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The small ethnic groups living along the coast, such as the Ijaw and the Kalabari, are forced to keep their villages small due to lack of dry land.Living among creeks, lagoons, and salt marshes makes fishing and the salt trade part of everyday life in the area.
These environmental regions greatly affect the cultures of the people who live there.She referred to the area as Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country's landscape. More than 250 ethnic tribes call present-day Nigeria home.The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (pronounced ee-bo).Other smaller groups include the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Edo.Prior to their conquest by Europeans, these ethnic groups had separate and independent histories.Their grouping together into a single entity known as Nigeria was a construct of their British colonizers.
These various ethnic groups never considered themselves part of the same culture.
Today those who are not ethnic Yorubas or Igbos rarely speak Yoruba or Igbo.
Pidgin, a mix of African languages and English, also is common throughout southern Nigeria.
Though there is archaeological evidence that societies have been living in Nigeria for more than twenty-five hundred years, the borders of modern Nigeria were not created until the British consolidated their colonial power over the area in 1914.
The name Nigeria was suggested by British journalist Flora Shaw in the 1890s.
It is bordered on the west by Benin, on the north by Niger and Chad, and on the east by Cameroon.