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Efik /ˈɛfɪk/[4] proper; Efik. Ikɔ Efik), sometimes erroneously referred to as Riverain Ibibio,[5] is the native language of the Efik people of Nigeria, where it is a national language. It is the official language of Cross River State in Nigeria.

Ikɔ Efik
Native to Southern Nigeria
Region Cross River State
Ethnicity Efik
Native speakers
400,000 (1998)[1]
Second language: 2 million (1998)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-2 efi
ISO 639-3 efi
Glottolog efik1245[3]

The language can be understood by the Ibibio speaking people of Akwa Ibom State (a neighbouring state to Cross River State), and both are often thought of as the same language by non-speakers. Together with the Anaang and Ukwa languages, they form the Ibibio-Efik languages, a major dialect cluster.

It may survive in the diaspora in Cuba, in a creolised form used in the Abakuá secret society, which has its roots in the Efik Ekpe secret society in Nigeria.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Efik at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Efik language at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Efik". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  5. ^ Okon E. Essien, 1986, Ibibio names: their structure and their meanings

External linksEdit