The culture of Nigeria is shaped by Nigeria‘s multiple ethnic groups. The country has 527 languages, seven of which are extinct. Nigeria also has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausas that are predominantly in the north, the Yorubas who predominate in the southwest, and the Igbos in the southeast. There are many other ethnic groups with sizeable populations across the different parts of the country. The Kanuri people are located in the northeast part of Nigeria, the Tiv people of north central and the Efik-Ibibio are in the south south. The Bini people are most frequent in the region between Yorubaland and Igboland.
Nigeria’s other ethnic groups, sometimes called ‘minorities’, are found throughout the country but especially in the north and the middle belt. The traditionally nomadic Fulani can be found all over West and Central Africa. The Fulani and the Hausa are mostly Muslim, while the Igbo are mostly Christian and so are the Bini and the Efik. The Yoruba are predominantly Muslim with a notable minority of Christians. Indigenous religious practices remain important to all of Nigeria’s ethnic groups however, and frequently these beliefs are blended with Christian or Muslim beliefs, a practice known as syncretism.
Value is defined as the worth or importance of something compared to other things. Value is assigned to concepts, ideas, people, and objects and helps guide a person to make choices in life. Value motivates people to make choices that act in the best interest that reflect what is important to them.
Values guide how a person interacts with the world around them by aiding the person in choosing actions that reflect their perceptions. What is valuable to one person may not be valuable to another. Value is, in part, based on a person’s past experiences and cultural background.
A person’s values are reflected in their ethics and overall behavior. Cultural values reflect what a society believes is right or wrong. If society deems a concept as righteous or valuable, it will be widespread and passed on from generation to generation.
What are cultural values? The definition of cultural values is the core principles or ideals that an entire community or society is based around. The community revolves around these concepts and forms a harmonious, interconnected relationship around these shared values. The concepts embodied in a culture’s values include a society’s traditions, rituals, and beliefs.
Traditions are the customs and beliefs that are passed down from generation to generation. They preserve the ideals and concepts of a society. A belief is when an individual from a particular culture shares an idea with the other people in their community. A ritual is a sequence of activities that are performed due to a belief. This is common in religious beliefs for a culture. A custom is a tradition that is widely accepted in a particular culture.
Cultural values can include a particular way of dressing within a society. Traditional garb can be linked to a particular ceremony, holiday, or time of the year. This can be considered a part of a person’s cultural behavior. The way people behave and speak is another form of cultural value that has been tied to a particular group of people. The music and religion of a region is part of their cultural value.
Some cultural values may be shared by more than one cultural group. Many geographical areas may borrow similar cultural values based on their similar experiences. In the same way that cultural values can be similar amongst different cultures, cultural values can also contradict each other. This will be covered more thoroughly in the next section with the use of a specific example.