Home Culture & Tradition The Nupe Tribal Marks In Nupe Kingdom

The Nupe Tribal Marks In Nupe Kingdom

Nupe Tribal Marks ( Etsa And Kpelle ) In Nupe Land

Nupe Tribal Marks Etsa And Kpelle In Nupeland, Nupe People Tribal Marks, Nupe Marks Etsa Nupe, Types Of Nupe Marks, How Nupe People Draw Their Marks, What Nupe Marks Stand For? How To Draw Nupe Tribal Marks

Nupe Tribal Marks

Tribal marks are a symbol of recognition or most times a way identifying with people , culture and traditions in Africa .
These cultures , customs and traditions practice the art of marking their children at a very young age for different purposes; some have cultural or spiritual undertones while most others are just for identification of lineage and trade .


Nupe Tribal Marks

The Kpelle Guta Guta is the one on the face of Vatsa , mean 3-3 Marks , this mark can be seeing on face of Nupe people from Lapai LGA of Niger State .
The tradition of Kpelle ( Tribal Marks ) in Nupe Land dates back to the ancient times of Tsoede at the AtaGara Court in Idah , the mythical founder of Kin Nupe who was reported to have had a deep cut on his lips from climbing a long , towering palm tree .
This piece would be incomplete without making a reference to the incidence of how Tsoede got that mark and how it has , over centuries been preserved as observed amongst the people of Patigi today .

ALSO SEE: The List Of Nupe Villages And Towns

Once the King of Idah fell victim to a mysterious illness which nobody could cure .
The court diviner prophesied that only a fruit from a very high oil palm outside the town , plucked by one man , would cure the king .
All his legitimate sons tried , in vain , to obtain the precious fruit .
Finally Tsoede made the attempt , and succeeded .
But in this attempt he cut his lip so badly that he looked almost like a man born with a split lip .
From this time and this still holds true today all hare-lipped boys born in Nupe are named Edegi .

Today in Nupe Kingdom , tribal marks has become a tradition as many people have been identified with different styles of marks all round the two sides of the cheeks .
The tribal marks takes different forms and are mostly done at birth or at a very young age .
There are also experts whose duty is to carry out these marks .
They are the traditional haircutters called GOZAN in Nupe Land .
They use different kinds of graded traditional scissors ( Efin or Efingi ) for the incisions and deep cuts followed with some traditional herbs in powdered form applied on the cuts to ease the healing process .

ALSO SEE: The History Of Nupe People

Below you can see one of Nupe marks on face of Major General Mamman Jiya Vatsa


Most Nupe people of Gbako LG in Niger state has these marks on their faces expecially Etsa Yagi and Kpelle , the Nupe people of Patigi also has it especially those from the Ruling Houses are mostly seen with a deep diagonal cut across the cheek on the face and about four other marks on the chin .
It is in both sexes and said to be amongst princes and princesses who are believed to be direct descendants of Tsoede through Etsu Yisa , one of the Etsu Nupe’s before the Fulani conquest of the 19th century .

ALSO SEE: Biography Of Air Vice Marshal John Nmadu Yisa Doko

The most common tribal marks in Nupe Land is the three marks on each side of the chin with one vertical sitting directly below the eyeballs , side of the nostrils as shown on face of former I.G Of Nigerian Police .
Few other ones are always on the chin .
In Nupe Kingdom , anyone who carries such marks is said to ( Un’Ka Etsa Eyagi ), meaning the tribal marks are synonymous with the Yorubas of the South West in Nigeria .
Across Kin Nupe , different people partakes in the act of marking their children for different purposes but the most widespread is the one that has to do with identification ; either of lineage or trade associated with a people as the case maybe .

Nupe Tribal Marks got increased at the year of ( 1960 – 1970 ) When Nigeria was facing Military Coup attacks and tribal conflict between the Nupe people and Other tribes in Nigeria e.g Ebira Tribe , Fulani Tribe , Igala tribe and Yoruba tribe , at this time , Nupe tribal marks was developed in all Nupe towns and villages in order to differenciate them selves from forigners .

These marks can also be seeing on the faces of Nupe sub-tribes e.g Kakanda tribe , Dibbo tribe , Kupa tribe , Bassa nge tribe , Abawa tribe , Gana Gana tribe.

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