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Full List of Nigerian Tribes and Their Origin

Nigeria is a country with over 371 tribes, each with its own unique culture, language, and history. It has a complex and fascinating history that can be traced back to its colonization by the British in 1901. It was split into two protectorates: the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate. The Yoruba tribe, descended from the Oyo Empire, dominates the southwest, while the Igbo people from the Nri Kingdom dominate the southeast. The Hausa and Fulani people, both descendants of various empires, populate most of the north. Although these three tribes are the most prominent, there are over 520 other indigenous groups with their distinct languages and cultures in Nigeria. With a population of approximately 197 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and has an impressive array of diverse cultures and tribes.

To explore the Nigerian tribe’s cultural diversity fully, it’s essential to explore a full list of the over 371 tribes that make up Nigeria’s rich history, which has contributed to its vibrant and unique identity. This blog post aims to provide an inclusive list of these tribes, shedding light on their origins and contributing to a deeper understanding of Nigeria’s cultural heritage.

Starting with the most prominent:

1. The Igbo Tribe

  • Origin: The Igbo people are the southeastern settlers of the Nigeria tribe, with a history deeply rooted in agriculture, trade, and a communal lifestyle. Igbo culture is characterized by vibrant masquerades, rich folklore, and a strong sense of community.

The Igbo people constitute a significant ethnic group in Nigeria, primarily residing in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo States. As one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, they possess a distinct cultural identity and a history marked by political and cultural challenges. The Igbo language, belonging to the Niger-Congo language family, includes regional dialects that exhibit mutual intelligibility within the broader “Igboid” cluster.

Before British colonial rule in the 20th century, the Igbo experienced political fragmentation under centralized chiefdoms such as Nri, Aro Confederacy, Agbor, and Onitsha. The colonial era saw widespread Christianization of the Igbo people through missionary activities, significantly shaping their religious landscape. Post-colonization and the subsequent decolonization period fostered a strengthened sense of Igbo ethnic identity.

The aftermath of Nigeria’s independence in 1960 witnessed ethnic tensions, leading to the secession of the predominantly Igbo region from Nigeria in an attempt to establish the independent state of Biafra. This move triggered the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970). During the conflict, millions of Biafran civilians faced starvation due to a Nigerian military blockade, an event portrayed by international media as a humanitarian crisis and alleged genocide. Ultimately, Biafra was defeated and reintegrated into Nigeria.


In the post-1999 era, two sectarian organizations, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra and the Indigenous People of Biafra, emerged. These groups advocate for an independent Igbo state through non-violent means, continuing the historical struggle for self-determination.

2. The Yoruba Tribe

  • Origin: The Yoruba people trace their roots to the ancient city of Ile-Ife, believed to be the cradle of Yoruba civilization. Rich in history and mythology, the Yoruba have a significant impact on Nigeria’s cultural development.

The Yoruba, an ethnic group primarily situated in southwestern Nigeria and extending into parts of Benin, Togo, and other West African nations, are among Nigeria’s largest and most influential ethnic communities, alongside the Hausa and Igbo. The Yoruba population is estimated at around 40 million, with some residing in the Caribbean and Brazil. Possessing a diverse culture, language, and history, the Yoruba people commemorate various festivals and events.

The Yoruba religion encompasses the traditional spiritual beliefs and practices of this ethnic group, rooted in Southwestern Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, collectively known as Yorubaland. Initially an oral tradition, Yoruba culture is expressed through their native language, spoken by approximately 30 million people as of 2010.

Internationally recognized for their trade interactions with the Portuguese, who exchanged guns with them, the Yoruba people gained prominence. In the early 1800s, they faced invasion by the Fulani, prompting a southward migration. Towards the end of the 19th century, a treaty was established between the Yoruba and the British Empire, leading to British colonization starting in 1901.

4. The Hausa Tribe

  • Origin: The Hausa people predominantly inhabit the northern regions of Nigeria. With a history dating back to ancient kingdoms, the Hausa have a rich cultural heritage, including intricate architecture and traditional arts.

The Hausa people, one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups, predominantly inhabit the northwestern region of Nigeria and southern Niger. Their language, Hausa, belongs to the Chadic group of the Afro-Asiatic family and reflects significant Arabic influence due to Islamic expansion during the late 14th century, shaping Hausa beliefs and customs. The Hausa society historically operated on a feudal structure, with emirs governing states and surrounded by titled officeholders managing villages as fiefs.

During the pre-colonial era, the Hausa political system was centralized, with emirs holding substantial power. This centralized structure facilitated the success of the Indirect Rule System during the British colonial period in Northern Nigeria. The economy thrived on intensive cultivation of crops like sorghum, maize, and millet, supported by Fulani cattle manure. Craft specializations such as leatherworking, weaving, and silversmithing emerged, contributing to a diverse range of products traded extensively in local markets.

The colonial era saw the establishment of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1900, encompassing the Hausa states. The British introduced the Indirect Rule System, allowing emirs to retain authority while providing protection and collecting taxes. Post-independence, the Hausa people have remained influential in Nigerian politics and society.


5. Niger Delta Tribes

a. Ijaw

  • Origin: The Ijaw people are indigenous to the Niger Delta region, known for their fishing and trading prowess. The Ijaw have a unique cultural identity, expressed through traditional festivals and ceremonies.

b. Ogoni

  • Origin: The Ogoni people reside in the Niger Delta and have a rich cultural heritage. They are recognized for their environmental activism and commitment to preserving their natural resources.

6. Middle Belt Tribes

a. Tiv

  • Origin: The Tiv people are prominent in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria. Renowned for their agricultural practices, the Tiv have a strong sense of community and cultural pride.

b. Nupe

  • Origin: The Nupe people, situated in the Middle Belt, have a history shaped by trade and commerce. Known for their traditional wrestling festivals, the Nupe celebrate their cultural identity with vibrant ceremonies.

Full List of 371 Tribes and Their Origins

Number Name of Ethnic Group State(s)
1 Abayon Cross River State
2 Abua (Odual) Rivers State
3 Achipa (Achipawa) Kebbi State
4 Adara (Kadara) Kaduna State, Niger State
5 Affade Yobe State
6 Afizere Plateau State
7 Afo (Eloyi) Nasarawa State
8 Agbo Cross River State
9 Akaju-Ndem (Akajuk) Cross River State
10 Akweya-Yachi Benue State
11 Alago (Arago) Nasarawa State
12 Amo Plateau State
13 Anaguta Plateau State
14 Anang Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State
15 Andoni Akwa Ibom State, Rivers State
16 Ankwei Plateau State
17 Anyima Cross River State
18 Atyap (Kataf/Katab, Attakar, Kagoro, Kafanchan, Marwa/Manchok) Kaduna State
19 Auyoka (Sub-Hausa) Jigawa State
20 Awori Lagos State, Ogun State
21 Ayu Kaduna State
22 Bura-Pabir Adamawa State, Borno State, Yobe State
23 Bachama Adamawa State
24 Bachere Cross River State
25 Bada Plateau State
26 Bade Yobe State
27 Bahumono Cross River State
28 Bakulung Taraba State
29 Bali Taraba State
30 Bambora (Bambarawa) Bauchi State
31 Bambuko Taraba State
32 Bajju (Kaje, Kajji) Kaduna State
33 Banda (Bandawa) Taraba State
34 Banka (Bankalawa) Bauchi State
35 Banso (Panso) Adamawa State
36 Bara (Barawa) Bauchi State
37 Barke Bauchi State
38 Baruba (Batonu) Kwara State, Niger State
39 Bashiri (Bashirawa) Plateau State
40 Bassa Kaduna State, Kogi State, Niger State, Plateau State
41 Batta Adamawa State
42 Baushi Niger State
43 Baya Adamawa State
44 Bekwarra Cross River
45 Bele (Buli, Belewa) Bauchi State
46 Berom (Birom) Plateau State
47 Betso (Bete) Taraba State
48 Bette Cross River State
49 Bilei Adamawa State
50 Bille Rivers State
51 Bina (Binawa) Kaduna State
52 Bini (Edo) Edo State
53 Bobua Taraba State
54 Boki (Nki) Cross River State
55 Bokkos Plateau State
56 Boko (Bussawa, Bargawa) Niger State
57 Bole (Bolewa) Bauchi State, Gombe State, Yobe State
58 Botlere Adamawa State
59 Boma (Bomawa, Burmano) Bauchi State
60 Bomboro Bauchi State
61 Buduma Borno State
62 Buji Plateau State
63 Buli Bauchi State
64 Bunu Kogi State
65 Bura-Pabir Adamawa State, Borno State, Yobe State
66 Burak Bauchi State
67 Burma (Burmawa) Plateau State
68 Buru Yobe State
69 Buta (Butawa) Bauchi State
70 Bwall Plateau State
71 Bwatiye Adamawa State
72 Bwazza Adamawa State
73 Challa Plateau State
74 Chama (Chamawa Fitilai) Bauchi State
75 Chamba Taraba State
76 Chamo Bauchi State
77 Chibok (Kibaku people) Borno State, Yobe State
78 Chinine Borno State
79 Chip Plateau State
80 Chokobo Plateau State
81 Chukkol Taraba State
82 Daba Adamawa State
83 Dadiya Bauchi State
84 Daka Adamawa State
85 Dakarkari Kebbi State, Niger State
86 Danda (Dandawa) Kebbi State
87 Dangsa Taraba State
88 Daza (Dere, Derewa) Bauchi State
89 Deno (Denawa) Bauchi State
90 Dghwede Borno State
91 Diba Taraba State
92 Doemak (Dumuk) Plateau State
93 Ouguri Bauchi State
94 Duka (Dukawa) Kebbi State
95 Dundudun (Dunka) Taraba State
96 Duma (Dumawa) Bauchi State
97 Ebana (Ebani) Rivers State
98 Ebira Edo State, Kogi State, Ondo State
99 Ebu Edo State, Kogi State
100 Efik Cross River State
101 Egbema Rivers State
102 Egede (Igede) Benue State, Cross River State
103 Eggon Nasarawa State
104 Egun (Gu) Lagos State, Ogun State
105 Ejagham Cross River State
106 Ekajuk Cross River State
107 Eket Akwa Ibom
108 Ekoi Cross River State
109 Ekpeye Rivers State
110 Engenni (Ngene) Rivers State
111 Epie Bayelsa State
112 Esan (Ishan) Edo State
113 Esit Ekid Akwa Ibom State
114 Etche Rivers State
115 Etolu (Etilo) Benue State
116 Etsako Edo State
117 Etung Cross River State
118 Etuno Edo State
119 Palli Adamawa State
120 Fulani (Fulbe) Adamawa State, Bauchi State, Borno State, Gombe State, Jigawa State, Kaduna State, Kano State, Katsina State, Kebbi State, Kwara State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Yobe State, Zamfara State
121 Fyam (Fyem) Plateau State
122 Fyer (Fer) Plateau State
123 Ga’anda Adamawa State
124 Gade people Niger State Nasarawa State
125 Galambi Bauchi State
126 Gamergu-Mulgwa Borno State
127 Ganawuri Plateau State
128 Gavako Borno State
129 Gbedde Kogi State
130 Gengle Taraba State
131 Geji Bauchi State
132 Gera (Gere, Gerawa) Bauchi State
133 Geruma (Gerumawa) Plateau State
134 Gingwak Bauchi State
135 Gira Adamawa State
136 Gizigz Adamawa State
137 Goemai Plateau State
138 Gokana (Kana) Rivers State
139 Gombi Adamawa State
140 Gornun (Gmun) Taraba State
141 Gonia Taraba State
142 Gubi (Gubawa) Bauchi State
143 Gude Adamawa State
144 Gudu Adamawa State
145 Gure Kaduna State
146 Gurmana Niger State
147 Gururntum Bauchi State
148 Gusu Plateau State
149 Gwa (Gurawa) Adamawa State
150 Gwamba Adamawa State
151 Gwandara Kaduna State, Niger State, Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa State
152 Gwari (Gbagyi) Kaduna State, Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Nasarawa State, Niger State, Kogi State
153 Gwong (Kagoma) Kaduna State
154 Gwom Taraba State
155 Gwoza (Waha) Borno State
156 Gyem Bauchi State
157 Ham (Hyam, Jaba, Jabba) Kaduna State
158 Hausa Bauchi State, Jigawa State, Kaduna State, Kano State, Katsina State, Kebbi State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Gombe State, Yobe State, Zamfara State
159 Holma Adamawa State
160 Hona Adamawa State
161 Ibani Rivers State
162 Ibeno Akwa Ibom State
163 Ibibio Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State
164 Ichen Adamawa State
165 Idoma Benue State, Cross River State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State
166 Igala Kogi State
167 Igbo Abia State, Anambra State, Delta State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State, Imo State, Rivers State
168 Igede Benue state, Cross River State
169 Ijumu Kogi State
170 Ika Delta State, Edo State
171 Ikom Cross River State
172 Ikwerre Rivers State
173 Irigwe Plateau State
174 Iman Akwa Ibom State
175 Isoko Delta State, Bayelsa State
176 Itsekiri (Isekiri) Delta State
177 Itu Akwa Ibom State
178 Itu Mbio Uso Akwa Ibom State
179 Iyala (Iyalla) Cross River State
180 Izon (Ijaw) Bayelsa State, Delta State, Edo State, Ondo State, Rivers State
181 Jahuna (Jahunawa) Taraba State
182 Jaku Bauchi State
183 Jara (Jaar Jarawa Jarawa-Dutse) Bauchi State
184 Jere (Jare, Jera, Jera, Jerawa) Bauchi State, Plateau State
185 Jero Taraba State
186 Jibu Adamawa State
187 Jidda-Abu Plateau State
188 Jimbin (Jimbinawa) Bauchi State
189 Jipal Plateau State
190 Jirai Adamawa State
191 Joinkrama Rivers State
192 Jonjo (Jenjo) Taraba State
193 Jukun Bauchi State, Benue State, Plateau State, Taraba State
194 Kaba (Kabawa) Taraba State
195 Kalabari Rivers State
196 Kajuru (Kajurawa) Kaduna State
197 Kaka Adamawa State
198 Kamaku (Karnukawa) Kaduna State, Kebbi State, Niger State
199 Kambari Kebbi State, Niger State
200 Kambu Adamawa State
201 Kamwe Adamawa State and Borno State (Republic of Cameroon)
202 Kanakuru (Dera) Adamawa State, Borno State
203 Kanembu Borno State
204 Kanikon Kaduna State
205 Kantana Plateau State
206 Kanuri Adamawa State, Borno State, Taraba State, Yobe State, Nasarawa state.
207 Karekare (Karaikarai) Bauchi State, Yobe State
208 Karimjo Taraba State
209 Kariya Bauchi State
210 Ke Rivers State
211 Kenern (Koenoem) Plateau State
212 Kenton Taraba State
213 Kiballo (Kiwollo) Kaduna State
214 Kilba Adamawa State
215 Kirfi (Kirfawa) Bauchi State
216 Kodei Taraba State
217 Kona Taraba State
218 Kono Kaduna State
219 Koro (Kwaro) Kaduna State, Niger State
220 Kubi (Kubawa) Bauchi State
221 Kudachano (Kudawa) Bauchi State
222 Kugama Taraba State
223 Kugbo Rivers State
224 Kulere (Kaler) Plateau State
225 Kunini Taraba State
226 Kurama (Akurmi) Kaduna State, Jigawa State
227 Kurdul Adamawa State
228 Kushi Bauchi State
229 Kuteb Taraba State
230 Kutin Taraba State
231 Kwalla Plateau State
232 Kwami (Kwom) Bauchi State
233 Kwanchi Taraba State
234 Kadung Bauchi State, Plateau State
235 Kwaro Plateau State
236 Kwato Plateau State
237 Kyenga (Kengawa) Kebbi State
238 Laaru (Larawa) Niger State
239 Lakka Adamawa State
240 Lala Adamawa State
241 Lama Taraba State
242 Lamja Taraba State
243 Lau Taraba State
244 Limono Bauchi State, Plateau State
245 Lopa (Lupa, Lopawa) Niger State
246 Longuda (Lunguda) Adamawa State, Bauchi State
247 Mabo Plateau State
248 Mada Kaduna State, Plateau State
249 Mama Plateau State
250 Mambilla Adamawa State
251 Mandara (Wandala) Borno State
252 Manga (Mangawa) Yobe State
253 Margi (Marghi) Adamawa State, Borno State
254 Mafa (Mofa) Adamawa State, Borno State
255 Mbembe Cross River State, Enugu State
256 Mbol Adamawa State
257 Mbube Cross River State
258 Mbula Adamawa State
259 Mbum Taraba State
260 Memyang (Meryan) Plateau State
261 Milighili (Mighili) Plateau State
262 Miya (Miyawa) Bauchi State
263 Mobber Borno State
264 Montol Plateau State
265 Moruwa (Moro’a, Morwa) Kaduna State
266 Muchaila Adamawa State
267 Mumuye Taraba State
268 Mundang Adamawa State
269 Munga (Lelau) Taraba State
270 Munga (Mupang) Plateau State
271 Mupun Plateau State
272 Mushere Plateau State
273 Mwahavul (Mwaghavul) Plateau State
274 Ndoro Taraba State
275 Ngas (Angas) Plateau State, Bauchi State
276 Ngizim Yobe State
277 Ngweshe (Ndhang.Ngoshe-Ndhang) Adamawa State, Borno State
278 Nyiffon Benue State
279 Ningi (Ningawa) Bauchi State
280 Ninzam (Ninzo) Kaduna State, Plateau State
281 Njayi Adamawa State
282 Nkim Cross River State
283 Nkum Cross River State
284 Nokere (Nakere) Plateau State
285 Nunku Kaduna State, Plateau State
286 Nupe Kogi State, Kwara State, Niger State
287 Nyam Taraba State
288 Nyandang Taraba State
289 Obolo Rivers State, Akwa Ibom
290 Ododop Cross River
291 Ogori Kogi State
292 Ogoni Akwa Ibom State, Rivers State
293 Ogba Rivers State
294 Okobo (Okkobor) Akwa Ibom State
295 Okirika Rivers State
296 Okpamheri Edo State
297 Olukumi Delta State
298 Oron Akwa Ibom State
299 Cross River State
300 Ososo Edo State
301 Owan Edo State
302 Owe Kogi State
303 Oworo Kogi State
304 Pa’a (Pa’awa Afawa) Bauchi State
305 Pai Plateau State
306 Panyam Taraba State
307 Pero Bauchi State
308 Pire Adamawa State
309 Pkanzom Taraba State
310 Poll Taraba State
311 Polchi Habe Bauchi State
312 Pongo (Pongu) Niger State
313 Potopo Taraba State
314 Pyapun (Piapung) Plateau State
315 Qua Cross River State
316 Rebina (Rebinawa) Bauchi State
317 Reshe Kebbi State, Niger State
318 Rindire (Rendre) Plateau State
319 Rishuwa Kaduna State
320 Ron Plateau State
321 Rubu Niger State
322 Rukuba Plateau State
323 Rumada Kaduna State
324 Rumaya Kaduna State
325 Sakbe Taraba State
326 Sanga Bauchi State
327 Sate Taraba State
328 Saya (Sayawa Za’ar) Bauchi State, Kaduna State, Plateau State
329 Segidi (Sigidawa) Bauchi State
330 Shanga (Shangawa) Kebbi State
331 Shangawa (ShanKadunagau) Plateau State
332 Shan-Shan Plateau State
333 Shira (Shira ) Bauchi State
334 Shomo Taraba State
335 Shuwa (Baggara Arabs) Adamawa State, Borno State, Kaduna State, Yobe State
336 Sikdi Plateau State
337 Siri (Sirawa) Bauchi State
338 Srubu (Surubu) Kaduna State
339 Sukur Adamawa State
340 Sura Plateau State
341 Tangale Gombe State
342 Tarok (Yergam) Plateau State, Taraba State, Nasarawa State
343 Teme Adamawa State
344 Tera (Terawa) Bauchi State, Borno State
345 Teshena (Teshenawa) Kano State
346 Tigon Taraba State
347 Tikar Taraba State
348 Tiv Benue State, FCT, Nasarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Taraba State
349 Tula Gombe State
350 Tur Adamawa State
351 Ubbo Adamawa State
352 Udekeama Rivers State
353 Ufia Benue State
354 Ukelle Cross River State, Ebonyi state, Benue state
355 Ukwani (Kwale) Delta State
356 Uncinda Kaduna State, Kebbi State, Niger State,
357 Uneme (Ineme) Edo State
358 Ura (Ula) Niger State
359 Urhobo Delta State, Bayelsa State
360 Utonkong Benue State
361 Uwanno (Weppa-Wanno) Edo State
362 Uyanga Cross River State
363 Vemgo Adamawa State
364 Verre Adamawa State
365 Vommi Taraba State
366 Wagga Adamawa State
367 Waja Bauchi State
368 Waka Taraba State
369 Warja (Warja) Bauchi State
370 Warji Bauchi State
371 Wurbo Adamawa State
372 Wurkun Taraba State
373 Yache Cross River State
374 Yagba Kogi State
375 Yakurr (Yako) Cross River State
376 Yalla Benue State
377 Yandang Adamawa State, Taraba State
378 Yoruba Ekiti State, Kogi State, Kwara State, Lagos State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun State, Oyo State


379 Yott Taraba State
380 Yumu Niger State
381 Yungur Adamawa State
382 Yuom Plateau State
383 Zabara Niger State
384 Zaranda Bauchi State
385 Zarma (Zarmawa) Kebbi State
386 Zayam (Zeam) Bauchi State
387 Zul (Zulawa) Bauchi State

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