Benue state is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria.
It has a population of
4,253,641 as at the 2006 population census.
The capital is Makurdi.
state is known as the food basket of the nation because it is rich in
agriculture. It was
named after the Benue River.
like most Nigerian
states is multi-ethnic . Below are the major tribes in Benue


The Tiv are
one of the
largest tribes
in Nigeria and the largest in Benue
state. It is believed that Takurudu is the founding father of the Tiv. Takurudu had ten children who make up the direct
descendants of the Tiv people.
The Tiv people have a unique dressing pattern of black and
white stripes worn by both their male and female. This popular cloth material
is known as anger by the Tiv people.
The Tiv people are also known as weavers, a craft which has been passed from
generation to generation. The Tiv people also have a unique set of musical
instruments. Tiv people in Benue state are estimated to be up to 3 million.


The Idoma people are found in the lower western parts of
Benue state. The history of the Idoma people is passed through oral tradition
and dance. Young Idoma children learn about their culture and tradition from
their parents or elders.
Iduh is regarded as the father of all Idoma groups. Iduh’s
children form the groups which the Idoma people are divided into. It is also
widely believed among the Idoma people that their ancestral homeland is Apa.
The Idoma tribe being the second largest tribe in the state
occupies nine LGAs of the state which include Otukpo, Apa, Ado, Ohimini, Agatu,
Okpokwu, Obi, Oju and Ogbadibo.
The Idomas have the same pattern of traditional attires as
the Tivs but the colour of their attires is red and black.
Majority of the Idoma people are Christians with a very
limited number of Muslim. There are however some Idomas that still practice their traditional


Many people outside Benue state thinks the Igede is the same
with Idoma. Igede is however a
tribe separate from the Idoma tribe. They are the third largest tribe in
Benue state. The Igede people can be found in Obi and Oju LGAs of Benue state. The
native language of the Igede people is called Worku and it has 373,000
native speakers.
The Igede people believe in the Supreme Being Akpang which they copied from somewhere
in Cameroun. The Ad’Utu is the name of the traditional ruler of Igede tribe.


The Akweya-Yachi people
are the occupants of Akpa districts of Otukpo LGA of Benue state. They are
sub-tribe under the Idoma tribe. Their culture and belief is like that of the
Idoma people. Even their language sounds like that of Idoma with just little
Farming is the major occupation of the AkweyaYachi people.


The Jukun people originated from Yemen in the Middle East. Most of the
Jukun people are found in Taraba state but a significant percentage of their population are found around the
Benue basin, in Benue and
Plateau states
The Jukun people are believed to have left Yemen in 350AD in the
company of the Kanuri and the Yoruba people before settling in Ngazargamu.
Though Jukun cannot be regarded as one of the Major tribes
in Benue state, they are still relevant
because of their number
outside the state


The Ufia people are believed to have originated from the Kwararafa Kingdom in Wukari.
The influence of the Wukari people can still be seen in them because they share
identical clan names. Apart from their language, they also share many cultural
values with the Idoma people. The Ogrinya Cult is in-charge of making kings and
creating the leaders of the Ufia people. A large number of them now practice the Christian
Apart from the tribes listed above, there are still other smaller tribes
found in Benue state. These include the Afo, Nyifon, Akweya, Abakpa, Utonkong,
Etolu, and the Igbo.

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