Some HIDDEN Miracles of Kanam – N. D Shehu

Nation building is a product of many factors. The role of environment and natural endowments is one of the most important factors that advance or retard the wheel of progress in building a nation. Environmental factor ranging from the the availability of rivers or source of water, mountains, soil texture, topography, trees, and other natural endowments are said to be very crucial elements needed for the purpose of building a nation.

As important and very strategic the environmental factor is in building a nation, the role of human resources is very much critical. This is so because environmental factor on its own would not aid the process of building a nation if the human skills and capacity to act on the environment in such a way and manner it will add value and achieve the desired result of building a nation is not provided. Therefore both human and material resources are what is required as a foundation upon which nation would be built, sustained, preserved and consolidated.

Nation building is a conscious effort of great men and women to pull human and material resources together for the purpose of creating an identity as well as achieving the task of advancing the course of growth and development of humanity from an unorganized society to that which leadership comes into being for the effective harnessing of material wellbeing for the common good of all.

Like other people in other continents, Africa, Nigeria, Plateau and Kanam, we were the product of conscious efforts of some who wished and worked assiduously to create the kind of society and nation we found ourselves in today. It is an existential reality that our people were independent and autonomous communities each living on clan leadership based on gerontocracy (government of the elders) and priesthood.

The people who referred to themselves as Khinang (Kanam) not the Kanam as an electoral ward, district or Local Government Area were product of migration and movements like many other inhabitants who occupied the present day Plateau. Khinang means a collection of four clans who inhabit a significant parts of the old Kanam Settlement where other Bogghom speaking groups dwelled. They were referred to as Khinang because they occupied the most uppermost part of the Bogghom land and indeed custodian of historical sites where the Bogghom nations once cohabit before dispersing to the present settlements including the Khimpyi, Khimboghom and Tankwal respectively.

The historical origin of the people who referred to themselves as Bogghom (people, Human beings or Mutane) is either traceable to old Kanem Borno Empire or the Kwararafa Kingdom which came much later. Whichever of the two, KUSUR was a rallying point for the birth, growth, and development of the clans who constituted the Bogghom nations. This KUSUR is situated in the uppermost part of the Bogghom land which is Khinang. At KUSUR exist the Kyaam Khinang, Kyaam Bakhaat, Kyam Lwai, Kyam Basamsu, Kyam Gilong, Kyam Mun, Kyam Dal, Kyam Bunwur, Kyam Kuluksi, Kyam Bazai, Kyam Waas, Kyam Mugut, Kyam Swaam, Kyaam Ghei, Kyaam Kur, Pyegyam, Kyaam Budul, Kyaam Shirak, Kyaam Kyaas, Kyaam Dagwei, Kyaam Zimdei, Kyam Bai-nwaas, Kyaam Kyir, etc. All these areas were historical base of many clans of the Bogghom speaking people before their movement down to the plane land.

The most important cultural activity that bonded the Bogghom man is the cult of the Spirits ( Swaak or Doduna). The Spirit or Swaak remains the root and cultural factor that aided in the building of a rich tradition of a Bogghom man. Details of the Swaak Cult would be unveiled in our subsequent episodes not likely to be published online for now.

Recall in our episode I, II, and III we laid bare some hidden miracles of Kanam people. Because of the enormity of some of the miracles that are much more greater than the ones cited in the episodes released, we are constrained by some cultural restrictions not to delve deeper on some of the critical issues of symbolic relevance to Khinang man. While the work continue, the most sensitive hidden miracles of our people could not be disclose because of it sensitivity and implications. However, the site of first Palace of Kanam, first Friday Mosque, the first Eid Ground and the site of the first Bariki (Station of the white men) built by white men in Kanam would be unveiled in our episode V. Other sacred sites of cultural identity and relevance as said earlier would not be made online until the end of the work, perhaps!

In our subsequent episodes, we will be concerned about the four clans of Khinang (Bakhinkyam, Gyaam, Maiduk and Bakwaikye) as regard some elementary tasks assigned to each of the clans as a prelude to the birth of a nation and unification of the land and people of Kanam to date. We will proceed to the five groups that made up Khimpyi sub group of Bogghom people. There after we will focus on the four groups of Khinbogghom (Gyambar, Gwamlar, Yugur and Gumshar). We will also explore the Tankwal subgroup of Bogghom with emphasis on the following clans; Bawas, Wakat, Bigyai, Kyamkurum, Kunkyam, Ghai, Kaas, Namwang, and Yuang respectively. Our work on Bogghom speaking people would be concluded by studying the Baliam Bogghom subgroup who comprises of Bazai, Bangyom, and Khinkyam respectively. The main goal is to look at our areas of convergence as a people and factors that aided our unity and the subsequent unification of our people under an identity.

Since the focus is to unveil the endowments of the people of Kanam, it is a call to duty on us to take our voyage of research to the Jhar people of Kanam. It was the combined forces of unity of purpose that brought about the liberation and subsequent unification of the people of Kanam under an entity before the recent progress and development.

Recall in episode III, we speculated that Kanam is probably the historical root and first base of other prominent ethnic groups on the Plateau. We will locate the YAM antecedence as a hibernation point from which Bogghom, Jhar, Ngas, Mwaghavul, Chip, and Hill Gomai settled during their movement from Old Kanem Bornu Empire following the series of wars that scattered ethnic minorities from the lake Chad basin down to the south and the emergence of Kwararafa kingdom after.

To be continued in episode V…

By: Comrade N. D Shehu Kanam
(Community and Rural Development Student)

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