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The Igbo in the Atlantic World

Comprising a significant percentage of the people exported to the New World through the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Igbo were responsible for the introduction of many elements of their cultures and language into the West Indies. For example, the Abakuá male secret-society of Cuba and the Voudou and Obeah faith systems both trace their origins to Igbo slaves (who, alongside the Efik, introduced Ekpe and Okonko into the Caribbean). In addition, Igbo words and expressions such as 'unu' (you), 'okwuru' (okra), 'poto poto' (dirty), 'soso' (only), and 'di' (is) are found in the Gullah and Jamaican Patois languages.

Places that had large populations of enslaved Igbo men and women include Barbados, Belize, St. Thomas, Hispaniola (Haiti), Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas.



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