Collection Description

Brief Culture Description

Culture Name

Nupe

Culture Description

The majority of Nupe are located in west-central Nigeria, northwest of the Niger River in the lowlands centered on its tributary, the Kaduna. A centralized Nupe kingdom emerged in the fifteenth century. Although subject to the conquering Fulani starting in 1820, and subsequently to the British colonial authority and to an independent Nigerian state, the king remains an important symbol of unity. The Nupe typically live in large villages or towns. Most Nupe practice shifting cultivation and fishing is important along rivers. Craftsmen organized by guilds are renowned for their metallurgy, textiles, glass beads and woodworking.

Note

Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.

Region

Africa --Western Africa

Countries

Nigeria

OWC Code

FF52

Collection Information

Number of Documents

13

Note: Select the Collection Documents tab above to browse documents.

Number of Pages

1365

Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Nupe collection covers a wide range of historical data from approximately the mid-seventeen century to the late twentieth, with particular emphasis on the traditional Nupe society of the mid- nineteenth to the early twentieth. Basic documents for this period are Nadel (1942, 1954, nos. 1 and 2) which cover socio-political organization, economics, urban-rural relationships, religion, the life cycle, medicine, and sorcery. Forde (1955, no. 3), of a later period than above, provides additional information on tribal and sub-tribal groupings, culture history, language, geography, socio-political organization, life cycle, and religion (based in large part on the works of Nadel). The Kede, a riverine group of people involved in the transportation of goods by water, so important to the Nupe economy, are described in detail in Nadel (1940, no. 5). This document provides information on social and political organization, economy, demography, culture history, settlement patterns, and stratification. Nupe crafts are discussed in Anonymous (1956, no. 6), Nicholson (1954, no. 7), and Perani (1980, no. 11). Kohnert (1978, no. 12) describes Nupe witchcraft. Katcha (1978, no. 13) is a community study of Sakpe in northern Nigeria. This study presents information on demography, marriage customs, and breast feeding practices.

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this collection see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

John Beierle

Collection Indexing Notes

Alkali -- a Muslim judge -- Use Judicial Authority ( 692 )

Bara -- serfs -- Use Serfdom And Peonage ( 566 ) -- in client relationships -- Use Social Relationships And Groups ( 571 )

Bocizi -- medicine men -- Use Shamans And Psychotherapists ( 756 )

Chain of Tsoede -- a “slave chain” held as a sacred object -- Use Sacred Objects And Places ( 778 )

Cigbe -- Nupe medicine -- Use Magical And Mental Therapy ( 755 ) and/or Medical Therapy ( 757 )

Dashi -- a form of insurance -- Use Insurance ( 456 )

Dzanka -- a tax or tithe on land -- Use Taxation And Public Income ( 651 )

Efu -- a sector of a large village or town; a ward -- Use Towns ( 632 ) and/or Community Structure ( 621 )

Egbe -- collective labor -- Use Mutual Aid ( 476 )

Emi -- the “house” -- Use Extended Families ( 596 ) and/or Lineages ( 613 )

Emir -- king or ruler -- Use Chief Executive ( 643 )

Emirate -- as a form of state -- Use Constitution ( 642 )

Ena -- agegrade association -- Use Age Stratification ( 561 )

Etsu -- the most important of the Nupe emirs -- Use Chief Executive ( 643 ) with Status Role And Prestige ( 554 )

Ewo yawo -- bride price -- Use Mode Of Marriage ( 583 )

Eyadinci -- canoe builders -- Use Shipbuilding ( 396 )

Ezi -- large villages or towns -- Use Community Structure ( 621 ) and/or Towns ( 632 )

Fifingi -- the disembodied shadow or soul of persons asleep -- Use Animism ( 774 )

Goro -- grave diggers -- Use Mortuary Specialists ( 767 )

Gunnu -- a religious ceremony; sometimes refers to a priest -- Use Organized Ceremonial ( 796 ) and/or Priesthood ( 793 )

Kantsu -- wage labor -- Use Labor Supply And Employment ( 464 )

Kuci -- one’s personal soul; a reincarnated soul of the dead -- Use Animism ( 774 ) and/or Eschatology ( 775 )

Lelu -- the head of the organization of witches in a community -- Use Sorcery ( 754 )

Mallams -- diviners or religious teachers -- Use Magicians And Diviners ( 791 ) and/or Priesthood ( 793 )

Ndakogboya -- a secret society intended to control witchcraft in a community -- Use Congregations ( 794 )

Nko -- the Royal Council -- Use Parliament ( 646 )

Salla -- Muslim daily prayers -- Use Prayers And Sacrifices ( 782 )

Sarkan -- a titled person -- Use Status Role And Prestige ( 554 )

Ticizi -- the “titled ones” -- Use Status Role And Prestige ( 554 ) and/or Classes ( 565 )

Tsoede -- the legendary first king of Nupe -- Use Traditional History ( 173 )

Tunga -- small settlements -- Use Community Structure ( 621 )

Tungazi -- slave villages -- Use Slavery ( 567 ) with Community Structure ( 621 ) and Settlement Patterns ( 361 )

Zakka -- tribute payments -- Use Taxation And Public Income ( 651 )

Zigi -- the town priest -- Use Priesthood ( 793 )

Indexing Notes by

John Beierle

Close Box