The Historical Background of Igwe Kingship In Igboland


Igwe Kingship is a traditional system of leadership found in Igboland, which is the southeastern region of Nigeria. The Igwe is the highest traditional ruler in the Igbo community, and he is responsible for maintaining peace and order, settling disputes, and promoting the well-being of his people.

The history of Igwe Kingship dates back to the pre-colonial era when the Igbo people had a decentralized system of governance. Each village or community had its own autonomous leadership structure, which was often headed by a council of elders or a monarch. These monarchs were primarily responsible for maintaining order and settling disputes within their respective communities.

With the arrival of European colonialists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Igbo people were exposed to new ideas and concepts of governance. The colonial authorities recognized the traditional rulers as important intermediaries between the colonial administration and the Igbo people. They, therefore, formalized and recognized the traditional leadership structures, including the Igwe Kingship, as legitimate sources of authority in the region.

Today, the Igwe Kingship is a cherished part of Igbo culture, and many communities still maintain this traditional system of governance. The Igwe is highly respected and revered, and his authority is recognized not only within his community but also among neighboring communities. The Igwe is also expected to be a custodian of the customs and traditions of his people and to promote their cultural heritage.

In conclusion, the Igwe Kingship has a rich historical background that spans several centuries. It is an important part of Igbo culture and is still highly regarded today as a symbol of traditional leadership and authority.