Saturday 8 January 2022


Folklore plays a major role in Igbo culture. They represent creation, life, and even death. Through elaborate tales, the Igbo people pass on their beliefs about how their people came to be. While the tales focus mainly on animal characters, they represents many aspects of everyday life. Igbo folk-tales, like American fables, are useful teaching tools for the young.  The stories are spread through youth, encouraging positive behavior.

Before missionaries arrived, Igbo folk-tales were the primary source for learning everyday life lessons. Certain tales such as “How the Tortoise Got Its Bumpy Shell” warn children against greed and untruth and instead encourage honestly, and the mutual support of those around an individual. This is important in Igbo society because they are a people who are very much reliant on their neighbors. They borrow seeds in the planting season, and assist each other in building up compounds. "Connectedness" is considered essential for the Igbo people, and many decisions are made by a large part of the clan, instead of an individual.

While Igbo folktales teach many important lessons to the people, they are also a sort of religion for the masses. The folktales tell of how things came to be in the natural world. From the creation of the earth to the reason a mosquito buzzes in a person’s ear, almost anything can be explained by an Igbo folktale. The tales are not only a rich way of preserving beliefs, they are the values of the people. They teach Igbo people how to become a better person in society The Igbo have a system of folk beliefs that explains how everything in the world came into being. It explains what functions the heavenly and earthly bodies have and offers guidance on how to behave toward gods, spirits, and one’s ancestors.

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