Categories: Ebira Traditions

Anebira: The Origin, Culture and Tradition of Ebira People


Anebira (also known as the ebira people) are a tribe whose language is Ebira. The Anebira live in Kogi State, which is in the north-central part of Nigeria. The festivals, language, beliefs, spirituality, ceremonies, and craftmanship of the Ebira people are the foundation of their very rich cultural heritage. In this article, we shall have an overview of the origin, culture, and tradition of from various perspective. So sit back, to read and enjoy the read.

Origin of the Ebira ethnic group in Nigeria  

The historical evolution of Ebira people can be traced down to a class of tribe known as the Jukuns who now dwell in Taraba State of Nigeria. The Ebira people are thought to have their origin from the jukuns and they are believed to have over the years, moved from the Jukun kingdom to where they now dwell in kogi state.

The migration of the Ebira people from the territories of the jukuns took place in waves. The first phase of migration led to the creation of the Idah region of Kogi State for the Igala people. The second wave led to the establishment of the present day Ebira settlements in the local governments of Okene, Adavi, Okehi, and Ajaokuta. Today, the Ebiraland is considered to be the Nothern region of Kogi State.

The Ebira people have long been renowned for their distinctive cultural practices, craft arts, and complex socio-political structure. Their ability to thrive and continue to make a substantial contribution to the rich and diverse cultural landscape of Nigeria is a result of their tenacity in upholding their identity and values.

Language and Diversity of Ebiraland

The Ebira people are native speakers of the Ebira language. They belong to the wider Niger-Congo language known as Nupoid group of languages. An estimated number 1.5 million people speak Ebira in Kogi State. Today, the Ebira people and people that speak ebira language are now dispersed in other states in Nigeria. The major language spoken by Ebira people is the  Ebira language spoken by the Okene people. There are also other versions of Ebira language among them is Ogori spoken by the Ogori magongo people.

Traditional Festivals in Ebiraland

The ebira people celebrate three major festivals every year. These festivals are celebrated once per year and on different dates so that they do not clash. They are the Ekuechi, Echane, and Echori festival. We have discussed in the detail about each of these three major festivals in our previous posts. We will however briefly talk about other festivals that you may not know about.

Ebe Festival

The Ebe festival was started by Abonika Omadivi (HRH), Ebe Festival after assuming office as Atta of Ebiraland with a masquerade party. Folklore artists perform on the festival’s first night to entertain both men and women.

Like the Ekuechi, the Ebe festival is a night festival with Ekurahu (night masquerades) performing during this festival. All women remain indoors when the festival is going. The Eku-ibagi is used throughout Ebiraland to announce the commencement of this festival.

Ebira Day

This is an occasion celebrated every year in Ebiraland to encourage cultural knowledge, peace, and cohesion among the Ebira people. Traditional music, dance performances, and speeches by renowned community leaders are all part of the celebration. It offers the Ebira people an opportunity to unite, celebrate their rich cultural past, and strengthen their sense of self-esteem.

Traditional Food

The ebira people have diverse food that are native to them. Some of them have been discussed in our previous posts where we talked about how to cook them and the ingredients for cooking them. You should check them out. Some of these foods are Uka, apapa, Epireru, Epeza, among others.

Traditional craft

The Ebira people also have hand crafts that are native to them. They take pride in these crafts and they are very good at them. They are used as source of livelihood for some of them. These crafts include farming, pottery, textile weaving for women, wood carving, etc.

This marks the end of this article. Please share with your friends that find history or cultural heritage fascinating. Once again, thanks for reading!




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