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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.
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.
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).
Nigeria has three main environmental regions: savanna, tropical forests, and coastal wetlands.
These environmental regions greatly affect the cultures of the people who live there.
Hausa is the oldest known written language in West Africa, dating back to before 1000 The dominant indigenous languages of the south are Yoruba and Igbo.
The Niger and Benue Rivers come together in the center of the country, creating a "Y" that splits Nigeria into three separate sections.
In general, this "Y" marks the boundaries of the three major ethnic groups, with the Hausa in the north, the Yoruba in the southwest, and the Igbo in the southeast.
This general lack of Nigerian nationalism coupled with an ever-changing and often ethnically biased national leadership, have led to severe internal ethnic conflicts and a civil war.
Today bloody confrontations between or among members of different ethnic groups continue. Nigeria is in West Africa, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and just north of the equator.
Today it is often used in ethnically mixed urban areas as a common form of communication among people who have not had formal education in English. Because there is little feeling of national unity among Nigeria's people, there is little in terms of national symbolism.