(The writer of this article is author of a detailed book “THE AMAP (AMO) PEOPLE OF NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE”. Call +2348052249522 to subscribe.)


The Amap (Amo) people are believed to have come to Kupara/Ulura from Gba very close to Pingel an ancient archaeological site located on the Bauchi plains. The question lingers on the air: from where did they come to occupy the Pingel archeological site?  Research has shown that the Amap evolution / origin is lengthy; that they came to Pingel  from the middle east. “Kini” (Cana’an) was their departure town in the Middle East.

 The Amap (Amo) people according to oral account migrated from the middle East and first passed through Niger to Northern Nigeria. North Western Nigeria, Sokoto state was the first state to welcome them. From Sokoto they proceeded to Kano; the Amap have a life semblance of the Fulani people because in Kano, they just passed by the walls of ancient Kano city. After passing by the ancient walls of Kano, the Amap people arrived Karreh in present Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna state. While at Karreh, they camped at the foot of a hill called Lugula where the clan called “Anan Lugula” among the people took its name.

 Having stayed at Karreh for some time, they took another course of movement from Karreh through the northeast axis of Nigeria; that axis landed them at Pingel, one of the plains at Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State.  After staying at Pingel for quite sometime, they later took a westward direction of movement which terminated at their present cradles- the Amap peak/Ulura/Kupara. “Kini” according to oral tradition was coined from ‘Kinan’ (Canaan) in the middle East. The plain in Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi; Known as “Kondon Kaya” situated in Gba where beside the Amap, other ethnic group- Jere, Buji, Rukuba and Lemoro once occupied. Having arrived at Ulura until population explosion, they started to expand northern ward of Ulura until they finally of got to the Kauru highlands or block of mountains in Kasar Zazzau- Zaria in Kaduna state where they had passed many years ago. Being agrarians, they got attracted by the plains in Kasar Zazzau for agricultural practice; and once they got there, they occupied the land there for themselves for a period of over a century and have been dwelling there to the present century.

 In tracing the evolution/ origin of a people, there are always two school of thoughts: one school will maintain short distant migrational wave while the other school will maintain long distant migrational wave. The account so far given is insufficient about the evolution/origin of the Amap. To complement those accounts, there is the ‘Aturu legend. The Aturu legend has it that Aturu once flourished as a big town known as Apeh and that farming and hunting were the main occupations of the early inhabitants. War later broke out and scattered the settlement and its Leader escaped into a nearby cave. The Amap who happened to be among the scatted settlement of an ancient Aturu left Apeh with their leader Kimap and went further West; coupled with population growth, the group came to be called after it’s leader, Kimap or Amap which was later used by their neigbours as the Amo.

Geographical location

In the evolution/origin of the Amap, it is clearly stated that the people can be located at the two north central states of Nigeria-Plateau and Kaduna.

 Challenges of existence

The Amap have been a peace loving people since time immemorial. Although all African societies were engaged in one pre-colonial conflict or the other in a bid to survive, the Amap were non exception. Being a peace loving people, they did not fight any of their immediate neighbors’; to fight their common energy the Hausa-Fulani jihadists popularly known as ‘’yan jihadi’’

The major challenge of survival came from the jihadists; these did nor only pose a challenge to them but threatened their survival and tried to Islamize them. Available records both oral and written by either the colonial or indigenous authors show that the Amap were never conquered by the yanjihadi. The records further confirmed that at the coming of the Britons, the Amap were independent of the Zaria emirate. The absence of Muslim names among the Amap points to this fact.

 Culture /tradition

Some of the custom |culture| tradition of amop includes their marriage rites such as ‘Ukifu kudan ‘’, ” Ure/nigada,” and “Ugbotunu/Ntoron wala/kutafeau.” Other traditional rites among the Amap are: pre-harvest rituals, circumcision rites, “Kagi” feast, “Izara” festival. While the Ukifu Kudan marks the preliminaries of the groom collecting his  bride from his in –laws house with the assistance of his “uditiyom” best man or “adotiyom” bestmen which was always in the middle of the ninth to his house, the “ureinigada” marked the second preliminary stage which had to do with arrangement of bride price payment which was not cash but in kind-“aguu”-rizga and “ijin”-banished.

These food stuff item were cultivated by the Amap in large quantity, after harvest, they were measured by baskets-akuzung  which could perhaps measure up to one hundred and twenty(120)measures. These two crops-“aguu”-rizga and “ljin “were taken to the parent of the bride as bride price which also served as present day salt which was distributed to the relations of the bride.

 After bride price is settled, the Amap celebrated their marriage ceremony in two stages: Ure/nigada and uka|ugabotunu. During nigada ceremony , the bride chose her bride maids –awan pardu who were either two or five .The groom also had his best man-udatiyom who assisted him in everything as far as the organization of the ceremony was concerned.

 In the uka/ugbotunu ceremony the groom has the responsibility of brewing the local beer-intoro in large quantity for consumption during the ceremony. The occasion or celebration was characterized with slogans such as limot kudaru , kutabeau, ntoron wala, dancing the famous iwawa dance , slaughtering of cows, goats and fowls. The last characteristic that climaxed the Uka/ Ugbotunu marriage celebration was “Usharu nijau” which the bride put on her waist with bangles”- tikari” on her wrists. The groom also dressed traditionally which was leather apron of a the – goat called “Kukii” beautifully decorated with African countries – Ikulma and buttons. The Usharu nijau was accompanied with ngino- gbam-gbarma dance which was danced by an adult; a man who was in his mid sixty. Limot Kudaru” was a situation whereby the entire village, the bride maids and Uditiyom spent a sleepless night in the house of bride dancing the Iwawa dance which culminated with the ngino-gbam-gbarma which coloured the celebration and sealed the marriage relationship for life.


Izara was celebrated to mark the end of the circumcision which was to show appreciation to “Kutelleh”-God for the survival of the circumcised children. Izara was celebrated in four stages: preliminary, Izara Likuu,Izara nishum, and Izara “seru tikpuu.” Izara seru tikpuu” climaxed the Izara festival  which was characterized by beating a special drum- “Kizin- Zin.”

 Kagi feast

After seven years of the circumscision rite, a septiniel feast, Kagi was held between March and April which was at the close of the circumcition rite to welcome the young initiates back from nursing the circumcision wounds.

 Pre- harvest ritual

Pre–harvest rituals were done in two phases between October and November. Phase one was uninchaah which did take place in October. This was a call to farmers to watch out for birds and other animals to ensure that grains were not destroyed by birds and other rodents. Phase two was uni kilieu which was around November this was to give people permission to start harvesting their grains and other crop.

 Kusana festival

Kusana was the full harvest festival that normally started between November and terminated February. It was harvested at its peak, and storing of all crops into granaries “ Ilai”. As part of the Kusana festival, adult young initiates and neighbours were invited to celebrate the Kusana festival in the shrine where the masquerade used whips to administer lashes on them. When they left the shrine, they joined other invitees at home and continued the Kusana celebration with bear –ntoro and other refreshments.


                        Malam  Waziri, Samson K

                        Principal, Adventist College,

                        Pamfura-Kujama, Km15, Kaduna

                        Kachia Road P.O BOX 533,

                        Kuduna Kaduan State, Nigeria.