Tribes In Taraba State
The north-eastern state of Taraba is one of the most culturally diverse states in Nigeria. Fondly referred to as the nature’s gift to the nation, the state has all the semblance of a perfect gift of nature, packaged not only in the form of fertile flora and fauna but a diverse, beautiful people of diverse cultural heritage.
Taraba state notably has many ethnic groups and languages, one of the largest among states in Nigeria. Below we take a look at the numerous tribes in Taraba state, where they are found in Taraba state, their history, culture and population estimate.
The Mumuye tribe are the largest tribe in Taraba state. The Mumuye people occupy a larger part of Zing, Jalingo, Bali, Gashaka, Ardo-Kola, Yorro and Lau LGAs of the state. Mumuye people can also be found in some parts of Adamawa state. The Kwajji chiefdom was created in 2005 by the Taraba state house of Assembly and it serves as the administrative capital of the people.
The people mostly engage in rural farming. The Mumuye language is taught in some secondary schools of the state and even at Diploma levels in Taraba state University, Jalingo. Mumuye people are estimated to be more than 800,000.
The Kuteb are one of the largest tribes in Taraba state. Kuteb people are said to have migrated from Egypt before settling in Taraba state. Kuteb is named after their first ruler and founder. Kuteb is believed to have been in existence since 1000AD. The Kuteb tribe has 12 clans which are named after the 12 children of their founder.
Kuteb people are mostly found in Takum LGA of Taraba state and few found in Cameroun. The major occupation of an average Kuteb person is farming. The people are estimated to be over 600,000.
Not much is known about the origin of the Gornun tribe but since they are mostly Muslims, it is believed that their origin may be from the Middle East. They dress like the Hausa people and their major occupation is farming. The Gornun tribe is one of the minority tribes in Taraba state and are found in Gassol LGA. The exact population of the Gornun people is not known.
The Yandang people are found in Gassol, Lau and Ardo Kola LGAs of Taraba state. They are believed to have originated from Egypt alongside the Mumuye people. Before they became Christians, the Yandang people worshiped the sun god Rubi. Majority of the Yandang people are now Christians. They live in mountains on beautiful natural environment that attracts tourists from different parts of the world yearly.
The population of the Yandang people is estimated to be over 100,000.
The Mambilla people of Taraba state live in the Mambilla Plateau in Sardauna LGA of the state with their capital at Gembu. A smaller part of the Mambilla people can also be found in Cameroun. The Mambilla people have different dialects but the most widely understood dialect of all among the Mambilla people is the common Mambilla dialect which is popularly referred to as the Tungbo Dialect by the Mambilla people. Those who speak the Tungbo dialect are also known as Norrs
The Chamba tribe originated from a place known as Sham located in the present day Syria. The Chamba tribe is divided into two parts which include the ChambaLeko and ChambaDaka. Their Traditional ruler is known as the Gara Donga.
Some Chamba people are found in Adamawa state while the rest are found in Taraba state. They occupy Donga LGA of Taraba state. They are also found in some parts of Takum, Ardo-Kola and Bali LGAs of Taraba state. Chamba people in Taraba state are estimated to be around 700,000.
The Diba Tribe are one of the minority tribes in Taraba state. Not much is known about their origin but most of them are Muslims and share some traditions with Hausa people. Men from this tribe wear flowing Gowns like the Hausa people while their women wear blouse and wrapper with hijab.
The Ichen people are in Takum, Kurmi and Donga LGAs of Taraba state. More than half of the Ichen people practice the Christian religion after the Gospel first got to them in 1909. Small part of the Ichen people still practice their old traditional beliefs.
The Ichen people are most times faced with ethnic crisis. There are about 84,000 Ichen people living in Taraba state.
The Karimjo people are the major occupants of Karim Lamido area of Taraba state. They live very close to the Fulani people and this has caused constant conflicts between the two tribes.
Karimjo people are believed to have originated from the Middle East. The religion practiced by the people is the Islamic religion with only 2% of them as traditional worshipers.
The Jukun tribe is one of the interesting tribes in Taraba state. The Jukun people trace their ancestors to the leaders of the Kwararafa kingdom. Because of their fight with the Fulani people in the 19th century, they split into different groups with some of them migrating to the Benue basin. Majority are however inhabitants of Wukari, one of the largest Cities in Taraba state.
The Jukun people have been dominating Wukari since the 17th century. They are mostly Christians. The paramount ruler of the Jukun people is the Aku Uka of Wukari.
The Wurkun (or Wurkum) are found in Jalingo, Ardo Kola, Gassol and Bali local government areas of Taraba State. Outside Taraba State, Wurkun people are also natives of Shongom local government area of Gombe State and Makurdi local government area of Benue State.
It’s believed that Wurkun ancestors migrated from East Asia.
The Wurkun people celebrate the Phebe festival, an annual festival of harvest and thanksgiving.
Other Tribes In Taraba State
23. Ndola tribe