History of Ukelle People of Nigeria .

History of Ukelle People of Nigeria .

Ukelle People also known as Kukelle , Kelle or Kele people can be found in Nigeria , they are related to the Tula , Calabar , Sukur , Verre people of Nigeria and they are considered to be part of the Niger- Congo family branch. 

 Ukelle make up half of the population of Yala local government area in cross river state , Nigeria , also they can be found in Nigeria’s States of Ebonyi including Effiom , Ntezi and Okpoto who are also known as Effiom or Uffiom , and the state of benue Utonkon who are also known as Uffia people and the language of Ukelle is known as Kukelle .
 The Ukelle major groups among them are Wanihem , Wanibolor , Wanikade , Uzenyi , Wanokom , Otikili , Uzekwe , Okom, all in the North Ukelle , and Uzilagar , Ijiraga , Uzikatom , Uzokom  or Ujokom , Otiligom in the south , Ukelle there are also Effiom , Uffiom and Uffia in Ebonyi and benue states of Nigeria .  According to the history of the Ukelle people of Nigeria.
It is believed their ancestors moved downwards from benue state , others contend that the ancestors may have moved from the Igboland  or Igbo region, Ukelle share similarities with their neighbouring Igede and Yala people of cross river state and Ukelle region is bounded in the north by Igede people of Benue state.
In the south by Izzi a subgroup of the Igbo in the Ebonyi state and in the east by Yala and Yatche people of cross river and Ukelle grow crops such as beans , yams , cassava , millet, sorghum , rice and other crops.
 In their Culture , the village assembly known as Ojilla is made up of Kings , Chiefs and youths until any settlement of Ukelle makes an Ojilla , they are considered an appendage of the nearest cross river state , Ojilla is used Interchangeably to refer to the village , its square or village assembly . 
The burial of an Ukelle man or women is the responsibility of the deceased family and the village , a group of villages make up a clan known as essam such as Ogumogoum , Otuka and Opuolom each village are adjudicated by the assembly.
According to other accounts on Ukelle migrations from Present day Ethiopia ,   Present day Lake Chad , Present day Uganda ,  Present day Togo , Present day Mali to Nigeria.

 It is claimed Ukelle migrated from Abyssinia Present day Ethiopia and settled in north at Present day Lake Chad during the Kanem- Borno Empire which came to power during the 8th Century CE by the 13th Century , Ukelle migrated from Lake Chad to Present day Uganda eastward when the Hausa states began to emerge in the region later moved to  Present day Togo and Mali during the 15th and 16th centuries during the reign of an unknown ruler .
 They finally settled in Present day Nigeria during the last hausa state had fallen  , the exodus of Ukelle believed to have migrated  and originated from Present day Ethiopia and later their migrations to the northern Lake Chad , Present day Uganda , Present day Togo and Mali finally settled in their present day homeland in Present day Nigeria . 
 The Principal ethnic divisions are Ekuri - Yakurr , Nkembe known as Mbembe , Boki , Yola , Ukelle , Obanlinks , Ejagham or Ekoi and Tiv , who are found in much larger numbers across the border or mush wall in Nigeria , but there are many subgroups in addition.

 In Ukelle traditions they perform folk songs using musical instruments , food plays a significant role  in ceremonies , normally It is rude and unpleasant not to invite guests to share in a meal when they visits , visitors were also invited to attend an event such as marriage , festivals and baby ceremonies .  

 Among Ukelle couples their traditional marriages are held at the wife or wives to be her house and it is performed according to the traditions , men have the right to have more than one wife , Ukelle still practice the patrilineal descent system within which property are inherited.

It is believed they descend from their father's , family history is passed through past generations and is traced through father’s lineage and their arts gives alot values to different types of art , which primarily include Ivory carving , grass weaving , wood carving , leather and calabash , painting , cloth weaving and glass metal work . 

 In Ukelle culture the drums are important instruments apart from rattles , slit . gongs , struck gourds , musical bow , lute , zither , flute , whistle , oboe and trumpets . 

Ukelle garri is the staple carbohydrate food powdered cassava grain that can be readily eaten as a meal , traditional liquor include palm wine and fermented cassava also traditionally they are engaged in agriculture raising yams , corn , plantain , cassava , women also fish and both of them participate in wood carving and weaving as well .  
They celebrate harvest Yam festival also the elders sacrificed animals such as sheeps , goats or chicken to the  gods and pouring of  libations , everyone joins a feast , their other instruments include wind instrument similar to the flute , they also have a style of music which involves vocal performance  accompanied by several musical instruments such as aerophones are flutes made of bamboo , millet , reed , or the animal horns , gourd , ocarinas panppies , horns made from elephant tusks or animal horns and trumpets .  
Ukelle mask include Janus helmet mask this mask is Ukelle unique helmet mask worn by ancient warriors during performances , the performer looked through the eye holes of larger male face , the smaller face of the mask is the female and filed front teeth and raised facial designs that indicate beauty and status also they perform dances such as war dance , acrobatic dance and other dances .  
According to Sir. Eugaba accounts on Ukelle the ‘’ Uke means powerful and ‘’Kelle’ means people, altogether the powerful people , the main clans in Ukelle include Wanihem , Wanikade , Wanokom , Ezekwe  in Northern Ukelle , and Iijiraga , Ujigatom, Ujokom, Utrigom in the southern Ukelle.
They also exist smaller associated villages like Wanibolor , Uzenyi , Otigidi  and Okom with slight dialectical differences in northern and southern Ukelle generally , the language is known as Kukelle and they also formed a major part of Yola local government area , cross river state in Southeastern of Nigeria as far back as the 1960.
Ukelle sons and daughters schooled locally and even abroad , during this period It is said there was migration of Ukelle in states such as Kaduna , Taraba , Plateau , Benue , Edo , Ondo , Ogun and Lagos , Ujor Dan a fulani and Ukelle by ancestry claimed that ‘’Uke”  means if only trouble makers remember that we are one  and ‘’ Kelle’’ meaning our prayer is that he or she remember also restore , the spirit of ‘’ Bukaat likke ‘’ meaning Unity is strength.
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