Nigerian Languages Tribes & Where They Are Spoken

Interesting details about the names of Nigerian languages spoken by different tribes. Nigeria is blessed with different tribal groups making it a fascinating country having 36 States including its Federal capital territory. There are over 250 ethnic groups and over 525 Spoken Languages in Nigeria and English is the official language. Nigeria is described as the ‘Giant of Africa’.

The largest, most populous, and major ethnic groups in Nigeria are Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, and Tiv. Ethnic groups in Nigeria and their languages are diverse. The country is famous for her over 370 tribal groups scattered across the huge population of more than 170 million people, making it the most populated country in Africa.

In this article, you will be provided with necessary information about the names of Nigerian Languages spoken by the different tribes including their culture.

Nigerian Languages Tribes & Where They Are Spoken

Currently, there are over 300 existing ethnic groups in Nigeria, and each ethnic group has its peculiarity and uniqueness in terms of culture and tradition which includes food, wears, languages, occupation, etc. Below is the list of different tribal groups in the country and their languages.

Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, fulfude, Isekiri (Itsekiri), Lyala (lyalla), Izere, Jahuna (Jahunawa), Jaku, Jara (JaarJarawaJarawa-Dutse), Jere (Jare, Jera, Jera, Jerawa), Jero, Jibu, Jidda-Abu, Jimbin (Jimbinawa), Jirai, Jonjo (Jenjo), Jukun, Benue, Kabba, Kadara, Gbo, Ajawa, Akaju-Ndem, Akweya-Yachi, Alago, Amo, Anaguta, Anang, Angas, Arabic, Attakar, Auyoka, Awori, Ayu, Babur, Bachama, Bachere, Bade, Bahumono, Bakulung, Bali, Banso, Baruba, Bashiri, Basa, Bobua, Boki (Nki), Bokkos, Boko (Bussawa, Bargawa), Bole (Bolewa), Bomboro, Buduma, Burak, Mbube, Miango, Miligili (Migili), Miya (Miyawa), Mobber, Montol, Moruwa(Moro’a, Morwa), Muchaila, Mumuye, Mundang, Munga (Mupang), Ndoro, Ngamo, Ngizim, NgwesheNunku, Nupe, Nyandang, Ododop, Ogori, Okobo (Okkobor), Okpamheri, Olulumo, Oron, Owan, Owe, Oworo,(Pa’awaAfawa), Qua, Rebina (Rebinawa), Srubu (Surubu), Sukur, Sura, Tangale, Tigon, Tikar, Tiv, TUfia, Ukelle, Ukwani (Kwale), Uncinda, Zayam (Zeam), Zul (Zulawa)

Most tribal groups in Nigeria, names their language after their tribes or ethnic group.

Major Tribes In Nigeria And Their Culture

Tribes in Nigeria and their languages reflect in their cultural setup. Every tribe has its culture, belief, custom, and way of life. Here, we’ll be discussing the major ethnic groups in Nigeria and their culture.

  • Hausa

They are the largest ethnic group in Nigeria, making up 25% of the Nigerian population and they speak the Hausa language. They are mostly settled in the northern region of Nigeria. The Hausa culture is similar throughout the country. The majority of the Hausas practice Islam religion. The main occupation of the Hausas is farming, trading, and cattle rearing.

  • Yoruba

The Yorubas are the second largest ethnic group in Nigeria and make up for the 21% of the Nigerian population. Yoruba people practice both Christianity and Islam and some still uphold their ancestral traditional beliefs. The Yoruba cultural traditions include music cultural festivals, traditional Yoruba arts, and architecture which are still very much treasured by this ethnic group. The Yoruba population is settled in the Southwestern and North-central part of Nigeria.

  • Igbo

The Igbo people are primarily settled in the Southeastern region of Nigeria and constitute 18% of Nigeria’s population. Their main occupation is trading, even though some of them engage in handiwork and likewise formal education. The Igbo society is unlike the Hausa and Yoruba because they do not rely on a centralized society and is unordered

Names Of Nigerian Languages Tribes.

  • Ijaw

The Ijaw people are popularly known for their beautiful culture, food, and attire. The Ijaws are native to the Niger Delta and reside in states like Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Ondo. This group makes up 10% of the Nigerian population. Their lands are extremely rich in oil which has lead to high oil explorations and have left their land ecologically unsafe. Fishing and farming is the primary source of livelihood of the local people…

  • Kanuri

The origin of this ethnic group is traced back to the Kanem-Bornu Empire, an empire which in the 16th and 17th Centuries cut across most of middle Africa. They are well known for their complex economy made of agriculture (Millet farming), Commerce, transportation as well as construction. the Kanuri people mainly reside in Maiduguri (Northeastern part of Nigeria) and Niger state (Northcentral part of Nigeria). The Kanuri language is in two dialects; Manga Kanuri and Yerwa.

Their fashion is similar to that of the Hausas with their women mostly dressed in colorful scarfs or turbans with painted lips in black, henna designs, and jewelry.

  • Ibibio

The Ibibio tribe is the oldest and most ancient of all the tribal groups in the south-south region. They have a wonderful artistic culture of weaving, wooden carvings, and masks making. People living in the highland are farmers and people living in the riverine areas are fishermen.

The Ibibio people that reside in Akwa Ibom State speakAnaang, Efik, and Ibeano asides from the native Ibibio language. Notably, The culture of the Ibibios in Akwa Ibom is the ‘fattening room’ an ancient practice where young ladies are beautified into elegant and graceful women in preparation for marriage/womanhood.

  • Tiv

Tiv people who majorly reside in Benue state, have a complex, unique and fascinating culture especially with their traditional dance called the “Swanage dance” and their fashion style (Anger material) which is a combination of interwoven black and white striped material. Agricultural produce and trading of this product is their main source of livelihood making agriculture their only source of income. They have a rich cultural heritage and also a rich history associated with their existence.

Some Minor Tribes in Nigeria and their Culture

  • Fulani

The Fulani people are sometimes called ‘fula’ or ‘fulbe’. They are a small nomadic population that migrated into the country and their main occupation is pasture farming or animal grazing and nomadic women prepare fresh cow milk which is sold and they also make handicrafts, weaving, and knitting. They occupy most of the Hausa states.

  • Itsekiri

The Itsekiri people are an ancient ethnic group located in the Niger Delta region, precisely Delta state. They are mainly settled across states like Edo, Warri, and Ondo. Trading and fishing is their major occupation.

  • Igala

Mainly settled in Kogi state and is the majority in the state. The Igala people speak the Igala language and are mostly farmers and fishermen, they name their ruler Atah.

  • Idoma

The Idoma people inhabit 9 local governments in Benue State and they have a fascinating culture. The Idoma people have preserved and valued their tradition and culture for a long period. This culture is noticeable in their traditional rites, music as well as their artistic expressions.

  • Efik

The Efik people are mostly settled in Cross River state and they are known for their tasty ‘EdikangIkong’ soup as well as their rich and interesting cultural heritage. The famous Ekombi dance, which is a colorful dance that shows the rhythmic movement of the sea waves as well as their cultural festivals. The Efik language is the official language of the settlers.

Aside from the domination of the majority ethnic groups in Nigeria, there are other minor ethnic groups in Nigeria which are; Urhobo, Gbagyi, Nupe, Berom, Esan, Jukun, Kilba, Ogu, Mumuye, Anaang, Chamba, Ikwere, Ogoni, Tarok, Igede, Kalabari, Baribu, Ika, Nupe, Isoko as well as many others.

Still on Nigerian Language Tribes

The three major tribes in Nigeria, the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo account for about 70% of the country’s population. Therefore, several other minor ethnic groups are classified and grouped under these three ethnic groups. This implies that most Ethnic groups in Nigeria and their languages are categorized under the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Thus most of the ethnic groups in the north are categorized as Hausas, those in the south-west are categorized as Yorubas while those in the south-east are categorized as Igbos.


The ethnic groups in Nigeria and their languages and culture is indeed an inexhaustible topic because of its broadness. Notwithstanding, with the little information provided above, I believe you will be acquainted with the ethnic groups in Nigeria and their languages and culture.


Tag: Names Of Nigerian Languages Tribes.