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EVIDENCE OF PORTUGUESE, DUTCH , FRENCH AND ENGLISH CONTACT WITH IJAW PEOPLE.
The portuguese named all the rivers and creeks in the Niger delta ( Ijaw territory ) such as
Forcados, Santa Barbara, Sombrero , Rio Real
A typical Portuguese settlement was named Fouche. Fouche is the Kalabari Ijaw town called Ifoko today , The Village of Forcados..
Portuguese words are today part of the Ijaw language as spoken by modern Ijaw.. Ijaw towns are arranged in ancient Portuguse fashion where the town is divided into segments called POLO ( From where the word Metro-Poli was derived ) . Each Polo is an Open square surrounded by Family homes with a central Family central building . Polos are linked to each other by Alleys and major roads.
In the Dutch era by the 16th- 17th century Ijaw people started to develop the European creole which became the Berbice Dutch creole..
When the French came to kick the Dutch out, Berbice creole mixed with French became the French/ Dutch/ Ijaw mixed creole language which gave birth to the Haitian creole ( Haitian creole has few Ijaw words even as at now )
When the English came in the 17th century, Mixture of English and Portuguese / Dutch/ Ijaw became the Pidgin English ..
The traditional attire of the Ijaws today is a very big example of Portuguese influence . The big flowing gown worn by Men is called DON because in those days it was worn only by the chief of a family when the chief was called DON.. Chief is the English word that replaced the word Don but the attire continued to be called DON..
Published by Ernest my Ijaw brother ..
"Forçados is a small town in Burutu LGA of Delta State, Nigeria. It is most noted for the Forcados River which is a major navigable channel of the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria. The river start about 20 miles (32 km) downstream from Aboh and flows through zones of freshwater swamps, mangrove swamps, and coastal sand ridges before completing its 123 miles (198 km) course to the Bight of Benin. History reveals that Forcados and neighbouring Burutu played significant role in slave trade era. The Portuguese built a slave dungeon in 1475 where slaves were kept before exported to Europe and America. The Forcados slave wharf is one of the longest in Africa built by the Portuguese in 1472 and Renovated by Royal Niger Company in 1886 when they took over the town. The Royal Niger Company built a prison in 1887 and it was the first in West Africa. The famous Forcados sea wall was built in 1616 by the Portuguese to protect their houses which were threatened by flood then. The Portuguese also built a windmill in 1472. The abandoned Burutu sea port was built by the Royal Niger Company in 1887, the first modern sea port in Africa.
The Forcados Infectious Diseases General Hospital was the first in Nigeria and West Africa built in 1890. According to lay down history newly trained medical personnel from abroad began their first medical work in Forcados, the hospital still functions partially,renovated by Delta State government.
All the structures discussed are just a few of the structures built by the portuguese and the British that settled in Forcados and Burutu to do business. The structures discussed above and many more are still visible, but are fast decaying away due to lack of maintenance by the government.
Forcados was the administrative headquarters that hosted the Portuguese and played a vital role in the colonial nigeria era The community has a total human population of approximately 2000 inhabitants predominantly Ijaws with fishing as their main source of livelihood."-Wikipedia
Jonathan Adagogo Green The Ijaw man from Ibani kingdom who photographed the Portriat of the Oba of Benin taken into exile .. Bulk of the soldiers used by the British to capture the Oba were from Bonny Ijaw land ..