Cross Rivers state, located in South-South
Nigeria is a coastal state named after the Cross River which
runs through the state. It’s a state known all over the world
for its vast and beautiful heritage expressed most vividly in its tourist
affairs. The state is visited yearly by tourists who wish to embrace an amazing
people and explore their lifestyle and artistic and cultural heritage.
Cross Rivers state shares a common
heritage with the Akwa Ibom state which borders it to the south (along with the
Atlantic Ocean) and is also bordered to the north by Benue state, to the west
by Ebonyi and Abia states and to the east by Cameroon. There are several tribes
in cross Rivers state, some of them are: the Efik, Ejagham, Bekwarra , Bette,
Ukelle and the Yakuur, with the first three be
ing the major ones.
Calabar is the capital of Cross Rivers
state, amongst other towns in the state such as Obudu, Ogoja, Bendeghe Ekiem,
Etomi, Boki etc. Sharing a brief insight into the heritage of these tribes is
the main purpose of this article.

Efik Tribe

largest tribe in Cross Rivers state is the Efik. The
Efik people
are found in the southern LGAs of the state such as Bakassi, Biase, Akabuyo, Odukpa,
Akamkpa and more dominantly in Calabar Munipality and Calabar South.. They are
mostly Christians and fishing is the
ir major
occupation. They speak the Efik language which is a variation of the
Benue-congo language. They are related to the Annang, Ibibio and Or
on tribes in Akwa Ibom state. Edikang Ikong (pumpkin
and water leaf soup) is the main delicacy of the Efik people even if other
soups such as Afang soup and Ekpankwukwu are also quite known.


dominant tribe in Cross Rivers state is the Ejagham. They are located in the
southwest region of Cameroon, which is the extreme east of Cross Rivers state.
They speak the Ekoi language, a variant of the Niger-Congo dialect. They are
related to the Efik, Annag, Ibibio and the Igbo people. Their main occupation
is Hunting and farming. Population estmate of the people is 110,000 people.


is a tribe located in Bekwarra LGA of Cross Rivers state. Population estimate
is 105,822 people.
Bekwarra people speak
the Bekwara language and are said to have originated from the Kwararafa Empire
in Northern Nigeria around present day Benue state. The people are predominantly
farmers and Christianity is gaining grounds in this area
. Traditional
practices are
however still quite central.

Yakuur Tribe

This tribe is a small tribe in Cross River
state. They occupy the Yakuur LGA to the northwest part of the Calabar town.
They speak the Lokaa lauguage which is also quite dominant in the state as well
as the Efik language. Farming is the main occupation of the people and they are
quite known for their Leboku festival (New yam festival). Population estimate
is about 140,000 people.

Boki Tribe

Boki is a tribe as well as a local government area in Cross
rivers state. It is a non-coastal tribe that is bordered by five other tribes;
Obudu and Oban
liku to the north, Ikon amd Ogoja to the west, Etung to the
south and the country, Cameroon to the east. The Boki people are mainly farmers
since the region is the hub of agriculture in the state. Boki people are quite
known for the practice of female and male circumcision, which has become a bit
extinct even if some still practice it in hiding. Despite the advent of
Christianity, the practice of traditional religion has only reduced to an
extent in the area. The population of the Boki people is about 186,611 people.

Agbo Tribe

The Agbo tribe is located in Abi LGA. They speak a certain
variant of the Igbo language and are usually regarded as a sub group of the
Igbo nation. The Agbo community is made up of about 30,000 people
, and they share borders with Ebonyi state where they also make
up a community. The Agbo people are mostly Christians and farmers.

Bahumono Tribe

Bahumono is one of the biggest tribes in Abi local
government area. It is made up of seven villages namely: Edibia, Anong,
Usumutong, Afafanyi, Igonigoni, Ebom, and Ebiriba. The people of Bahumono speak
a language called Ohumono. They are hunters and are predominantly Christians.

Mbube Tribe

Mbube is one of the major tribes in
Ogoja local government area of Cross River state. The Mbube tribe is made up of
quite a number of villages such as Odajie, Adagum, Ekumtak, Idum, Ojerim, Egbe,
Nkim etc. Farming is the main occupation of the people.
The Mbube people are predominantly Christians; there are
lots of Catholic churches situated in this area. Edikaikong is regarded as one
of the best meals of this people

Mbembe Tribe

The Mbembe tribe of cross river state has a population of
about 150,000 people. They are Christians and have framing as their major
occupation. Some major crops cultivated by the Mbembe tribe are yam, cocoyam
and cassava.  They speak a language which is unheard of by people from
other parts of Nigeria. The language of the Mbembe tribe can be described as a
language of the Benue –Congo branch of the Niger-Congo family.

Ogoja people

The Ogoja tribe is also a local government
area in Cross Rivers state located to the northeast of the state. The tribe
comprises of many clans and strongly resembles the Hausa people. Farming is the
main occupation of the tribe.  Population
estimate is about 171
, 000 people.
There are also many other minority
tribes in Cross Rivers state, whose origins and traditions are unknown but they
mostly have their own LGAs, they include, the Ukelle, Etung,  Anyima, Uyanga, Olulumo, Abayon,  Ododop, Nkum, Nkim, Iko
m and Akaju-Ndem amongst others. Cross Rivers people are a vibrant

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top