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Igbiras

Igbiras, a large and formerly powerful Negro people of the Lower Niger basin dominant in Nupe, that is, the region stretching along the right bank of the Niger from below the Benue confluence north-west to Borgu (lat. 10 N.) and thence southwards to Yorubaland. Here they had founded a powerful kingdom with capital Fanda (Panda), which was overthrown by the Fulahs about the middle of the present century. The Igbiras are now governed by a Fulah emir (" prince"), who is himself a vassal of the Fulah emperor of Gando, and since 1886 included in the British protectorate. The ruins of Fanda are still seen at a spot about 50 miles north-west of Lokoja at the Niger-Benue confluence. The Igbiras are a semi-civilised Negroid people, very industrious and great traders. Since the Fulah conquest many have become Mohammedans and a few Christians, but the bulk of the nation remains pagan, though all sanguinary rites have long been discontinued. The language is closely related to Igarra, and forms with it a branch of a primitive Negro tongue with which Nupe proper, Yoruba, Ewe of Dahomey, and Tshi of the Gold Coast are all fundamentally connected. (Bishop Crowther, Journals.)

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