As a multi-ethnic nation, Nigeria encompasses diverse ethnic backgrounds. And since ethnic diversity creates avenues for many other differences, it is never a surprising event that almost every Nigerian tribe has its specific name for God, which brought the topic of Nigerian tribes and their names for God.
In general religious beliefs, and probably in some other doctrines, God is regarded as the Supreme Being who created the world and everything that exists within it. Since many people from diverse cultural backgrounds understand that there exists this Supreme Being, there is a tendency for them to attribute different names to Him.
Without digressing any further, let’s view the names of God in different languages in Nigeria in relation to the major ethnic groups how this causes different Nigerian tribes to have various names for identifying God. For an immense time, this country has maintained its cultural diversity in spite of the dominant influence of the Western culture brought upon it by the English people. Although many tribes are reported to have plunged into extinction, some of the existing ones remain dominant and for years, we have continued to distinguish three large groups as the most influential Nigerian ethnic groups. Meanwhile, the three ethnic groups are notably Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.
Generally speaking, humans are created to speak through diverse tongues and since this remains a factual phenomenon, different languages definitely have specific names for God. Gradually, this concept takes us to the realization of various Nigerian tribes according to the names they give to God.
Traditionally and on factual grounds, the name given to God by each tribe or language has an underlying meaning, usually regarding the magnificence of God. As a matter of fact, this concept is very common to various tribes and regarding that, the Igbo’s take advantage of the title “Chukwu’’ to identify that God is the first being and the originator of all that exists. In other cases, some ethnic groups try to describe the mightiness of God through the names they attribute to Him. By way of giving an example, the Yoruba’s call God “Olodumare’’ which underlies the fact that God is forever mighty in every circumstance.
Through this post, we have decided to familiarize many people with the diverse names given to God by various Nigerian ethnic groups.
NIGERIAN TRIBES AND THEIR NAMES FOR GOD (Different Languages)
Names of God In Hausa Language
Starting with the most populous tribe –Hausa, there is a strong emphasis on the supremacy of God regarding how Hausa praises God’s name. By reason of this, many Hausas call God “Ubangigi’’ which semantically transforms into English as “the only supreme being’’.
Names Of God In Yoruba Langauge
Yoruba is a tribe that forms part of Nigeria’s largest ethnic background. The largest portion of Yoruba indigenes lives within the South-Western region of Nigeria. As an attributable fact to how the Yoruba people magnify God’s name, they call him “Olodumare’’ which can be translated as “the Almighty or the mightiest being’’ Or “Olorun”
Names Of God In Igbo Language
Igbo is another influential Nigerian tribe with most of its natives originating in the Eastern region of Nigeria. Due to the flair many Igbo’s have for Christianity, they sing praises in honour of God and regard him as “Chukwu’’, which translates into “the first force that precedes every other existing force/being’’. To also emphasize how Igbo’s greatly admire the title “Chukwu’’, many Igbo males have been named after it and for that, we have Igbo’s bearing “Chukwuma’’, “Chukwudi’’ and lots more.
Furthermore, Igbo’s attribute many other special names to God, and in this respect, “Chineke’’ turns out to be another prominent name attributed to God.
Edo is well known for the semantic features which distinguish its language from either of Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa. Some Nigerians believe the Edo language must have stemmed from Yoruba, probably because of the likely similarities in the names they give to objects, several historical facts still identify Edo as very distinct from Yoruba.
As regards the reverence Edo indigenes have for God, they call Him “Osanobwa’’ which is literally understood as “the mighty being who gives sustenance to the entire world’’
Names Of God In Efik / Ibibio
The Efik cum Ibibio ethnicity forms one of the most influential minority groups in Nigeria’s ethnic hierarchy. Many Ibibio and Efik indigenes have spread across the several Igbo States but in point of fact these people are believed to have originated in the South-South –one of Nigeria’s six geo-political zones
Since historical facts show that Nigeria is blessed with numerous tribes but with only a few of them regarded as influential, it isn’t a stunning outcome that Berom appears on this list.
Birom is undeniably part of Nigeria’s ethnic groups and as observed among natives of the ethnicity, God is usually termed “Dangwi’’ which translates as “the eternal source of existence’’
List Of Names Of God In Different Languages In Nigeria
- Hausa – Ubangidi
- Yoruba – Olorun, Olodumare
- Igbo – Chukwu, Chineke
- Fulani – Geno
- Edo – Osanobwa
- Ibibio/ Efik – Osa-Nudazi
- Birom – Dangwi
That’s all on Nigerian tribes and their names for God, kindly share with us in the comment box your tribe’s name for God, if not on this list.