Ibom_Forum] URUAN INYANG ATAKPOR – ITS PEOPLE AND HISTORY – Parts I-V: By Dr. Tom Mbeke Ekanem IPC Modarator


Uruan people have continued to maintain a good relationship with their neighbors; and have fervently clung to their heritage. Their seven clan structure is still being maintained. This is the structure depicted during the coronation and burial of the Edidem Atakpor, the Nsomm of Uruan, by the presence of seven traditional bow-men, seven spear-men, seven sword-men, and seven royal staff-men each of which represent Essien Uruan.

The principal deity of Uruan people is Atakpor, which was brought from Southern Cameroun, and believed to be a Great Mother deity that associates with water. The Atakpor was regarded as female deity and as an intermediary through which Uruan people could communicate with Abasi (God). Today Uruan people believe that this Great Mother deity lives in that body of water now known as Akwa Akpa Uruan (The Mighty Sea of Uruan).

Other aspects of Uruan heritage include Ekpe, Ekong (War), Nka (Age-grade), Ebre, Fattening Home (Nkugho), and so on. Uruan people developed the idea of Ekpe society and used Ekpe as an instrument for maintaining law and order, and for entertainment. There are various grades of Ekpe, such as Nyamkpe, Nkanda, Mbökkö, Ibom, etc. The Ekpe members of higher grades are known for their display of Nsibidi, a secret writing or signs used for communication among the members. The Ekong is a traditional warrior society used for encouraging chivalry or bravery among men in Uruan. It was developed as an instrument for checking social ills, and fostering security and unity among the people.

The Ebre was a traditional society used by women for social and political control, and for promotion of women rights. Nka (Age-grades) in Uruan were used for effective performance of different aspects of community work, mutual help and for discipline of their members. Uruan people developed Uruan language which they derived from the proto-language. It is a variant of languages spoken by Ibibio groups. Uruan language is what has for historical reasons been referred to as Efik language, and as already mentioned, Uruan and Efik are all Iboku people.

posted by:

Tom Mbeke-Ekanem
Author: Beyond the Execution
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (951) 640-0737


According to Uruan historians, like Dominus Essien of UNIUYO and Edet Akpan Udo of “Who Are the Ibibios”, Uruan people are believed to have migrated in different waves from East-Central and South Africa to Uruan Akpe in the area now called Idombi in the Rio del Rey near South Western Cameroun and Cross River border where they settled for centuries. Due to the first Batanga war which caused economic and social disorder in the region, Uruan people migrated to area in the Cross River Basin called Akani Obio Uruan in about 8th century A.D. The river near the settlement was named Akwa Akpa Uruan meaning (Mighty River of Uruan).

It is believed that in the 13th century, a kindred of Uruan people, another Iboku group who also migrated through a different route joined their kindred at Akani Obio Uruan and Akpa Mfri Ukim. Due to geographical and ecological problems, such as frequent floods, Uruan people migrated again further to the mainland and occupied an area now known as Uruan Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.

Due to social conflicts between some clans within Uruan, Akpe Iboku people of Uruan, now Eburutu tribe, later nicknamed “Efik” migrated from Uruan Country (Essien Uruan Itiaba) to such places as Creek Town (Uruan Esit Edik), Duke Town (Uruan Ibuot Utan), Henshaw Town (Nsidung). Till today, some Efik families still treasure their connections with some Uruan villages, such as Esuk Odu, Issiet, Mbiaya, Ibiaku Uruan, Adadia, Ndon Ebom, Ekpene Ibia and others, most of which still speak Efik language.

Of original twelve traditional clans, only seven largely unrecognized clans remain today. Others are believed to have settled among the Ibibios such as Ekpene Ukim village in Nsit Ubium and Ikpa village in Eket. To date, these villages still maintain strong bond with their Uruan kindreds.

The seven clans of Uruan are:

(1) Akwa Uruan, which is made up of: Nturukpum, Esuk Odu, Ibuno Issiet, Issiet Inua Akpa, Use Uruan, Issiet Ekim, Ekim Enen, Afaha Ikot, Ikot Nkanga, Ama Odung, Ikot Owot, Esuk Issiet and Obio Nkan.

(2) Etongko Mkpe Uruan, made up of: Ifiayong Obot, Obio Obot Osong, Osong, Akpa Utong, Ibikpe, Ikot Udo, and Mbiaya.

(3) Mutaka Uruan, comprised of: Ekpene Ibia, Ikot Edung, Ibiaku Issiet, Obio Ndobo, Ikot Akpa Ekang, Ikot Akan and Adadia.

(4) Ekondo Uruan, comprised of: Ibiaku Ikot Ese, Ndon Uruan, Ituk Mbang, Ekpene Ukim, Ndon Ebom, Esuk Inyang, Nung Ikono Ufok, and Nung Ikono Obio.

(5) Mosongko Uruan, made up of: Akpa Mfri Ukim, Esuk Anakpa, Ufak Obio Uruan, Akani Obio Uruan, Obio Akwa Akpa Uruan, Esuk Idu, Ikot Etuong, Ifiayong Esuk, Nwaniba, Mbiakong, Ifiayong Usuk, Eman Ikot Udo and Idu.

(6) Ibonda Uruan, comprised of: Edik Ikpa, Eman Ukpa, Anakpa, Nna Enin, Ikot Inyang Esuk, Nung Oku and Ikot Oto Inyie.

(7) Akpe Iboku Uruan, made up of: Ibiaku, Eman, Utit, Ita, Ikpa, Ikot Oku and Esuk Ikpa.

posted by,

Tom Mbeke-Ekanem
Author: Beyond the Execution
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (951) 640-0737

INSTITUTION OF NSOMMSHIP (Retrieved 10/29/2008)

The founding fathers developed the chieftaincy institution in their original home in Southwestern Cameroun , and brought with them to Uruan, where they developed the Edidem Atakpor throne. The Nsomm of Uruan is the head of the institution. The Edidem or Nsomm is the paramount traditional ruler of all the seven Uruan clans.

In Uruan, chieftaincy was and is a sacred institution. The holder of Nsomm’s title must be a free born and a bonafide son of Uruan whose ancestry must be traced back to the Royal Stock of Uruan Inyang Atakpor. The Nsomm must acknowledge Atakpor as the Supreme Deity of Uruan land and its people, and therefore becomes his chief custodian.

The title of the earlier custodians was not Nsomm, but nonetheless their role was perhaps more important than any other single individual in Uruan. Their primary function was to go from one Atakpor shrine to another performing sacrifices to the Great Deity, Atakpor. It is believed that these men had no home to call theirs since they had to? be in the move most of the time. They were housed and fed by the people of the community in which they happened to find themselves. These men were totally committed to the work of Atakpor.


It became a laid down law that to be selected a paramount ruler of Uruan or Nsomm of Uruan, one must first of all be a village head. A qualified village head is selected by Uruan Council of Chiefs when its members formally meet as kingmakers.? The selection of Nsomm is made on the basis of merit, intelligence, ability, influence, and integrity. Of late, educational background has been added as one of the requirements. Thus, a stranger, an illegitimate, a thief or a wicked person is not allowed to ascend the royal throne of the Nsomm of Uruan.? Nsomm’s office is not a dynasty, therefore not inherited; but the title and office are founded on a tradition of unbroken succession.

????? The Nsomm of Uruan has an advisory council and he selects members among Uruan village heads. As the custodian of Uruan customs and traditions, the Nsomm has a prerogative of appointing accredited sons and daughters of Uruan into Nsomm’s Advisory Council.? Village heads who are members of the council are first class chiefs in Uruan clan. Honorary chiefs are second class chiefs; other members of the council are Etuboms. Both the second class chiefs and Etuboms can attend the council as observers but cannot cast any vote in the council.

posted by,

Tom Mbeke-Ekanem
Author: Beyond the Execution
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (951) 640-0737

Source: Ekanem Tom Mbeke. “Social and Political Institution in Uruan.” E-mail to Ibom People’s Congress. 28 Oct. 2008.
Ekanem Tom Mbeke. “Social and Political Institution in Uruan.” Online posting.. 28 Oct. 2008. IPC. 28 Oct. 2008 <

Simply posted by Dr. Ignatius Idio, Gen Secretary of Uruan Development Association, UDA, USA Inc. (23 Jyly 2010)



  1. bassey akan atakpo Says:

    pls sir i will like u to b giving more info on our people (uruan)

    • iidio Says:

      Mr. Atakpo,

      Please furnish a comprehensive list of all Uruan villages and wards so I can update the list on the UDA web site.



  2. yakno ekpo Says:

    sir, i acknowledge the comprehensibility of the history of uruan people. I dont know if you can trace the path of the south african countries or states that uruan people realy migrated from.

  3. xe ford focus st 2013 Says:

    xe ford focus st 2013


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