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Offline Isaac Adeniran

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History of Ganye town
« on: June 19, 2015, 02:10:57 PM »
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  • The Chamba are said to have, over 100 years ago, migrated from the East, from somewhere called Sham in present-day Syria, Asia. Therefore, it has been claimed linguistically that the name Chamba is derived from the name Sham. The Chamba are said to have travelled over long distances, sometimes fighting fierce battles along the way, before arriving at their present settlements which can be found in Adamawa and Taraba states in Nigeria and in the Republic of Cameroun. However, the headquarters of the Chamba is Ganye, a local government area in Adamawa State. This is where the seat of the paramount-cum-traditional ruler of the Chamba, Gangwari Ganye (big king of the Ganye) is situated. Ganye is both the administrative and traditional headquarters of the Chamba.

    Due to increase in population, hunting, crave for virgin farmlands, famine and remotely, wars, the Chamba are known to have dispersed from Ganye to various parts of Adamawa and Taraba. In Adamawa State, the Chamba are predominantly found in Ganye, Jada and Toungo local government areas. They also occupy some parts of Yola, Mayo-Belwa and Fufore local government areas, all in Adamawa State.

    In Taraba State, the Chamba are found in Donga, Takum, Bali, Gashaka and Ardo-Kola local government areas. In fact, the Chamba have a paramount ruler in Donga with the title Gara Donga. In Takum, the paramount rulership had been dominated by the Chamba, until a Kuteb ascended the throne. However, till this day, Takum has had no paramount ruler since the death of the last chief. Tension and civil unrest between the Chamba and the Kuteb has not produced any, either.


    The Chamba call their language Sama Mum. However there are many dialects which existed and still exist among the Chamba. Linguistic research suggests that there are two quite distinct languages, Leko and Daka, each having many dialects. Nakenyare is a dialect of Daka, for instance. Leko is a problematic term because people use it both as a language and as a people. The Mapeo people speak the Daka dialect, so also the Lamja, Dirim, Jaram and many others. Leko is also the language of the immigrant Chamba who got to Donga, Suntai, Takum, etc, and also down to Bamenda grass fields the 19th Century.



    Generally, a typical Chamba person is basically a farmer. Aside farming, they engage in other activities, such as hunting and gathering (not the pre-historic type), fishing, blacksmithing and so on. Since the primary source of livelihood of the Chamba is farming, they always live where they can grow their staple crops, maize, guinea corn, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, Bambara groundnuts and so on. The arable lands of the Chamba are found at the base of and around mountains. The names of mountains connected with the Chamba include Alantika, Shebshi, Koma, Jangani, etc, mountains. This explains the mountainous landscape of Chamba territories, extending from Gwoza in Borno State to the Mambila Plateau in Taraba State. This also explains the hunting prowess of the Chamba: wild game is prevalent in these mountainous areas.

    Another probable reason adduced to Chamba settlement near and around mountains is that the Chamba, being warriors, used the mountains, hills and valleys as fortresses against enemies.


    Religious beliefs and practices

    Prior to the advent of Christianity and Islam, the Chamba were traditional worshipers. They worshipped in conformity with the African cosmology of the three worlds; that of the living, the dead and the unborn. The Chamba believe that some sort of communication exists between these three and that for any communication to be effective, there has to be some rituals carried out by traditional priests or some specially assigned elders.

    The Chamba believed, and still do, in Suu, the Supreme Being who watches over mankind. Suu is believed to protect the people and is also responsible for some natural occurrences like rain, day, night and the making of celestial bodies like the sun, moon, stars and so on. Today, the Chamba, who are a mix of Christians, Moslems and traditional worshippers use Suu to mean the Supreme Being of these religions. In spite of majority of the Chamba being Christians and Moslems, there is still a substantial number who practice traditional religion through a cult called Jub. Some Chamba people who claim to be Christians and Moslems still resort to traditional religions to find solutions to some of their problems.



    The Chamba are known to have practiced monarchical system of government, right from time. The head of the monarchy is usually called Gang, which means


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    History of Ganye town
    « on: June 19, 2015, 02:10:57 PM »
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