Eggon people


Eggon / Egon / Ero / Mo Egon / Hill Mada / Mada Eggon

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Population & Ecosystem

250.000 Eggon live in the fertile plains of the Benoue Valley (Nigeria). A few still live in mountains villages.

Economy & Society

The Eggon are one of the more economically advanced of the Benue Valley tribes. In the hills they grow guinea corn, cotton, yams, and tobacco. They practice in weaving and dying, producing cloth that is much in demand and can be traded. The Eggon villages in the hills are made up of round huts with conical thatched roofs grouped around a central courtyard. In the plains the Eggon are mostly farmers, selling dried fish and palm oil for cash. The plains Eggon build large houses within compounds and fortify their villages. The Eggon receives its name from the hill where the people lived before coming down to the plain.

Culture & Religion

Older Eggon men and women still have tribal marks and marks of lizards, birds and other objects on their necks, arms and belly. During traditional dances men wear spectacular headrests made of baboon skin.

Eggon are mainly traditionalists in terms of religion, but that Islam and Christianity is gaining ground among them. The Eggon generally believe in Ahogben (God) who is far beyond the sky and they believe he created man and the universe and anything good is from him, because he is far above they feel they can only communicate to him through Ashim (a close god to humans) which is a supreme God. Individuals or families also keep items like a pot or stone as their god at home which they believe in and also make sacrifices to. But with the coming of missionaries, Islam and Christianity have spread widely in their land. Today Islam and Christianity are the major religion in the land.The supreme god is called Angbashim. In order to consult this god a libation is poured on the ground seven times with some confession by the elder or priest. Apart from the Ashim, there are some religions practiced by individuals or families such as Akuk, Arikya, Gango and Yamba. They use items like stones, cowries, pots and sticks as gods. Such items are kept mostly at home in a separate room for worshiping and they offer sacrifices to the item, believing it chases away evil spirits in the land or away from the family and make land fit for farming.