The History of Atte People

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Last update June 24, 2020


Atte was founded by one okunmagbe, who as the story goes, was driven away from Benin by a giant. The skin of the Leopard killed used to be sent to the Oba of Benin, but the practice ceased when messages failed to return. Atte was captured by the Nupes who posted an “ajele there to collect the tribute imposed.


According to archives record: Atte is divided into four (4) territorial quarters namely; Iniavike, IIoko,  Isoso, Otamale which are sub-divided into families as following:-


Members of the families choose their own heads. Age groups are formed every three (3) years by the youths of 16-19 but not named until all their members have married.

The village or clan head title is called Ogie and is stated that a member, of the iyagun family of Iniarika quarter always succeeds to it, this statement was not disputed.

In 1920 Atte was placed in the UKPILLA District under Afegbua of Unguyami. The District revealed Nupe titles; the badaki, Dawudu, Damisa, Iyama, Kadiriand Danya appointed by him. Form the Ogie council

Women have no traditional/political right in Atte, according to HRH Oba F.A.I Igbafe the Ogieawa of Atte.

According to history Atte people migrated from Benin and they are made up of four villages namely Okgbh, Uroke, Odeda and Utainaro. They speak the same language and have no language barrier.


Atte people are mainly farmers and they cultivate crops for both cash and consumption.

Clan Headship

The ruler-ship of the clan is done rotationally among the ruling family known as the INOVEKA family. Inoveka family comprises of six (6) ruling houses known as the (i) Imi omosi (ii) Imiokwokeke, (iii) Iniabasi, (iv) Imiaka migbiwe, Imiosimi.

Traditional Festivity

One of their festivals that are more pronounced is the new yam festival which they celebrate annually. On that day, the chief priest and some young men goes into the farms
and move from one farm to another, to uproot one yam from each farm in Atte land. The yams are gathered in a hut located in the farm, the chief priest will Perform the necessary sacrifices and then, they boil the yams and the boil yams a eaten there. After eating the yam in the farm they will come out to announce that everybody living in Atte are permited to start harvesting and eating the new yam. The festival is usually celebrated every later part of June annually

Another festival that is also making waves in Atte is the age group festival which is normally done every three (3) years. They do not have a particular or a stable names. The age name-group names change from time to time. They have roles they play depending on the age- grade level


H.R.H Oba F. A  Igbafe the Ogieawa of Atte said that Christianity is fast, gaining ground in Atte predominately religion depends on the quarter you find yourself some quarters are been dominated by Christians while others Islamic and African religion .But Christianity is more predominant.

Deities and Shrine

Atte people have their community shrine and deity called UNARE. Their deity bears the same name with the shrine.

Marital Rites

The approved bride Price in Atte is N5.000.00 but if the girl in question is well educated her bride price may be up to N10, 000.00 and above but it is important to note that marital rites in Atte depends on the category or class of person (female) to be married or category or class of the suitor. Atte clan does not discriminate or prohibits other clans in Akoko-Edo or any part of Nigeria in marriage.


They have a very popular drum in Atte called UKAKABE DRUM

Custom and Norms

(I) it is a taboo in Atte for a woman to see where the chief priest and youths are performing sacrifice for new yam. It is believed that any girl or woman that sees them in the farm or bush must fall sick and will need some sacrifices to be performed to appease the gods before she can be restored

(2) During the Irikpekpe masquerade festival. It is a taboo for a woman to see where they are carrying their sacrificial items women or girls are prohibited from seeing them

(3)  It is a taboo for a man take the Okpe title if he has  not done his traditional married  

Land Ownership

- In Atte land is shared amongst the families.

- Land can be inherited.

- Land can be mortgaged by the clan head alone not by community or an individual.

Herbal Medicine

The Oba said Herbal Medicine is no longer common in his clan though few people still rely in it. The head clan disagreed with the saying that Herbal Medicine has no standardization dosage, he said that a herbalist knows cups or know herbs that they administer to the patient .They also know herbs that are cooked and those that can be squeezed and the juice given to a patient. For those reasons he maintain the need for them to be encouraged by the government.

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