The West African medieval state of the Nri-Igbo, a subgroup of the Igbo people. The Kingdom of Nri was unusual in the history of world government in that its leader exercised no military power over his subjects. The kingdom existed as a sphere of religious and political influence over a third of Igboland, and was administered by a priest–king called the eze Nri. The eze Nri managed trade and diplomacy on behalf of the Igbo people, and possessed divine authority in religious matters.
The kingdom was a safe heaven for all those who had been rejected in their communities and also a place where slaves were set free from their bondage. Nri expanded through converts gaining neighboring communities’ allegiance, not by force.
One of the better-known remnants of the Nri civilization is its art, as manifested in the Igbo Ukwu bronze items.
Nri’s culture had permanently influenced the Northern and Western Igbo, especially through religion and taboos. British colonialism, the Atlantic slave trade and the rise of Bini and Igala kingdoms, contributed to the decline of the Nri Kingdom