The Idoma people are the second largest ethnic group in Benue State and occupy nine local government areas in western Benue State. These are Ado, Agatu, Apa, Obi, Ohimini, Ogbadibo, Oju, Okpokwu & Otukpo local government areas. There are 22 districts in Idoma Land, a structure that has been in place since 1935 with Ado having 5 districts, Otukpo 4, while Okpokwu and Ogbadibo have 3 districts each. Ohimini and Oju both have 2 districts each while the remaining 3 local government areas each have 1 district. The poplation of Idoma Land based on the March 2006 census was 1,307,647 and was projected to be 1,764,900 in 2016.
Though there are other Idoma groups in parts of Nassarawa and Cross Rivers States, the main focus of this website is on the Idoma people of Benue State. The majority of the people of Idoma Land speak Idoma language with different dialets. These dialets are Western Idoma (Okpokwu & Ogbadibo), Central Idoma (Otukpo & Ohimini), Southern Idoma (Ado) and Northern Idoma (Agatu & Apa). Others languages spoken in Idoma Land include Igede (Obi & Oju), Akweya (Akpa in Otukpo) and Ufia (Utonkon in Ado). The people of Idoma Land are predominantly farmers who grow crops like yam, cassava, corn, rice, soya beans and palm fruits.
The Idoma colours and red and black; with red signifying royalty and the black is strength.
The leader of Idoma people is the Och'Idoma and he is resident in the Och'Idoma Palace in Otukpo. The current Och'Idoma is HRH, Agabaidu John Elaigwu Odogbo, who was elected on 30th December 2021. Past Och'Idomas are HRH, Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, Och'Idoma IV, HRH, Agabaidu Edwin Ogbu - Och' Idoma III, HRH, Agabaidu Ajene Okpabi - Och' Idoma II, & HRH Agabaidu Ogiri Oko - Och' Idoma I.
There are many divergent views as to the origin of Idoma people but most historians agree that Idoma people migrated from Apa in Kwararafa Kingdom after her disintegration. It is believed that Idoma people settled in present day Tiv Land before majority of Idoma people were pushed to their present day location while others found their way to present day Nassarawa and Cross Rivers States.
Food is a big part of life in Idoma land and just as it is all over Nigeria, rice is the main staple food. There are rice farms dotted around Idoma land with milling carried out in the Otukpo Rice Mill, which has been in existence since the 1960s. Popular types of rice dishes in Idoma land include rice & stew (with beans), jollof rice and rice fufu (mashed rice).
Another dish, which is widely touted as Idoma soup is okoho (óhor okoho or ólor okoho), a meat rich slimy soup that is usually served with fufu (pounded yam, amala or eba) and can be found at special events such as weddings and funerals. While very popular, okoho is like marmite, you either love it or hate it and is predominantly eaten in Central Idoma and it is believed to be least popular in Western Idoma.
Other soups of note are fresh okra (ólor igbidu or ikpoho), dried okra (óhor ijangada or ólor ijangada), ogbono (óhor upi or ólor upi) and egusi (óhor obobo or ólor obobo).
Letters & Numbers
Idoma alphabets are:
a b gb d e ē f g h i j k l m n ng o õ p kp r s t u w y ch gw kw nw ny mn
While in English, we count in tens, in Idoma we count in twenties. To learn how to count in Idoma and much more, subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly videos.
- It is considered very rude to ask a guest if they will eat food. One is expected to present the food and it is only then the guest will advise the host if he or she wants to eat or not
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IGEDE TRIBE FOUND THEIR ORIGIN BACK TO EDO "BENIN". EWAN PEOPLE AND SO ON. IGEDE ANCESTRAL FATHER IS AGBA, HE'S A KING BUT SOMETHING HAPPENS BEFORE HE RAN AWAY FROM HIS BROTHERS AND OTHERS. LET ME STOP HERE SHA.
KWARARAFA KINGDOM NIGER-CONGO GROUP STARTED AROUND 16-17 CENTURY. IT WAS SAME 16-27CENTURY TIV CAME TO BENUE, IT WAS IJAW THAT FIRST SETTLED IN BENUE BEFORE TIV PEOPLE CAME, RESPECTIVELY...
YOUR STORY IS JUST FROM 17 /18 CENTURY IF YOU WANT TO GIVE REAL HISTORY, PLS GO IN DETAILS- THE REAL ORIGIN SHOULD BE KNOWN!
Good job Sir, and nice piece I must confessed. But Please, I would like to say something here.
Please, it will be good if the other tribes that make up the Idoma nation be fully represented in a better way whenever the origin of the Idoma nation is discuss.
Example, add a brief history of the Igede, Ufia, and Akpa people of the Idoma nation. This is the only way this minority tribes in the confederation of the Idoma nation would have true sense of belonging and feel the unity that bound us together since from our forefathers who live together in unity of one King the Och'idoma the Great.
Full Blooded Idomanese from Benue State Nigeria.
I found my self here because I'm in a relationship with a idoma man and I need to learn his culture to impress him and his people..
And now, I just realised I can also learn it for myself. It's very rich and interesting..
Idoma first born
Thank u so much I'm very proud of u sir
I applaud the vision of this platform. Keep up the good work.
In reply to I applaud the vision of this… by Oka Grace Tony…
Thanks Oka, much appreciated.
Seriously I don't understand this claim of the Idoma in nasarawa state saying they are the eldest to the Idoma in Benue state..I am from yala in cross river state. Odey.F.U.
This history of IDOMA is not complete as we were told that IDOMA derived the name from idu-oma due to popularity of his second wife waving skills. On the origin of IDOMA, he had two other brothers and they migrated with their father from South Africa, present day Zulu kingdom. His other two brothers are the ancestors of Ogoja and Ijo nationality in Nigeria. Also, their father whom they migrated with took a local wife from north eastern and also became father of jukun nationality in Nigeria. He lost his two brothers to their occupation of hunting and fishing as they could not trace their way back to meet IDOMA in their base at APA, and his own job was purely farming. please check this things out
In reply to This history of IDOMA is not… by Pius Okoliko
Interesting, but where did you get this information from, I would like to know more,
In reply to This history of IDOMA is not… by Pius Okoliko
Actually' the name "IDOMA" was given in an IGALA tongue by a notable Man known as EJEH, who was considered a close relation to IDU who happened to be the Ancestor of Idomas.
After the disintegration of the kwararafa kingdom that made the children of IDU (may his soul continue to rest well) to migrate out of kingdom, some of his children went with his brother Ejeh to Idah in Igala land.
It was during their period of staying with EJEH that local people of that environment asked him of the children and, in response, EJEH told them: " they are IDU's children " translated in IGALA as IDU'OMA which was later called IDOMA in our own tongue.
In reply to Actually' the name "IDOMA"… by Auta Emmanuel …
Thank you brother. That's the history we were told, the one that young man wrote there is fake.
Am proud to come from idoma land
Idoma for life.
Where can I learn how to speak idoma pls
I will like to marry idoma
Thank you very much sir, you have actually done a great job & I do really learnt from this your write up sir. More grace .
Nice history of the idoma people
Full Blooded Idoma (FBI).
I love this write up.
The Idomas are sincere and full of hospitality
The Idomas are great people who fought for the unity of this great country especially during the unfortunate Nigeria civil war of 1967 to 1970
What religion is dominant in Idomaland
Nice one peeps