THE KPOP HAM AND THE HAM CHIEFDOM
The “Kpop Ham” Monarch is the paramount ruler of the Ham nation with other traditional chiefs of the Ham aborigines of Nok, Kwoi, Zshiek( Kurmin Musa) Dung( Jaban Kogo) Chori, Fai , Ketere, Sambang Gida, Sambang Daji and other settlements across the Ham land in the southern part of Kaduna State under his chiefdom.
The current monarch, HRH Dr. Danladi Gyet Maude OON, is the 9th Kpop Ham. The reigning Kpop Ham, HRH (Dr.) Danladi Gyet Maude OON was enthroned Kpop Ham in 1974, his longest reigning predecessor was King Dogo Saghnom, who ruled for 45 years. The throne of Kpop Ham is hereditary but it rotates among three ruling houses, namely Audu Tiroa, Maude and Saghnom. This trio belongs to the Handuk Clan. According to Dr. Maude, the premiere Kpop Ham was King Dum Faroa.
Successive Ham monarchs operated from Kwoi and the incumbent king, HRH (Dr) Danladi Gyet Maude OON, also resides in the Kwoi town. Kwoi is a town in the Ham country. The Kpop Ham is said to have revealed the meaning of Kwoi to be a sobriquet which is a corrupt form of “Kwain.” Even this, is a short form of “Har-Kwain,” which roughly translates as “Community of the United.” This is how the people of ancient Kwoi called themselves when they were settled at Bitaro, about 5km from their present home. Kwoi is only one of the numerous settlements in the 21 districts that make up Ham country. 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. –Contributions & Abstracts from MAURICE ARCHIBONG’s -Daily Sun Publication-
THE HAM TRIBE AND TRADITION
The Hams are aborigines of Nok, Kwoi, Zshiek( Kurmin Musa) Dung( Jaban Kogo) Chori, Fai, Ketere, Sambang Gida, Sambang Daji and other Ham settlements in the southern part of Kaduna State. Like many peoples of northern Nigeria, the Hams, who are neither Hausa nor Fulani, have also adopted the Hausa language as part of their lingua franca. The Hausa Language is the Language commonly spoken in the Northern region of Nigeria. The Hausa Language to a greater extent has diluted and adulterated the lingual tongue of the Ham language often mutually entwined or used interchangeably amongst younger generation that did not grow up with the native lingua Franca hence the fading away of the Ham Language. The extent to which Hausa has permeated Ham culture could be gleaned from the titles of six district heads of Jaba: “Wakili,” “Wambai,” “Tafidan,” “Dalhatu” and “Kuyambana.” These are all Hausa-Fulani epithets, threatening the extinction of the indigenous tongue, given the popularity of Hausa among the Ham? The Kpop Ham noted the concern that “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.
Although the Ham, also called Jaba, do not have a popular textile such as the Igbo “Akwette,” “Ukara” (Efik), “Adire” (Yoruba), “Anger” (Tiv) “Illi ota chi” (Idoma), they have a unique headgear called “Nkara,” which only the premier Juju priest is allowed to wear. The moment he is pronounced the chief priest, he dons 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. The hide of that sacrificial animal was subsequently dressed and preserved for the traditional bishop or “Kpop Ku.”Contributions & Abstracts from MAURICE ARCHIBONG’s -Daily Sun Publication-
A wordlist of the Hyam language of Nok in Central Nigeria and its affinities
The Tuk- Ham Cultural Festival( Ham Day)
Tuk-Ham Cultural festival is an annual event that celebrates the Jaba cultural and traditional heritage through music, dance, and cultural expositions. The festival which was relaunched in 1979 has been celebrated among the Ham/Jaba people since the 900 AD.
It brings together the best of dance, music, cultural displays, competitions, symposium, and cultural beauty pageants.
The Tuk -Ham Cultural festival itself was celebrated by the Ham community under theocratic ancestral religion and government dating back to 900 BC to mark the beginning of the farming season and ushering the HAM new year.
The Festival is in its thirtieth year and has attracted over one million visitors to the Ham community during that period.
Cultural troupe competitions –wherein 50 traditional dance troupes, groups shall compete for a cash prize. They are usually judged based on their choreography, costumes, and creativity.
• Musical performances- usually feature the best and brightest musical talents from the Ham/Jaba region to showcase as well as entertain the crowd of visitors from ann nooks and crannies within the country and Tourist from a foreign land.
• Annual Ham Awards Ceremony – a forum where Ham sons and daughters are recognized and rewarded for their contributions to their people and Nigeria as a whole.
• Miss Tir Ham Competition (beauty Pageant)- this local beauty pageant is open to all daughters of Ham whether resident within or outside Nigeria who demonstrate the desirable characteristics of a typical Jaba maiden. The finalists are usually judged by a distinguished panel of Judges.
• Tuk Ham Symposium- This event usually serves as a mini-conference which will draw distinguished speakers from within and outside Nigeria
who shall deliver papers on various socio-economic aspects and values of the region and seeking ways to better the lives of its people
• Nok Artifacts and Arts display- a chance to showcase and for tourists to see first hand the spectacular display of ancient artifacts dating back to 500 BC of African civilization
• Guided tours to ancient historic sites- usually feature the sights and sounds of Ham/ Jaba traditional music.