties and inter-group relations, renew allegiance, and assured insurance from slave raids. In terms of indigenous technologies, the Igala soldiers built factories (forges) for manufacturing Dane-guns, ironworks, carving, introduced arrowheads with tip-poison from sting ray; cloth knitting, terracing of Nsukka hillsides and brought in a well developed political and social hierarchies.

At this time Igala empire had become a cultural exchange hub for other emerging states; the influence was felt as far north as the Nok civilisation and down east to Igbo-Ukwu civilisation. Till date many of the Igala-Nsukka borderland remain bilingual. On the religious level, the Igala installed their own priests – the Attama – as the custodian of the dangerous Alusi, shrine, took control as mediators between the spirit and the Igbo communities, presided over divinations and fashioned 'Ikenga', 'Okwute' (ritual staffs) that combined both Igala and Igbo religious elements. The Attama thus became the major agents of Igala socio-cultural control.

Several efforts to keep the Attama lineage Igala failed, eventually the priestly office has been greatly igbonized, even though the nominal Igala identification is still predominant. Many of the northern Igbo state settlements have lineages with Igala names, cultural practices with marked Igala modification and adaptations. The use of Igala circular basket in contrast to the Igbo rectangular types persists till this day. By the turn of the 19th century, the Igala empire was too large for any reliable and robust central control. Internal decay and implosion set in.

The Fulani jihadists started contracting the Igala imperial power, conquered territories in the north switched tributes, forced or/and seceded from the Igala empire. The Bassa war added more pressure to the war-weary empire. The abolition of slave trade brought in untold economic recession. In 1914 the British burnt down Ibagwa and Obukpa as a punitive measure. By the 1920s, Igala empire was a spent force and a limping shadow, the British easily took over control of both Nsukka and the Igala territories.


Social Organization

The social organization is essentially kin-based. The nuclear family is the smallest social unit but this is inseparably tied to the extended family system involving the linage and the clan. All members of these extra nuclear-family units regard one another as “brothers” or “sisters”. A number of agnatic families combine to form a clan and number of them may constitute a hamlet or even village. Often the members of such hamlets or villages trace their origin to common apical ancestors. The sociological arrangement is, itself a factor that promotes unity and peace among the people.


Political organization

The political organization is concerned on the monarchy, headed by a paramount king, the Attah-Igala, who is regarded as the father of all Igala people. Attahs of old wielded a lot of power and authority and established a very powerful kingdom possibly dating to about the 8th or 9th century AD. At its apogee, perhaps in the 16th century, the Igala kingdom did extend far and wide to include parts of Igboland (Nsukka Area) to the south Koton-karfe (including and beyond area of north Kogi) to the north; part of western Idoma land to the east (including Igumake) and parts of Etsakor in the west.

Influences of the Igala, operating from the headquarters at Idah, were also felt at Nri-Igbo-Ukwu and Onitsha in Anambra state; among the Nembe and Kalabari on the Atlantic cost; as Asaba and among Nupe in present day Niger state where an Igala prince, tosede or Edgi is acclaimed to have established the Nupe kingdom. Wars were fought, peace treaties were concluded, tributes were paid and trade organized with these and other people. Wars for instance were fought with the Jukun of Kwararafa in present-day southern Taraba State and with the Bini during the reign of Oba Esigie 1 in (1515, 1516 AD) as recorded in Portuguese in Lisbon today.

The glorious era of Igala kingdom was disrupted with the effective colonization by the British of the area now known as Nigeria from about 1890, with the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Nigeria protectorates in 1914 (by Col. Frederick Lugard) the British policy of what is now known as Nigeria, where established monarchs were used to rule their own people “indirectly”. Thus the power of the kings and chiefs was gradually eroded until they become puppets in the hand of the British. There was resistance here and there, for instance in Opobo (by Jaja), in Itsekiri land (by Nana), in Benin (by Overanwen), in Sokoto (by Sultan Attahiru) and in Igalaland (by Prince Atabo Ijomi later, Ata-Igala from 1919 to 1926); but in essence, the traditional rulers lost the battle.

Native administrators were established (somewhat along geo-ethnic lines) and the monarchs were made tutelary heads of the administrations, while the British acted as the real administrators and decision makers. In this vein, the Igala native authority was administered as part of Kabba province so even after the independence in 1960.

With coming of the military in 1966, and with state creation in 1967, Igalaland became the eastern part of a Kwara State (initially named Central Western State) when a twelve state structure was created. When a new nineteen-state structure was later created out of the 12 in February 1976, Igalaland was carved out of Kwara and merged as the Western part of a new Benue State. In August 1991, itinerant Igala found themselves in a new state, Kogi which is where they are now.

Idah remained the cultural headquarters of Igalaland and the political capital of Idah Local government Area. In 1968, Igalaland was split into three administrative units for the sake of conveniences. The units – Idah, Ankpa and Dekina were administered as local governments, later (in 1976). Dekina division was itself split into Dekina and Bassa, again local government areas were carved out of Ankpa while Ofu was carved out of Idah. Today, Igalaland harbours nine local governments out of the 21 local governments in Kogi State.


The Igala Traditional Council

There used to be one Igala traditional council headed by the Attah. Later, with the creation of autonomous local government area, and Ankpa traditional council headed by Eje was created. A Bassa Komo, Bassa Nge and the Ebira Mozum Districts with its headquarters at Oguma was also recognized. Dekina and Idah remained under the umbrella of the Igala traditional council headed by the Attah-Igala. In the present dispensation, each local government council in Kogi state has its own council of Chiefs and everyone recognizes the pre-eminence of their respective premier monarchs – the Attah-Igala, the Ohinoyi-Ebira and the Obaro of Kabba.


The Igala Monarch

The Igala Monarchy, one of the oldest and one of the most formidable in the central Nigerian area is central around the person and office of the Attah-Igala who is regarded and treated as the father of all Igala people. The remoteness of the Attah institution has not been properly determined historically but oral tradition and archaeological records point to dates around the 8th and 9th century AD.

The possible influence of the Igala kingship on Nri and Igbo Ukwu cultures, the latter of which has been dated to about 8th and 9th century AD by Professor C. Thurstan Shaw, shows that if Igala monarch influenced Igbo Ukwu’s at that period, it could be suggested that origins and history of Igala culture may well pre-date the 8th or 9th century AD (Shaw, C.T. 1970, Igbo Ukwu, Faber, London).

Oral tradition state that some Attahs whose period of reign cannot be determined chronologically reigned over “Igalaland” for quite some time. These include Agenepoje, Abutu-Eje and Ebole Jonu. This is however a very shady period of Igala monarchial history, the length and remoteness of which are yet to be ascertained.

The Special Jumm'at Prayer led by the Chief Imam of the palace, Alh. Idrisu Liman... HRM, AMEH OBONI II now resumes office for the day's tasks.

But after the proto-dynastic period, emerged a period where oral tradition is much more reliable, that is the period of Ayegba Oma Idoko who is the founder of the present quadrilinear dynasty. Thus the descendants of Ayegba headed by Akwumabi, Akogwu and Ocholi have produced the Attah Igala in succession to one another over the years. Later however, the genealogy of the Akwumabi dynasty was split into two, headed by Ame-Acho and Itodo Aduga, thereby creating a four dynasty structure as shown in the scheme below (note the figures after each name show the tenure-ship from Ayegba Oma Idoko.


The Atta’s scope of influence

With Atta Ayegba Om’Idoko, the kingdom was zoned in the 17th cetltury A.D. into smaller units in order to decentralize authority. Then in 1905 the British created the districts. These districts comprised Ankpa, Dekina, Egwume., Ejema, Imane. Iga, Ika, Ogwugwu, Ojokwu. Atabaka (Okpo), Biraidu (Abocho), Ife (Abejukolo). Odu, Iyale, Emekwutu, Okenyi, Ojokiti, As these districts were formed and “trustworthy relatives and followers” were sent to rule, these were given the ‘traditional titles of “Onu” (the principal person or chief).

Some Igala tradition holds that an Atta gave the Nupes a Kingdom, He bestowed the rule of Nupe country to Edegi (Tsoede), one of the sons he had from a Nupe mother. He gave riches of various types to him and gave him different insignia of kingship: a bronze Canoe, twelve Nupe slaves. the bronze Okakachi (Trumpet) which are still being used by Northern Nigerian ~.state drums hung with brass belts and heavy iron chains and fetters which were endowed with strong magic power …, Tsoede or Edegi then became the ruler of the Nupe people and took the title of Etsu (King) and the Nupe kingdom became an ally to Igala.


Traditional patterns

The Igala are patrilineal and authority in the family or clan resides in the men. Patilineality among the people inexplicably entails virolocal residence in which the woman moves into her husband’s household among his paternal kinsmen, or sometimes his maternal kinsmen. The basic family unit is the nuclear family, made up of a husband, his wife and their children, as well as attached kin but rarely did you find this type of arrangement for the traditional Igala society was basically polygamous.

As farmers, the need for more hands on the farm meant that men married more wives so that they could raise more children whose help was badly needed on the farm. Besides, in some parts polygamy was a status thing and reflection of a man’s wealth. The more prevalent was the compound family in which you had a man, his wives and children. The nuclear and compound families are, in real sense, units of the wider and longer-lasting patilineal joint family which typically comprises two or more generations of brothers and sons, and their wives and children. In this way Igala families are long-lasting and self-perpetuating as the death of a member makes no difference to its overall structure. It can last over several generations with a membership of up to 100 or more.

An Igala lineage comprises several extended families- the wives and offspring of brothers as well as wives and offspring of the father of these brothers and all the relations of the brothers of ones father.

The clan is made up of several patrilineal related extended families or lineages and has numerous functions, including common name, and identity, exogamous marriages, property ownership, mutual economic and political support and protection from a rival or aggressor among others.  As kin who have claim to a common ancestry, they recognize various ritual prohibitions, such as taboos on certain foods, totem etc, that give them a sense of unity and distinctiveness from others.


Kinship relationship

The concept of kinship flourishes well among the Igala. It has helped to construct groups that have lasted for generations and in which the close-knit ties of kinship provides powerful links through the notion of common “blood”. And by claiming exclusive ancestry these groups can claim exclusive rights to clan and lineage property. This kind of kin relationship also provides for individual members a sense of personal identity and security. In traditional Igala society, kinship relationship plays important roles in the lives of the people by determining what land they could farm, whom they could marry, or have sexual relationship with, and their status in the community. It also means much more than blood ties or family or household. It includes a network of responsibilities, and support in which individual families are expected to fill certain roles and obligation.

Among the Igala generic terms such as ‘uncle’, ‘aunt’ or ‘grandparents’ are often not sufficient to describe family relationship, rather very specific terms such as my “maternal uncle” or “maternal aunt” are used to clearly differentiate between patrilineal and matrilineal kin. Lineal relationships, which refer to those between grandparents and grand children, are well cherished. Relationships with uncles and aunts, cousin and nephews and nieces are essentially treated as those biological relatives. The Igala enjoys robust relationship among the maternal kin. As a “daughter” he/she is loved, protected and enjoys lot of privileges but the right of inheritance is only with the paternal clan. Kinship relationships and obligations toward lineal, collateral and affina l kins (i.e between parent –in-law, children-in-law and sibling-in-law as well as with partrilineal and martrilineal kin) are related to lines of descent, to residence, to inheritance of property, to marriage etc.


Incest taboo

Incest taboo refers to any cultural or norm that prohibit practices of sexual relation between relatives. Relations with clan members are permissible where no traceable genealogical relations exist, but members of different clans cannot have sexual relationship if there exists blood ties. The restrictions on marriage and sexual relation amongst kin in Igalaland is based on normative sense of decency and the unequivocal belief in the sanctity of blood ties. There are rules, though not written concerning appropriate and inappropriate sexual relation. Incest, which is sexual intercourse between individual related in certain degrees of kinship, is prohibited. If a man conducts inappropriate sexual relationship with a kin, it is believed that both will suffer severe afflictions from which they would not recover until they confess and the gods are properly appeased through sacrifice. It could also result in barrenness. Both would lose respect among the people as people will no longer take them seriously. In the past young girls involved in such acts hardly ever marry.

Among the Igala, people relate to one another in different ways, and sometimes distantly, are classified as sibling, and other who are just as closely related genetically are not considered family because they are patrilineal and children belong in the father’s clan. As a consequence of patrilineality relations between brother/sister, father/daughter, mother/son, uncle/niece etc are considered incestuous, though in certain matrilineal society father/daughter may not be such a problem. Sexual relation between a man and his mother’s sister and mother’s sister’ daughter are considered incestuos. Similarly, a man and his father’s sister cannot have a flirtatious relationship, have sex and marry, not even with his father’s sister’s daughter.


Religious belief

According to Professor Emmy Idegu, Igala cosmology hinges on three worlds – efi’le (the world of the living), ef’ojegwu (the world of the dead) and the space inhabited by the supreme being (odoba ogagwu, ojochamachala). A typical Igala person believes in “Ojo” (God) as the Supreme Being. The concept of God is therefore not foreign to the Igala mind. The belief in Ojo-ochamachala (Almighty God who is regarded as Alpha and Omega) precedes the advent of the missionaries. God (Ojo), the Supreme Being is also known by his attributes as creator, as the immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, unique, transcendent judge and King. They also believe in divinities and spirits.

The traditional Igala person believes in divinities or deities who are said to be next in hierarchy to the Supreme Being. Such are personified in certain natural forces and phenomena, especially in rivers, lakes, trees, the wind, deserts, stones, hills e.g. Aijenu (Water Spirits), Ikpakacha (spirit husband), Ane (earth goddess), Ichekpa (fairies or bush babies), Ejima (twins), Egbunu (goodluck), etc. In their order of ranking, the next is belief in deified ancestors (Ibegu). This refers to the spirits of elderly members of one’s family, lineage or society that died non-violent or non-evil death and have promising offsprings. The Igala person believes too in mysterious powers, which come in various forms such as incantations (ache), medicine (ogwu), magic (ifamfam) and witchcraft (ochu, ogbe).

Three basic elements of worship are easily identifiable, namely, Sacrifice, Music/ dancing and Prayer; certain people are regarded as Sacred e.g. family heads (elders) village heads or town leaders i.e. the traditional rulers, who most often act as chief priests before traditional shrines; they also believe in Oracles or divination e.g. Ifa-anwa (by seeds), ifa-ebutu (by use of sand), ifa eyo-oko (by cowries), Ifa-omi (by water).

While making these sacrifices, as earlier mentioned, certain victims or materials are used for sacrifice. These include, food Stuffs or Crops (amewn egbaru) e.g. maize (akpa, igbala), yam (uchu), kolanut (obi), beans (egwa), rice (ochikapa), beniseed (igogo) etc; birds, e.g. hens (ajuwe), chicks (ebune), cocks (aiko), pigeon (oketebe); Animals e.g. She-goats (ewo-ole), she-goats (obuko), ram (okolo), cow (okuno), tortoise (abedo or aneje), agama -lizard (abuta-oko); and some liquid substances e.g. cold water (omi eruru), local liquor (burukutu), gin (kai-kai),and palm-oil (ekpo oje). Other items also employed could be articles of clothing, pieces of white, red or black cloths, money, especially coins or cowries, red feather (uloko), alligator pepper (ata), etc.

It is noteworthy at this juncture that there exists other aspects of the culture which posses certain dynamics or key values that are hinged on some of the above practices. Among them are: Child-bearing and the male-child Phenomenon (fecundity or fertility cults); Naming ceremonies, circumcisions (amonoji); widowhood practices redolent with so much oppression, deprivation, discrimination, rejection, humiliation, abuse and injustice; “ikpakachi” (spirit husbands), high bride price, arrangee-marriages, levirate marriage (oya-ogwu); second burial (ubi) rites; masquerade cults; coronation and initiation of traditional rulers etc.; the issue of caste  system or descendants of slaves (amoma adu); use of charms; incisions, oath-taking, rain-making, or reincarnation rites; traditional festivals; etc.

Some of the cultural or traditional practices mentioned above have gone extinct in some areas of the land, but are still so prevalent in many other places. However, there are many other practices which may not be directly related to traditional religion but which are values which need to be cultivated, cherished or modified with all sense of commitment. Such values include the use of Igala proverbs, myths, legends, language, sculpture, greetings, (including tribal marks, tattooing, body decoration), cuisines, discipline, dressing and  agriculture.