The Igbo tribe is potentially a very powerful one, from which much can be expected with consolidations and the spread of careful modern ideas. The people are observant, reflective thinkers, and rapid actors, with a remarkable keen and true sense of justice and determination. They also possess strong individuality.
Like the Yorubas, they are as a people, honest, intelligent, industrious, cleanly, hospitable, and humorous, though more emotional, artistic and musical. They are distinctly warlike, especially the branches East of the Niger.
In some district, every town is surrounded by a trench wall, and belt of thick bush; in some cases with also an outer line of gun pits. In other areas, each wall house has its own fighting tower, made up of a story building and a loophole commanding the entrance.
This condition of the country reflect strongly the character of its people.
As agriculturists after intelligent native methods, they are of high order. It is a perfect picture and a revelation to see their farms when in their full wealth of verdure. There is no doubt that when settled conditions arrive the people will raise much produce for other than local markets.
Most tribes have a love for music and a crude knowledge of art, but the Igbo people stands pre-eminent, their innate musical ability manifesting itself in various ways. Many of the Igbo branches adorn their mud-walled houses, wooden doors, shrines, and playgrounds with near modelings, paintings, and carvings of natural objects and geometric designs. The people of the Ugep district, east of the Cross-river, have fine examples of carved tree-trunks and blocks of stone.
Though most natives trade, the principal traveling traders are Hausa and Aros by land-transport; and Lagosians, Jerkris, Brass men, Opobo and Bony Igbos, and Efiks by Canoes.
Iron smelting was largely done before bar-iron was imported. Yorubas still do so at Bode, Ijegun, Iporin, Odo Ogun, etc. The ore is magnetite, occurring in schists in dykes of granite and pegmatite.
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