The Nikšići (Serbian Cyrillic: Никшићи) was one of the historical tribes in the Ottoman Sanjak of Herzegovina, constituting the Nikšić nahija. It was part of Old Herzegovina, that in 1858 was de facto incorporated into the Principality of Montenegro.
According to oral tradition, the tribe dates to the 14th century. The first mention of the tribe (as vlasi Nikšići) is from a Ragusan letter to Jelena Balšić dated 1399. In the same year they are mentioned as "Nikšić of Zeta" (Nichsich de Zenta) in Kotoran documents. In 1447 it was recorded that they had captured a Ragusan messenger and sold him to the Turks. In 1455 they are listed among tribes and villages in Zeta who signed an agreement with Venetians in Vranjina. They simultaneously used the name Onogošti until 17th century and further.
The tribe was led by the vojvoda, which had been established after conflicts within the tribe as a compromise. Nikšić was conquered by the Ottomans and was organized into the Ottoman Sanjak of Herzegovina in the late 15th century.
The burning of Saint Sava's remains after the Banat Uprising provoked the Serbs in other regions to revolt against the Ottomans. Grdan, the vojvoda of Nikšić, organized revolt with Serbian Patriarch Jovan Kantul. In 1596, an uprising broke out in Bjelopavlići, then spread to Drobnjaci, Nikšići, Piva and Gacko (see: Serb Uprising of 1596–97). It was suppressed due to lack of foreign support.
After the Congress of Berlin (1878), Piva, Banjani, Nikšići, Šaranci, Drobnjaci and a large number of the Rudinjani formed the Old Herzegovina region of the Principality of Montenegro.
According to oral tradition collected by Serbian historian Petar Šobajić, the tribe had originated from Nikša, who was the son of ban Ilijon of Grbalj and maternally a Nemanjić. According to Kovijanić, Nikša had moved from lands around Morača monastery to what is now Župa Nikšićka after the death of Serbian prince Stefan Vukanović Nemanjić (fl. 1252), his relative. Other views is that Nikša in fact arrived at Župa Nikšićka directly after the death of emperor Stefan Dušan (1355). It is considered that the tribe wasn't founded by only one individual, yet several related families led by Nikša. In Župa Nikšićka, his descendants grew into a powerful tribe that gave its name to the old župa (county) of Onogošt. They found native tribes there: in the west were the Riđani (the strongest tribe), in Župa itself were the Lužani, in the north, by the mountains Vojnik and Durmitor were the Drobnjaci. Until the 14th century they were a very strong tribe, repressing Lužani and Drobnjaci, and tradition talks about many conflicts between them and Riđani. In the 16th century only Nikšići and Riđani lived in the area.
- Kovijanić 1974.
- Kovijanić 1974, p. 142.
- Kovijanić 1974, p. 143.
- Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti 1971, p. 225
Тако је војвода Грдан Никшић био њихов за- једнички војвода и даље његови потомци и рођаци насљеђивали су војводство кроз читави XVII внјек: Јован, Гаврило, Петар и Вука- шин. Сама та чињеница говори да су Никшићи ...
- Bataković 1996, p. 33.
- Ćorović, Vladimir (2001) . "Преокрет у држању Срба". Историја српског народа (in Serbian). Belgrade: Јанус.
- Kovijanić 1974, p. 141.
- Zapisi. 3. Cetinjsko istorijsko društvo. 1929. p. 97.
Јовановићи су огранак племена Никшића. Њихов родоначелник Никша био је син грбаљскога бана Илијона, а сестрић Немањића. Никша је дошао у Жупу одмах иза смрти цара Душана. Од њега се у Жупи развило Јако племе, које је доцније натурило своје име старој жупи Оногошту. Од овог племена био је чувени херцеговачки војвода Грдан Никшић, који је 1597 — 1612 дизао буне противу Ту- рака и склапао савезе с европским владарима.
- Божидар Кљајевић. "СРПСКО ПЛЕМЕ НИКШИЋИ, ОД ДАВНИНА ДО НАШИХ ДАНА: Стара лоза и млади изданци".
- Stanojević, Stanoje (1928). "Narodna enciklopedija srpsko-hrvatsko-slovenačka". 3: 107–108.
- Kovijanić, Risto (1974). Crnogorska plemena u kotorskim spomenicima (XIV–XVI vijek) [Montenegrin tribes in Bay of Kotor records (XIV–XVI century)]. Titograd: Istorijski institut SR Crne Gore.
- Bataković, Dušan T. (1996). The Serbs of Bosnia & Herzegovina: History and Politics. Dialogue Association.