Geographically the fourth largest state in Nigeria with 23 local governments, Kaduna is home to over 100 ethnic groups. These ethnic groups uniquely have their cultures and native dialect, though modernization seem to be a threat to these indigenous ways of life. Lots of people tend to generalize all northerners as Hausa/Fulani and assume the only language spoken there is Hausa. This misinformed view has led to a heightened fear of extinctions which is regularly expressed by scholars. In Jaba local government which has an area of 368 km² and is bounded to the north-west by Kachia local government area, to the north-east by Zangon Kataf local government area, to the east by Jema’a local government area, to the south by Nasarawa State, and to the west by Kagarko local government area. The local government is predominately home to the Tuk-Ham.

The Hams are natives of Nok, Kwoi, Zshiek (Kurmin Musa) Dung (Jaban Kogo) Chori, Fai, and other Ham settlements in the southern part of Kaduna State. The Ham land spans across four local government areas which include Jaba, Jema’a, Kachia, and Kagoro. The Ham land straddles across four local government areas; Jaba, Jema’a, Kachia, and Kagoro. The town Kwoi is acclaimed with the status as the spiritual capital of the Ham nation because the first Christian white missionary set foot on Kwoi on July 7th, 1910. Kwoi is also the political capital of Jaba LGA and stands 40km from the Southern Kaduna railway town of Kafanchan and located barely 200 km from the Kaduna State capital. Unlike other tribes with popular textile such as Akwette among the Igbos, Adire among the Yoruba’s, Anger produced by the Tivs, they have a unique headgear called “Nkara,” which is worn only by premier Juju priest. Once pronounced the chief priest, he must be on this cap at all times, except when he is in bed. Along with “Nkara,” the chief priest of Jaba also bears the skin of a particular animal. The type of animal is determined by the community’s last offering to the gods.

As previously stated, many northern Nigerians, including the Hams, who are neither Hausa nor Fulani, also speak Hausa more than their indigenous language. Being the dominant language, Hausa to a greater extent has adulterated the local tongue of the Ham language. Many Ham natives born in recent decades can be seen and heard speaking more of Hausa than their native Hyam dialect which they are not fluent in. The Kpop Ham who is the traditional ruler of the Ham people raised his concern over the gradual extinction of the Ham language. According to the monarch, “We are trying our best to preserve our language. Part of that effort was the setting up of a Hyam Literacy Organization (HLO), to help propagate and produce literature in that indigenous tongue, the monarch explained.” This effort is laudable and encouraged but the onus falls heavily on the indigenes to ensure that the new generation Ham are properly brought up in the Ham culture in other to prevent its extinction.



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