1.0 GENERAL BACKGROUND
Koro is the name of the main language, Ija is the name of the town that the speaker of Koro lives. The speakers are known as Ìjà-Kórò, sometimes they are often called Ìjà-Kórò. Majority of the speakers of this language resides at Ija, southern part of Abuja (FCT). The Ìjà-Kórò people are about 900,000 in population (this is from the head count of the year 2000 census population).
Koro as a language that has three dialects: Ìjà-Kórò, Koto-shako and koto-kaffin. Koro-shako and koto-kaffin are spoken in Niger state in a small town called shako and kaffin respectively. But their dialect are not so different from each other both speakers (shako and kaffin) can speak Ìjà-Kórò, only Ìjà-Kórò speakers cannot speak koro-shako and koro kaffin because they are far from them.
Ìjà-Kórò exists with two neighboring tribe Ijagwuari and Bwuari. Therefore Ìjà-Kórò people are multi-lingual; they speak Hausa, Gwuari and Ìjà-Kórò.
1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Ìjà-Kórò people migrated from Zuba as a result of looking for a fertile land for farming, Zuba is the largest town where so many farmers has occupied the land. So koro people moved to Ija in 1814. They settled at Ìjà-Kórò and started farming there till date.
1.2 SOCIO-CULTURAL PROFILE
The Ija koro people like many other tribes have their own unique cultural lifestyle. The Ìjà-Kórò have some unique way of life that are discussed below;
1.2.1 DRESSING MODE OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
Before the intervention of the whites in time past the Ìjà-Kórò people wear leaves and animal skin but after the invention of the white, Ìjà-Kórò people started wearing cloth, meanwhile they are fond of native. Their major mode of dressing now is in native both the men and women.
1.2.2 RELIGION OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
Before the intervention of the white Ìjà-Kórò people were Idol worshippers, but after the invention of the white Christianity and Islamic religion became the religion of the Ìjà-Kórò. But Islamic religion is the dominant religion of the Ìjà-Kórò people.
1.2.3 NAMING CEREMONY OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
In Ìjà-Kórò, like many other place in the world, when a child is born, the naming ceremony commence on the seventh day.
Their naming ceremony is usually a fun filled one or interesting one, the unique thing about their naming ceremony is that the grandfather and the grandmother of the new baby will prepare the food and bush meat for the ceremony, and send some of it to the grandfather and grandmother to the mother of the new baby. The naming ceremony is usually a cultured one, very lively and filled with merriment.
1.2.4 MARRIAGE SYSTEM OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
In Ìjà-Kórò, in time past just like in some other culture too, parent chooses wife for their sons. But now in this jet age the story is different, the man chooses the woman of his choice. After the agreement between the man and the woman to marry each other, the parent of the man will prepare echi (rice) and big cola-nut to give to the bride parent which they will accept. After, the mother of the man will come back at night with the bride price to give to the bride parent and to take bride to her husband’s house.
In Ìjà-Kórò, marriage are done between families, in which the man in family A marry the woman in family B and also the man in family B will marry from family A, it is just like an exchange marriage system. Ìjà-Kórò people do not have a particular age they get married, it all depends on the financial capability of the man and the maturity of the woman.
1.2.5 BURIAL CEREMONY OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
Another unique feature of the cultural profile of the Ìjà-Kórò that must not be left unmentioned is the way burial arrangements are carried out. There is celebrations for Ìjà-Kórò man or woman that dies between the age 50years and above, because they believe they have gone to rest with their God. Therefore there will be eating and drinking for 7 days at the front of the deceased house, there will be beating of drums and celebration for good 4 to 5 days, all these happen after the deceased have been buried. However, if a person dies in the evening the burial will commence the next day, it is after the burial that there is continuous dancing for 4 to 5 days.
Meanwhile if the deceased is below the age of 50 years, there will be no celebration because the person is not of age.
1.2.6 FESTIVALS OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
Ìjà-Kórò people celebrate the common or usual festivals of Ileya and Christmas yearly but they also have their own particular festival which is called ekòo (ekò) in their native language which is done in recognition of the dead. This festival is celebrated every 10years or decade in other to remember their dead especially the eminent people in their land that has gone to meet their ancestors.
Moreover, they also celebrate another festival called Oduti in their language, this festival is done yearly after their harvest from the farm. This festival is done as a result of their harvest from farm to thank God for their blessing.
1.2.7 TRADITIONAL ADMINISTRATION
Before the advent of the white, Ìjà-Kórò like any other communities has a method of administration. Ozáh is the village head and every family has a representative in the governing council of the town. The youth leader bridges the gap between the Ozáh (village head) and the youth in the communities which make communication for them.
If there is problem, the people in the family will report to the head of the family and if the problem continues, the head of the family must report the matter to the Ozáh (village head).
1.2.8 ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
The major occupation of the Ìjà-Kórò people is farming, they have thought, other minor occupation like hunting, trading for woman. Farming still prove to be their major occupation. They farm yam, banana, echi and ejah.
1.2.9 GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF ÌJÀ-KÓRÒ
Ìjà-Kórò is located in the southern of Abuja at Bwari District of Gwuara Local Government Area. Ìjà-Kórò belongs to Niger Congo family. They are located along Niger road, from Niger state, it is just a few kilometers to Abuja.
1.3 GENETIC CLASSIFICATION
Genetic classification of a language could be in form of a tree diagram showing the origin of language and how it is genetically to other language. Ìjà-Kórò belongs to the west platoid under the Benue Congo group of Niger Congo language family.