African CultureAfrican History

History Of The Efik People

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The Efik people are an ethnic group of people living in a South-Southern part of Nigeria and South-Eastern part of Cross River State.

The Efik people have their language as the ‘Efik language’ a Benue-Congo language from the Cross River family with part of their tribe dominating the South-western part of Cameroon, Bakassi.

Although, the birth of the Efik people remains unclear, but some theories have it that the ethnic group began from the people of Arochukwu looking for a dwelling place around Calabar, Creek town and eventually expanded to other places like Akpabuyo, Odukpani and the rest in the 18th century.

An infamous history had it that the name, Efik came from the Uruan

With over 635,000 population of people, the people of Efik kingdom has their own Efik religion with their gods like Abassi the god of the universe and his wife, Atai and Anansa the river goddess.



History had it that the first Efik people solely depended on fishing and palm products and was the first operational area for the British settlers in Nigeria. They were also the first to have placed themselves under the full protection of the British government and also the first to accept western education.

The Efik kingdom has a Supreme leader, the Obong of Calabar who runs the whole administration of his people.

Notable with their stylish and colorful tradition and culture such as the Ekpe (masquerade culture), Nkukor tradition in which every Efik woman passes through immediately after birth – she is said to be isolated alone with the mother and the baby for three to five months. She will be made to sip a basin of garri every morning and evening with white chalk called Ndom which she replaces after every bathe, it still remain unclear; the reason for the rite but that still made the Efik tradition one of the best history ever witnessed.

Another notable thing about the Efik kingdom is their Nsibidi – a secret writing mostly used by the Ekpe kingdom to communicate with one another.

 


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Buchi Prinzy Henry
A lazy writer, and a freelancer. An African who believes in reviving back the African history and tradition back to our memories. Mental emancipation is my mission. I write on History Category at 54history.com

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