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Top 5 Similar Ethnics Groups In Nigeria

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Nigeria is a very ethnically diverse country with over 250 ethnic groups and over 500 languages, below we list the most similar tribes in Nigeria according to the similaritis in their Languages, Cultural Attire, Traditional Dresses, Historicals Linkage & Geographical Locations.

1. Nupe, Gbagyi, Ebira/Igbira, Kakanda, Dibbo/Abawa, Koro, Kupa, Bassa-Nge, Gana-Gana

The Nupe’s and their sub-tribes group which are Kupa , Abawa , Dibo , Kakanda , Bassa Nge , and Gana gana can be found principally in Niger state , Kwara state , Kogi state North senatorial zone, e.g in Niger state they can be found Bida , Agaie , Lapai , Patigi , Lafiagi .
In Kwara state , they can be found in Tsonga , Patigi , Lafiagi , Lade etc and others live in some parts of Kogi state Lokoja , and FCT Abuja , while the Gbagyis and Koro can be found principally in Niger State , FCT Abuja and Kaduna state.

All the tribes mention above are similar in term of their Native language speaking , culture , and some of their traditional dressing and equipments, the history has said All Nupe , Koro , Kupa , Kakanda , Gbagyi , Gana gana , Bassa’nge and Dibo are from thesame family.

Gbagyi cultural attires and traditional dresses are irrelevant to the Nupe attires and cultural dresses but Ebira do have their cultural attire which looks similar to the attire, the Koro’s cultural dresses is relevant to Gbagyi’s dresses.

Most Of Their Popular Towns/LGA:

    Bida Niger state Nupe
    Gbako Niger state Nupe
    Lokoja Kogi state Nupe, Ebira, Bassa Nge
    Minna Niger state Nupe, Gbagyi
    Okene Kogi state Ebira
    Patigi Kwara state Nupe
    FCT Abuja Gbagyi, Nupe
    Bassa Kogi state Bassa Nge, Ebira/Igbira
    Suleja Niger state Gbagyi
    Tsonga Kwara state Nupe
    Gurara Niger state Gbagyi
    Paikoro Niger state Koro
    Lapai Niger state Nupe, Kakanda, Dibo/Abawa, Kupa
    Edati Niger state Nupe
    Chanchaga Niger state Gbagyi
    Toto Nassarawa state Ebira/Igbira
    Paiko Niger state Gbagyi, Nupe
    Abaji Abuja Nupe, Abawa/Dibbo, Ebira/Igbira
    Katcha Niger state Nupe
    Koton-Karfe Kogi state Ebira-Koto
    Lavun Niger state Nupe
    Wushishi Niger state Nupe
    Adavi Kogi state Ebira
    Erina Niger state Gbagyi
    Agaie Niger state Nupe
    Kuta Niger state Gbagyi
    Gwada Niger state Gbagyi
    Beji Niger state Gbagyi
    Maikunkele Niger state Gbagyi

Culture And Language Similarities

The Nupe’s are the most populated and dominated ethinc in Middle Of Nigeria (North Central Region) both the Gbagyi’s and Nupe’s speak Nupoid language of Africa, in term of language similarity the Nupe language , Gbagyi language , Kakanda language , Dibo language , Bassa Nge Language , Kupa Language and Gana Gana language are similar , most of their words are similar the only different between Gbagyi’s and Nupe’s are Culture, Language Intonation and Tradition.

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The Gbagyi’s has only one tribal mark on their faces which identify them as Agbagyi , the mark is draw on the face slice between nose and chick .
The Nupe’s has many tribal marks that identify them as Nupenchizhi , below are the names of Nupe tribal marks .

Kpele Nni Nni ( One one mark on both chick )
Most of Nupe people have this mark on their faces include the Kakanda people , Dibo people , Kupa people , Bassa nge people .

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Etsa Yagi ( The Esta yagi is similar to Yoruba tribal mark ) The mark is use to be draw on face , starting with kpele nini and and 3 curve marks .

Kpele Guta Guta ( 3 Marks on both chick ) The Kpele guta guta is draw by the Nupe people of Lapai only , not all over Nupe land .

Finigi Mungoro ( Mango Leaves )
The Finigi mungoro draw at the upper side of ears , they draw it like mango leaves that is why it is called ” Finigi Mungoro ” in Nupe language .

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In term of tongue, the Nupe language is also similar to Koro, Kakanda, Kupa, Bassa’nge, Gana-gana and Dibo, some southern Nigerian’s find it difficult to differenciate them because they live together in their geographical locations and also has some similar things but their languages and culture are different from others.

The Kakanda , Dibo , Bassa nge , Gana gana and Kupa , 80% of them can speak Nupe language but it’s very difficult for Nupe to speak their Languages but Nupe people do understand some of their words. The Gbagyis and Nupes are so mixed up in Gbarjuko , Paiko , Minna the capital of Niger state and their geographical location that is just not possible to separate them into distinct groups.

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In many instances the Gbagyi , Nupev, Koro , Kakanda and other sub-tribes also live in thesame villages or, at least in closely related neighbouring villages , Gbagyi and Nupe families merging one into the other in an inseparable or indistinguishable manner. Inter group marriage is the order of the day.

Religion Ratio

The majority of Nupe’s are Muslim while minority of them practive Christianity Religion.
Also the Gbagyi Muslims has more population than their Christians.
The Koro’s who live in Paikoro as their main town has more population in Christianity than the one’s practicing Islam Religion.

    NUPE 80% Muslims 20% Christians
    GBAGYI 68% Muslims 32% Christians
    EBIRA/IGBIRA 71% Muslims 29% Christians
    KORO 25% Muslims 75% Christians
    ABAWA/DIBBO 99% Muslims 1% Christians
    KAKANDA 99% 1% Christians
    Bassa-Nge 50% Muslims 50% Christians
    KUPA 85% Muslims 15% Christians
    GANA-GANA 99% Muslims 1% Christians

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2. Tarok, Ngas, Birom, Eggon, Magavul, Chala, Kagoro, Jarawas, Siyawas, Afizere, Geomai, Puiapun And Koftar

The numerous tribes of Southern Kaduna state, Plateau state and Nassarawa state always live together, They have similar origins, cultured and are mostly Christians in a Northern Nigeria politically dominated by the muslim trio of Hausa, Nupe, Fulani and Kanuri tribe.

The Tyaps, Jarawas, Beroms, Ngas, Kagoro, Afizere, Geomai, Koftar, Piapun, Tarok are just a few of the tribes in this very diverse area. The villages of these groups are all interlinked in both Kaduna and plateau states include Nassarawa state. intermarriage between all of them is an everyday thing, and it leads to cultural diversity.

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The Kaduna, Nassarawa and Plateau tribes are not well recognize in Southern Nigeria because some of them abandoned their tribes and claim Hausa out of their states.

Religion Ratio

I can’t be able to write about the religion ration of these tribes but all the ethnics i mentioned above are 95% Christians from Middle Belt of Nigeria (North Central)

At their churches, they sing gospel songs in Hausa language and they also preach in both Hausa, English and also preach with heir languages.

3. Hausa, Zuru, Kamuku, Pangu, Fulani, Kanuri

It goes without mention that The Hausas, the Fulanis, Kamuku, Pangu, Zuru and the Kanuris have some of the most closely knitted communities in Nigeria.

Many times, a lot of people can’t differentiate between the three, especially in the urban centres of the north. inter marriage is very rife, and both groups also mostly speak Hausa as a second or additional language.

Islam is another strong binding factor that keeps these three groups mostly together.
The Seven states of Nigeria’s north-west are mostly a mixture of Hausas and Fulanis- and while almost all northern emirs are Fulani by origin, they have adopted the hausa lifestyle.

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Politically they vote as a single bloc most of the time and seem not to have conflicting interests between them, the three tribes are the stronghold of North Western and North Eastern Region of Nigeria.

Religion Ratio

The Hausas, Fulanis and Kanuris are 98%
I can’t be able to write about the Kamuku’s, Pongu’s and Zuru has majority of Muslim while few of them practice Christian religion.
I also use to see Pangu muslims but never heard of their christians.

4. Igbo, Etche, Edo, Ijaw, Urhobo and Ibibio

The Igbos geographically live in East central Nigeria, while the Annang and ibibios live in South- Eastern Nigeria proper. These tribes always seem to look similar when it come to the look of their cultural attires and traditional dresses, especially with Igbos of Abia and Ebonyi states.

They are neighboring tribes that have related extensively over the years, from the historic formation of Arochukwu town from an Igbo- ibibio blend, to the shared customs of the Okonko cult, and Ekpe (Ibibio for Leopard). Aro traders were also once active in the Annang-Ibibio cultural area.

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The historical oracle of the Aro people known as Ibini Ukpabi is said to be of Ibibio origin as well. Intermarriages are very common, there is no clear cut boundary between Annang and Ngwa/Abia communities and there seems to be some degree of spill over from both sides into the other.

Religion Ratio

The Igbo Christians has more population than Christians, uptill now not everybody in North believe they have Igbo Christian’s because of their minority, they are very few, let’s put it 93% Christian’s and 7% Muslims.

5. Tiv, Igala, Idoma, Igede

Igalas and Idomas are two neighboring tribes in Central Nigeria. The Igalas are predominantly found in Kogi East senatorial Zone, While the Idomas are in the western parts of Benue State, there are also Idoma villages in Kogi state as well.

Both tribes claim to have come from Kwararafa empire of the Jukuns which later became what was known as the Wukari confederacy .

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Intermarriage is very common, and some Igalas towns like Ankpa seem to have very strong Idoma elements while many Idomas have also adopted historical Igala names and customs .

Most Of Their Popular Towns;

Religion Ratio

All the ethnics mention above has major population in Christianity Religion, but the Igala’s has more population in Islam than Christianity.


There are also some similar ethnics groups in Nigeria but we can’t be able to add them to this groups due to their unfamiliar with the ethics mentioned above or other reasons.
E.g Yoruba, Kambari, Kadara, Kamuku, Pongu, Shiwa Arab, Margi, Mumuye, etc.

Note: some information about these ethics are not clear, if you found any error you can contact us, if you also know any other ethnics in Nigeria that has same or few similarities, then you can mention them on Comment Section we will keep updating this page.
Thanks for reading.

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