Nupe in Nigeria

Joshua Project has identified the Nupe only in Nigeria





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Nupe consist of several subgroups of these people that all speak related languages. The Nupe trace their origins back to Tsoede an Igala prince from Idah during the 15th century. The Nupe state was brought about by conquest. They were influenced by the surrounding peoples' culture including the Benin and the Ife groups.

In 1796, when two rival Etsu, Jimada and Majiya II, claimed the throne. The Nupe continued in a period of political instability throughout the early 19th century. Muslims have had a big effect on the Nupe people. The first Islamic Nupe king ruled around 1770, and the Fulani conquest that occurred in stages around 1820 was even more influential.

The Bida Emirate was part of the English colony in Nigeria until Nigeria won it's independence in 1960. The capital of the Niger State then became Minna although Bida remains the largest primarily Nube city.

Where Are they Located?

The Nupe are occupying around 6,950 square miles of lowland in the Niger Basin. They are scattered over several states in west-central and northern Nigeria, but most of them live in Niger State. A sizeable number also lives in Kwara and Kogi states as well as in the Federal Capital Territory. Their major cities include Bida, Minna, Agaie, Lapai, Mokwa, Jebba, Lafiagi, and Pategi.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Nupe live in large towns or cities called ezi as well as in smaller villages called tunga or kangi. They live in clusters of compounds forming a ward. A village chief assisted by the village elders are the main authority.

The Nupe are primarily farmers. Their main crops consist of millet, guinea-corn, yams, rice, and groundnuts. There are also quite a few fishermen in the Nupe villages on the coast.

Marriages are usually arranged, and polygynous marriages are common. The children are raised by their parents, grandparents, and older siblings. Children are to respect their parents and as well as share, cooperate, avoid quarrels.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Nupe are a primarily Muslim people now. However, a few people still worship the tradition spirits associated with natural objects as well as some Christians in certain areas.

What Are Their Needs?

Nigeria is a hard place to live. There are constant displays of violence. An al-Qaeda ally, the Boko Haram routinely kidnaps young girls and ravages towns. This fundamentalist Islamic group is taking over parts of north-east Nigeria regularly killing any nonbelievers.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the Nupe Christians would be bold in sharing their faith with the other Nupe people
* Pray that the Islamic and traditional Nupe people would be open to the gospel and that God would soften their hearts
* Pray for Bibles to be distributed to the people that they may hear God's word
* Pray for the violent attacks throughout Nigeria to stop and for a more stable government to form


Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Nupe
People Name in Country Nupe
Population in Nigeria 1,615,000
World Population 1,615,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Central Nupe, Ganagana, Gupa-Abawa, Nufawa
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Nupe
People Name General Nupe
Ethnic Code NAB59m
People ID 14069
Country Nigeria
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Niger state, Mariga, Gbako, Agaie, and Lapai LGAs; Kwara state, Edu LGA; Kogi state, Kogi LGA; Federal Capital Territory.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gupa-Abawa: Abawa Nupe-Nupe-Tako: Nupe
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gupa-Abawa: Abawa Nupe-Nupe-Tako: Nupe
For Primary Language: Nupe-Nupe-Tako

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1877-1950)
New Testament Yes   (1915-1982)
Complete Bible Yes   (1953-1989)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Nupe-Nupe-Tako Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
1.00 %
0.00 %
94.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
50.0 %
25.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
25.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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