20th Century of Nigeria.

Essay by kingsterUniversity, Bachelor's January 2006

download word file, 5 pages 3.4

Nigeria is the fourteenth largest country in Africa, with the largest population of any African nation (Jarrett, Harold Reginald, 1962). Nigeria is a land of great variety. It has hot, rainy swamplands, dry sandy areas, grassy plains, and tropical forests. Most Nigerians earn their living by farming, fishing, or herding. Since the late 1960's, profits from Nigeria's oil industry have brought new wealth to the nation. Nigeria has used this wealth to develop new industry, improve its educational system and modernize its agriculture.

Nigerians widely hold on to their traditional religious African beliefs, in addition to, various branches of Islam, and Christianity, the Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of worship for everyone (Westport, 2003). Approximately 50 percent of the people are Christians, while Indigenous beliefs make up 10 percent. Islam is rooted in the north, and in the 1920's and 1930's they established African versions of Christianity. Traditional religion operates mainly on three levels.

Most ethnic groups have names for their supreme deity that they believe created the universe. Lesser gods and deities are more accessible and act as intermediaries between people and the creator. They possess special powers. Nigerian people build shrines; make sacrifices, and offer prayers and libation to them. At the lowest levels are spirits of the dead both good and evil that has not yet found their rest. Sacred objects represent lesser gods and spirits. Traditional religion has influenced Nigerian crafts, art, music, dance, agriculture, and language.

Most homes in rural Nigeria are made of grass, dried mud, or wood and have roofs of asbestos cement sheets, corrugated metal, or thatch.

In the cities, many Nigerians wear western style clothing, but other city dwellers and most people in rural areas wear traditional clothing. Cheap European make-up and costume jewelry are supplanting traditional cosmetics and ornaments. The former...