Urhobo

Posted by on 12/19/2005 11:47:54 AM
Post Comment Urhobo Nigeria

The Urhobo are a people of southern Nigeria, near the northwestern Niger River delta. They speak Kwa, a language in Niger-Congo group. Together with another ethnic group in the region, the Isoko, they are known as Sobo.


A bulk of the Urhobo people (whose size of populace as of the last census is 546,000 not 450,000) reside in the south western state of Delta in Nigeria also referred to as the Niger Delta. The most recognised or known section of the Urhobo populace reside in the Ughelli local government, Warri and Ethiope areas of Delta state. Their language also called Urhobo is believed to share similiarities with the neighbouring Bini or Edo tribe. The Urhobos live very close to and sometimes on the surface of the Niger river. As such, most of their histories, mythologies and philosophies are water-related. They have an annual fishing festival that includes masquerades, fishing and swimming contests and dancing. There is also an annual, two-day, Ohworu festival in the southern part of the Urhobo area at which the Ohworhu water spirit and the Eravwe Oganga are displayed. The king in an Urhobo village is called the Ovie. His wife the queen is called Ovieya and his children Ọmọ Ovie (child of the king). Often nowadays, these names are also given to children without royal heritage by their parents. As with most tribes in Nigeria, a certain food is considered to belong to or originate from a particular tribe as in pounded yam and egusi soup from the Igbos, Eba and Ogbono soup (sometimes referred to as Ogbolo soup by people of Esan or Ora descent). For the Urhobos there are two foods considered Urhobo in nature. They are: Ukhodo (a yam and un-ripe plantain dish sometimes cooked with lemon grass and potash) and Starch (actual name of this staple is not often used) and Owo soup (The starch being that of the cassava plant. It is heated and stirred into a thick mound with oil palm added to give the starch its unique orange-yellow colour. The Owo soup is composed of smoked or dried fish, unique spices, potash and oil palm juice). The Urhobos are also notorious for having their own unique style of speaking Nigerian Pidgin English. Since their language is very demonstrative that translates into their style of speaking English and Pidgin English.




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