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Precolonial History of the Forest and Coast, The Igbo

clans, Cross River, Ijo, Aro, archaeological sites

In southeastern Nigeria, archaeological sites confirm sophisticated civilizations dating from at least ad 900, when fine bronze statues were crafted by predecessors of the modern-day Igbo people. These early peoples, who almost certainly had well-developed trade links, were followed by the Nri of northern Igboland. With these exceptions, Igboland did not have the large, centralized kingdoms that characterized other parts of Nigeria. A few clans maintained power, perhaps the strongest of which was the Aro; the Aro lived west of the Cross River, near present-day Nigerias southeastern border, and rose to prominence in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Aro were oracular priests for the region and used this role to secure large numbers of slaves. The slaves were sold in coastal ports controlled by other groups such as the Ijo.

Article key phrases:

clans, Cross River, Ijo, Aro, archaeological sites, prominence, predecessors, exceptions, centuries, power, region, groups, role


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