Ekoi people

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Ekoi skin covered Head dress.JPG
Ekoi skin covered Ekpe head dress
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Nigeria 87,000[1]
 Cameroon 65,000[1]
Ekoi language
Traditional Ekoi Religions, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Ibibio, Annang, Efik, Igbo, Ijaw.

Ekoi people, also known as Ejagham, are an ethnic group in the extreme southeast of Nigeria and extending eastward into the southwest region of Cameroon. Ekoid Bantu languages are spoken by many groups, including the Boki,Etung, some groups in Ikom (such as Ofutop, Akparabong and Nde), some groups in Ogoja (Ishibori and Bansarra), Mbembe, Ufia, and Yako. The Ekoi are related to the Efik, Annang, Ibibio and Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria and have lived closely with them and also claim to have migrated from the Cameroons to their area. The inhabitants of Kwa, located near Calabar, claim to be the first Ekoi people to have migrated from the Cameroons. The Ekoi are best known for their Ekpe headdresses.[2] They traditionally use Nsibidi ideograms, and may be the group that originally created them.


The Ekoi in Nigeria are found in Cross River State. The Ekoid languages are spoken around this area, although English (the national language) is also spoken.


The Ekoi believe that the heirs of the first settlers of their present settlement own the land; while newcomers are not allowed to buy land, they are able to purchase rights of settlement. Ekoi men have traditionally hunted, while women have engaged in agriculture, raising yams, plantains, and corn (maize). Women also fish, and both men and women participate in weaving.

Ekoi language[edit]

The Ekoi language is one of the Ekoid languages, a Niger–Congo dialect cluster.