The Igbo States
The Onitsha Kingdom, which was originally inhabited by Igbos, was founded in the 16th century by migrants from Benin. Later groups like the Igalas and Igbo traders from the hinterland settled in Onitsha in the 18nth century. Another Igbo kingdom to form was the Arochukwu kingdom which emerged after the Aro-Ibibio wars from 1630-1720, and went on to form the Aro Confederacy which dominated midwestern and eastern Nigeria with pockets of influence in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.
Igbo gods, like those of the Yoruba, were numerous, but their relationship to one another and human beings was essentially egalitarian, reflecting Igbo society as a whole. A number of oracles and local cults attracted devotees while the central deity, the earth mother and fertility figure Ala, was venerated at shrines throughout Igboland.
The weakness of a popular theory that Igbos were stateless rests on the paucity of historical evidence of pre-colonial Igbo society. There is a huge gap between the archaeological finds of Igbo Ukwu, which reveal a rich material culture in the heart of the Igbo region in the 8th century, and the oral traditions of the 20th century. Benin exercised considerable influence on the western Igbo who adopted many of the political structures familiar to the Yoruba-Benin region. Ofega was the queen.