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Tribes In Taraba State

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.

1. Mumuye

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.

2. Kuteb

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.

3. Gornun

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.

4. Yandang

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.

5. Mambilla

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

6. Chamba

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.

7. Diba

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.

8. Ichen

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.

9. Karimjo

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.

10. Jukun

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.

11. Wurkun

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

12. Jenjo

13. Jibana

14. Fulani

15. Tiv

16. Kaka

17. Panso

18. Kambu

19. Wawa

20. Vute

21. Tikari

22. Hausa

23. Ndola tribe

24. Tigun

25. Kpaya

26. Jibu


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Adesoji Michael

I am Adesoji Michael, a Computer Science graduate. My hobbies include writing, traveling and coding. I also have passion for Politics.

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6 thoughts on “Tribes In Taraba State”

  • Madaki Dinshiya Victor

    May 17, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I Madaki Dinshiya Victor disagree with the numbers of tribes in Taraba state, the list of tribes are incomplete what of tribes like Tigun in Kurmi LGA , Jibu and kpaya in Bali LGA

  • lawan

    February 17, 2019 at 12:02 am

    I am interested in knowing more about my tribe mumuye lama

  • Saleh Bolsum Mailabuje

    March 20, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Good work but you ought to work harder to knowing the left ones. Write more about Wurkun because is one of the major tribe.


    March 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    I Disagree with your anology of wurkun tribe. wurkun are predominantly found in jalingo, Ardo kola, gassol, bali,Shongom Gombe and makurdi, benue state. How can you now said that the population is only 50,000?

    • Willie Ja

      March 24, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Hello, if you have richer info about the Wurkun tribe or any of the tribes in Taraba State, do share with us here or by sending an email to, and we’ll update the write-up to reflect your contribution.
      Thank you.

      • Tsikir mathias

        April 29, 2019 at 11:56 pm

        Kuteb dominating takum, ussa part of bali, jalingo, wukari. One important more’ the most brilliant.


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