Ekpeye people

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The Ekpeye (Àkpà ọ́híá) are a people in southeastern Nigeria[1] with a distinct culture and rulers of a former kingdom. The Ekpeye are usually included as a subgroup of the Igbo people on linguistic and cultural grounds.[2][3][4] They speak an Igboid language.[5][6][7] Ekpeye people live in the Ahoada (Ahuda) Ogba-Egbema and Ohaji-Egbema areas of Rivers State and Imo State in Nigeria.


The Ekpeye sided with the Igbo during the Biafra secession, and felt the subsequent repression of the predominantly non-Igbo government afterwards. Their traditional territory lies in an oil rich area, and the Ekpeye have complained about Nigerian policies that provide inadequate remuneration for the destruction of their environment. The oil business has also the disrupted traditional allocation of wealth. Recently the Movement for the Survival and Advancement of Ekpeye Ethnic Nationality has been formed to resist changes that threaten Ekpeye culture.[8][9]


Ekpeye is a distinct dialect of the Igbo language, its principal sub-dialects are Ako, Upata, Ubie, and Igbuduya.


  1. ^ Olson, James S. (1996) "Ekpeye" The Peoples of Africa: An Ethnohistorical Dictionary Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, p. 165, ISBN 0-313-27918-7
  2. ^ Olson, James Stuart (1996). The Peoples of Africa: An Ethnohistorical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 234. ISBN 0313279187.
  3. ^ Cole, Herbert M. (1988) "Igbo Arts and Ethnicity: Problems and Issues" African Arts 21(2): pp. 26-93, p. 26
  4. ^ Blench, Roger M. (1981) "Social Structures and the Evolution of Language Boundaries in Nigeria" Cambridge Anthropology 7(3): pp. 19-30
  5. ^ Blench, Roger M. (2006) A dictionary of Ekpeye, an Igboid language of southern Nigeria Mallam Dendo, Cambridge
  6. ^ Fardon, Richard; Furniss, Graham (1994). African languages, development and the state. Routledge. p. 66. ISBN 0-415-09476-3. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
  7. ^ Bendor-Samuel, John and Hartell, Rhonda L. (1989) The Niger-Congo languages: A classification and description of Africa's largest language family University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland, USA, p. 27, ISBN 0-8191-7375-4
  8. ^ Ikelegbe, Augustine (2005) "Engendering civil society: oil, women groups and resource conflicts in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria" The Journal of Modern African Studies 43: pp. 241-270 doi:10.1017/S0022278X05000820;
  9. ^ Alapiki, Henry E. (2005) "State Creation in Nigeria: Failed Approaches to National Integration and Local Autonomy" African Studies Review 48(3) pp. 49-65


  • Amini-Philips, Isaac C. (1994) King Nworisa of Ekpeyeland (1830–1899): his life and times Riverside Communications, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, ISBN 978-31226-6-5 ;
  • Amini-Philips, Isaac C. (1998) Establishing a chronology for Ekpeye history Emhai Print. & Pub., Port Harcourt, Nigeria, OCLC 53842667 ;
  • Ekine,Gift V. (2014)- A Concise History of Ekpeyeland and People, Osia Digital Press, Port Harcourt,Nigeria (ISBN 978-978-52044-4-5)
  • Ekine, Gift V. (2013)- A Dictionary of Ekpeyewords and Pronunciations, Osia Digital Press, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. (ISBN 978-978-52044-2-1)
  • Picton, John (February 1988) "Ekpeye masks and masking" African arts 21(2): pp. 46–53, 94 OCLC 40558650;
  • Clark, David J. (1971) Reading and Writing Ekpeye Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, OCLC 2464074;
  • "Ekpeye: a language of Nigeria" Ethnologue;
  • Ajugo, U. B (2005) "The True History of Ekpeyeland :3000 BC ~ 2005 AD". A BGR Project, Port Harcourt Nigeria.