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Top 10 Oldest Tribes In Nigeria 2023

Top 10 Oldest Tribes In Nigeria 2023.

Nigeria is a large country with numerous tribes and thirty-six major states. One thing is sure about the broadness of the country, certain regions are more prominent than others, and some existed before others. Specifically, the age of some of the tribes existing in the country is the aim of this piece.

As we go on to examine the top 10 oldest tribes in Nigeria, you can be sure you will discover more about Nigerian history, in a way.

Top 10 Oldest Tribes In Nigeria 2022

Note that by saying 2023, we meant to make our audience understand that this article is not outdated information.

Shall we get started in descending order?

Top 10 Oldest Tribes In Nigeria 2023

10. Ibibio-Efik

Ibibio-Efik as one of the oldest Nigerian tribes can be found in Nigeria and beyond. Talking about its stand in Nigeria, the tribe exists basically in Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

9. Igbo

There are three major tribes in Nigeria, part of which Igbo the Igbo people belong.

Igbo being a prominent language in Nigeria has been in existence for about five to six thousand years ago. The indigenous people of Igbo are known to be very fit, physically.

One of the things any Nigerian will tell you the Igbo people are good at is the making of delicious soup from local vegetable leaves.

This tribe is argued to have originated from two regions in Anambra State. Anyhow, the Igbo people are mainly based in Enugu, Anambra, Delta, etc.

8. Hausa

The Hausa people have not only been long in existence but also the most populous tribe in the country. Recently, sources confirmed that the Hausa people occupy approximately 25% of the country’s total population.

The indigenous people of Hausa could be found in:

Nasarawa State








Sokoto, etc.

Bayajidda, said to be the father of all Hausas, according to historians, founded the first seven Hausa states in Nigeria, alongside his six sons.

7. Yoruba

After English, being the official language in Nigeria, Yoruba is the second most recognized language in the country.

Not only is this the oldest tribe, but it is also a very prominent Language that has done well to cross the borders of the country.

Yoruba is spoken in some parts of England, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, etc.

It would be recollected that the Yoruba tribe originated from the old Ile-Ife region of the country. Yoruba was discovered by the great Odudwa, a man who was said to have come from Mecca. Although, some versions of the tribe’s origination story claimed that Odudwa was never given birth like an ordinary person.

He was said to have come from the clouds, whatsoever.

The tribe was founded sometime in the 1st Millennium BCE. The Yoruba people are much in the following part of the country:








Ilorin, etc.

It could be very hard to tell whether or not a person is a Yoruba by the way they speak the language because it is the most spoken after the English language, as earlier said. So easy to learn to the extent that some white folks speak it fluently in Lagos.

6. Benin

Due to pieces of the study conducted, we found that this will be better said the sixth oldest tribe in Nigeria, 2023.

Natives of this tribe exist in many parts of the country, like all other tribes on this list.

Not only is the tribe old, but it is also prominent.

5. Gbagyi

The Gbagyi, also known as the Gbari people of Nigeria speak Gwari, basically.

They are one of the leading tribes in the Northern part of the country.

We have the Gbagyi people in the following parts of the country:

Kaduna State

Nasarawa State

Abuja – As a matter of fact, the tribe is said to have originated from this part of the country. Historians have it said that the founder of the ethnic group is a hunter who first settled in Paikokun land, a forest in the new Federal Capital Territory of the country.

Today, the Gbagyi/Agbagyi people are the most populous in Abuja and somewhat the same in Kaduna.

Niger State

Koji State; and well other parts of the country where they exist as the minority.

4. Igala

Igala is the third on our list of the top 10 oldest tribes in the country.

As derived from historians, the tribe was founded sometime in the 16th Century, about 100 years after the discovery of the Nupe tribe.

This prominent Nigerian tribe was discovered by Abutu-Eje. The first leader of this kingdom was a woman, Ebule Jonu. She officially ruled the people shortly after the tribe was founded.

Igala people could be found majorly in the Benue, Kogi, and Niger regions of the country.

3. Nupe

This is the tribe most people thought was the oldest in the country. Natives of this tribe are known for their good moral behaviors. The tribe is a highly reputed one in the country, existing somewhere between Kaduna and Niger State.

Nupe as a tribe was founded in the mid-15th Century. That is a whole lot of years back, considering the fact that we are in the 20th century.

The people of Nupe speak languages like Bassange, Abawa, Kupa, Gana Gana, and Kakanda.

You can basically find the people of Nupe in Niger, Kaduna, Abuja, Kwara, and Kogi.

This is the only Nigerian tribe known to have more regard for elders than the Yoruba people. Although, due to the wide recognition of the Yoruba tribe, many thought it is the most cultured tribe in Nigeria.

2. Kanuri

Kanuri is also said to be one of the oldest Nigerian tribes, with over three (3) million speakers of the language across the globe.

It is well recognized in many states across the country.

The Kanuri people are majorly based in the Bornu Empire – commonly found in the Northeast region of Nigeria.

What makes this one of the oldest tribes in Nigeria? Kanuri was founded sometime in 1000 CE back.

1. Ijaw

Many don’t know this is the oldest tribe in Nigeria according to history. The generally believed old tribe is Nupe. But no, we must admit that based on a documented record of the origin and organization of Nigerian tribes, Ijaw is the oldest of the top 10 oldest tribes in Nigeria.

The tribe was said to have been established in 500 BCE – That is about 2,522 years ago. This makes it not only the oldest in Nigeria but on the list of the top oldest in the whole of Africa.

The main base of the Ijaw ethnic group in Niger Delta in Nigeria. These people could also be found in other states like Ondo, Edo, and Akwa Ibom.

If you speak or originally belong to any of the tribes on our list, do not forget to drop a comment below, you are representing a leading tribe in the country.

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