DEFINITION: Culture can be defined as the total way of life of a particular group of people in a society.

                It is also been described as the entire way a society lives and  is organized.

Culture includes the norms, values, language, custom, religion, social institutions, attitude, music, food, art and technology of a society.

Nigeria has more than 300 ethnic groups and each tribe has its own culture. There are three major ethnic groups in Nigeria (Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo). Yoruba culture is totally different from Hausa and Igbo cultures.

                                                                TYPES OF CULTURE

There are two types of culture

  1. Material culture
  2. Non-material culture


This has to do with the tangible materials a society produces and uses to meet its people’s needs. Material culture will include things like clothing, cooking utensils, houses (shelter), food, arts works and crafts. Examples include hoes, cutlass, knife, spoons etc.

                                                                NON-MATERIAL (INTANGIBLE)

This has to do with the norms, beliefs, values and languages of a particular society. It is the non-physical aspect of a society’s culture. Examples are music, language, religion, literature etc.

                                                COMPONENTS OF CULTURE

  1. DRESSING: Dressing is an essential component of culture which makes a society unique. An individual’s dressing shows where he comes from. It is also used in the identification of a particular society.
  2. LANGUAGE: Nigeria has more than 300 ethnic groups and each has its different languages. In the South West, the common language is Yoruba with different versions or dialects. The same happens among the Ibos in the South East and Hausa in the North.
  3. RELIGION: All tribes in Nigeria have their traditional religions the Yorubas in the South West worship Sango (god of thunder), Ogun (god of iron), Oya (river goddess) and so on. The Igbos and Hausas also have their peculiar gods. Some worship trees or animals like snake, crocodile, alligator etc.
  4. FESTIVALS: The kind of religion or god worshiped in a community dictates the nature of their festivals.
  5. FOOD: Different tribes produce different food items. This mainly depends on their geographical location and climate.  The Igbos produce food items like gaari, yam, rice, plantain, maize etc. the Yorubas produce gaari, yam flour, plantain flour, beans, maize and the tribe in the North produce millet, guinea corn, yam, maize, tomatoes, onions, pepper etc. Therefore what they produce dictates what they eat.


  1. Culture is dynamic: The culture of any society is never static. It changes as the people living in the society change. This is very true of Nigeria culture particularly in the aspect of dressing, music, religion and so on.
  2. Culture is learned: Culture is learned in various ways it could be through participation, observation, imitation and so on. Many schools today have national day or cultural days. On such days children show-case their parents culture through the traditional attire they put on. This is a way of learning culture by participation.
  3. Culture is adaptive: A major characteristic of culture is the ability to adapt. It is possible to temporarily adjust to other people’s culture.
  4. Culture is transmitted: The culture of a society is passed from one generation to the other. The family helps in this regard by teaching the children the language, local foods which makes culture to be continuous.
  5. Culture is common to all societies: There is no society without culture. Each society has its unique and peculiar way of life.
  6. Culture is differ from society to society: No two tribe have exactly the asme culture. There will be areas of differences. The differences may be in the mode of dressing, beliefs, food and so on.


  1. All tribes in Nigeria have their traditional religion which is basically animistic i.e  the worship of non-living things.
  2. All tribes teach their younger ones how to respect elders. This is reflected in greeting and the use of language.
  3. The payment of bride price is common in all Nigerian tribes.
  4. The basic occupation in all Nigeria tribes is farming. Farming activities are carried out using traditional implements such as cutlass and hoe.
  5. Almost all the tribes in Nigeria eat gaari, rice, beans, yam etc in one form or the other.


  1. LANGUAGE- Different culture have different languages and dialects.
  2. DRESSING: While all the cultures’ dressings show decency and modesty, each culture has its modes of dressing.
  3. GREETINGS: There are differences in the ways people in different cultures greet. While the Yorubas believe their men and women should prostrate and kneel down respectively to greet, Ibo people simply shake hands, while most people in the North prefer bowing or bending to greet.
  4. ADORNMENT: An important area of difference among Nigerian cultures is the use of tribal marks. Therefore each culture has different tribal marks which help n identifying the people from such culture.
  5. FOOD: Different cultures have their food items, and the way they prepare and eat them. Pounded yam and egusi soup is peculiar to the Yorubas, akpu and Ogbono soup is common among ibos and Tuwo is common among the Hausas and so on.
  6. MARRIAGE: Different cultures have different ways of conducting their marriage ceremonies and payment of dowries.