Among the several tribes and ethnic groups in Benue state, Nigeria, some prominent tribes are taken in high esteem. We pictured those Benue state traditional attires to integrate the peoples with their cultures and traditions.
Benue State is located in the North Central geopolitical zone in Nigeria. The top ten ethnic groups in Benue State are Tiv, Idoma, Igede, Etulo, Abakpa, Akweya, Jukun, Hausa, Igbo, and Nyifon. The Tiv people are the largest tribe in Benue state occupying 14 local government areas. After the Tivs comes Etulo and Jukun, while the Idoma, Igede, Akweya, Igbo, and Nyifon occupy nine other LGAs.
Traditional Attire Of Benue People
1. Tiv People
The Tiv people or Takuruku are natives of 14 Local Government Areas in Benue state. These include Ala, Buruku, Gboko, Gwer East, Gwer west, Katsina Guma, Konshisha, Kwande, Logo, Makurdi, Tarkaa, Ukum, Ushongo, Vandeikya LGAs.Tiv households are also found in Nassarawa, Plateau, Cross River and the Taraba States in Nigeria. They also live in anglophone Cameroon regions.
Some notable Tiv people include Samuel Ortom – the Current Benue State Governor, James Ayatse – Tor-Tiv (Current traditional Ruler of the Tiv people), and Joseph Tarka (late) – an impactful politician and human rights activist in Benue state.
2. Idoma People
The Idoma people primarily inhabit the lower western areas of Benue State, Nigeria. They can also be found in Cross Rivers State, Enugu State, Kogi State and Nasarawa State in Nigeria.
The traditional ruler of the Idoma people is called the Och’Idoma. He also heads the Idoma Area Traditional Council. Each community in Idoma land has its traditional chief. The Palace of the Och’Idoma is located at Otukpo, Benue State. The present Och’Idoma who is also the 5th Och’Idoma of the Idoma People is HRM, Elaigwu Odogbo John. He succeeded HRH Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa (who ruled from 1996 to October 2021) as the Och’Idoma on 30th June 2022.
3. Igede Culture
The Igede people like the Idomas reside in the lower Benue State of Nigeria. They reside in the Oju and Obi local government areas of Benue State. However, they are dispersed all across Nigeria. Igede language is spoken in some communities in Cross Rivers State, Osun State, and Ogun State, Nigeria.
The Igede people have a cultural festival known as the Igede-Agba festival. This annual celebration marks the yam harvest season of the year and is usually celebrated in September.
Traditional Colours of Etulo People – Black and White
Etulo (Utur, Turumawa) is an Idomoid language spoken in Katsina-Ala LGA, Benue State and Wukari LGA, Taraba State, Nigeria. However, the language is indigenous to Benue State.
Abakpa is a province in Ohimini Local Government Area, Benue State.
6. Akweya (Akpa/Yachi People/Adankari)
The Akweya ethnic group also known as the “sons of Akwu” are from the Akpa District of Otukpo LGA, Benue. Akweya people are also found in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River state and Plateau state.
Jukun (Njikum) people reside around the upper Benue River in Nigeria. They are believed to be descendants of the Kororofa people, a very powerful Sudanic kingdom in the late European Middle Ages. Asides from Benue state, the Jukuns live in Nasarawa, Plateau, and Taraba.
Nyifon (Iordaa) is a Jukunoid language in Buruku LGA, Benue State, Nigeria.
Other Benue State Traditional Attires
The following are some other languages and tribes resident in Benue State that needs mention: