If you have never been to Cross River state, then you need to do so as soon as possible. Apart from its tourism exponents, Cross River is a state with so many diverse groups. The most hospitable people are found in this extremely amazing state. Tinapa, Obudu Cattle ranch, Kwa falls, are some places you need to visit in Cross River. Away from the tourist attractions, Cross River is home to the Efik people. Famed for the chinese-sounding language, they occupy most parts of Southern Cross River.
More than what we know about Efik people, here are some facts about Efik people. Their lifestyle, traditions and origin are not just different but also historic.
Fact #1: Origin
Efik people migrated from Cameroon as early as 8,000 BC. This might just explain the similarities in the kind of food consumed by both sets of people. You might also consider their physical features too.
Fact #2: Business
Efik people enjoy fishing as a means of trade. Some of their early ventures would include trading slaves, exportation of agricultural products, in exchange for foreign goods. They entered into the barter game as early as the 17th century.
Fact #3: Language
Efik language is one of Nigeria’s earliest languages and it was developed by King Eyo Nsa Honesty in 1812. In 1862, Efik language was the first Nigerian language used in translating the Holy Bible.
Fact #4: Education
Western Education was first accepted in the Old Calabar Kingdom. Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar was established in 1895 and still stands till this day as the oldest secondary school in Eastern Nigeria.
Fact #5: Tradition
One of their peculiar traditions include the Fattening Room practice. Maidens are fed, massaged and made to rest for days in preparation for marriage. Also, men belonged to the secret society, Ekpe which was named after a forest spirit. Members were the guardians of the peace and the messengers of the ancestors. Their activities included making laws and punishing offenders. Another tradition that was fortunately brought to an end was the belief that twins were a disgrace to Abasi (God). It was thought to be evil for a woman to give birth to twins, the twins were taken and left for dead in the forest. This trend was stopped thanks to Mary Slessor.