Ika tribe: A brief walk in the life of this ethnic group


The Ika tribe is not Igbo or Benin, but shares similarities with them. For example, the Ika language is very similar to Igbo, because even their names have the same semblance. The Ika people also share both in terms of culture and way of life with the Beninese people that most of the Ika communities were discovered by the princes and chiefs of Benin.

Brief history

The Ika people do not trace their ancestry to a common origin. The different clans that make up Ika have many origins. The language’s similarities to Igbo suggest that there might be Igbo connections, but oral records and cultures as well as the ancient name ika suggest the bini origin. Ika historians have argued that language changes can occur due to great migration or trade or due to other factors.

It would be difficult to distinguish the Ika people from other ethnic groups in the Delta region as they do not have any physical or common features. The exact population of Ika and speakers is unknown.


Geographically, Ika-speaking people are found in the northwest of Delta State, mainly occupying the Ika South and Ika North Delta local government areas. They linguistically share borders in the west with Edo speakers, in the north with Ishan speakers, in the east with speakers of the Aniocha language, and in the south with Ukwuani speakers.

Ika communities can also be found in parts of Edo State such as Igbanke, Inyelen, Owanikeke, Ute Obagie, Owa-Riuzo Idu, Igbogili. Iru and Ekpon. In the Delta, they are found in Agbor, Owa, Umunede, Owerre Olubor, Ekuoma, Emuhu, Mbiri, Abavo, Orogodo, Otolokpo, Igbodo, Ute-Okpu, Ute-Ogbeje, Idumuesah and Akumazi.


According to Kay williamson in his 1968 article, An Introduction to Ị̀ka and Ụkwụanị̀, the dialect of the Ika people is the Igboid group, taking influences from Igbo and Bini.


Ika (from Delta State) boasts of being the birthplace of the sweetest African palm wine. The inhabitants of the Ika tribe are mainly farmers and the wealthier enter the palm kernel trade with the extraction of red oil or other forms such as the extraction of palm wine.


They are predominantly Christians.


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