Very little
is known of the ethnic composition of Kebbi State. It is one of those Hausa-speaking
states that many have not made any effort to find out of the origin of the
people. Many just assume that because it is an Hausa-speaking state, then it
must be full of Hausa people — or Fulani people. This is however not entirely
the case.
there is quite a large number of Hausas as well as Fulanis in Kebbi State, they
are not the only tribes. There are not just two tribes in Kebbi State.
Below I
introduce you to the tribes in Kebbi State that you may have or may not have
heard of. My essay includes brief history into the origin of these tribes,
their population, religion, and local government areas where they are found in
Kebbi State.


The Hausa
are the largest ethnic group in all of West Africa. They are in northern
Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Ghana, Cameroon and Ivory Coast.
The Hausa
are very influential culturally and politically in Kebbi State. The Hausa
language is the most widely-spoken language in the state, used by both natives
and non-natives in both formal and informal interactions.
Hausas in
Kebbi State are predominantly Muslims.


The Fulani
are a nomadic people who have been influential in regional politics, economics
and histories throughout western Africa for over a thousand years. They played
a significant role in the rise and fall of the Mossi states in Burkina Faso,
and also contributed to the migratory movements of people southward through
Niger and Nigeria into Cameroon.
The Fulani
were responsible for introducing and spreading Islam throughout much of western
Africa. The height of the Fulani empire was between the early 1800s and early
1900s. This power was consolidated under Usman Dan Fodio and was centered in
Sokoto. Dan Fodio was a devout Muslim who used religious fervour to ignite
troops to undertake series of Jihads.
the early success of Fulani Islamic warriors, non-Islamic Fulani joined ranks
with their fellows to form an extensive and powerful empire across much of
northern Nigeria.


The Kabawa
got their name from the Holy Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, because they were
at one time the only people taking care of the mosque.
later, they migrated across the Mediterranean to Sudan and eventually to the
northern part of Nigeria.


Dakarkari, also known as Lela are found in Zuru, Dank-Wasagu and Sakaba local
government areas of Kebbi State. Many also live in Rijau and Mariga local
government areas of Niger State.
the Dakarkari are tall and slim. Today their marks are similar to those of
their Dukawa neighbours.
Dakarkari are mainly farmers and hunters. They speak the C’lela, and also
Hausa. The C’lela has has at least three dialects.
this people are widely known as the Dakarkari, they refer to themselves as
There are
over 150,000 Lela in Kebbi State.


Kambari, also known as the Ashingin are found in Ngaski and Yauri local
government areas of Kebbi State, and in larger numbers in Agwara, Magama,
Mariga, Rijau, Wushishi and Borgu local government areas of Niger State.
The Kambari
are grouped into three dialects: the Tsishingini, the Tsikimba, and the the
The Kambari
are farmers growing millet, guinea corn, groundnuts and yam.
Kambari have negative attitudes towards modern ways. Most parents are against
sending their children to school, feeling that it is a waste of time when the
children could be engaged with farm works.
There are
around 150,000 Kambari nationwide, with majority being adherents of th e
Christian religion.


Gungawa, also known as Bareshe speak a language known as Reshe. They are found
in Yauri local government area of Kebbi State, and in Borgu local government
area of Niger State.
The Gungawa
number over 80,000 in Kebbi State.


Dandawa, also known as Dendi are found in Argungu and Bagudu local government
areas of Kebbi State.
There are
about 4,000 Dandawa in Kebbi State, 99% of whom are adherents of the Islamic


Zabarmawa are also known as Zarma or Djarma. They are found in Argungu, Birnin
Kebbi and Bunza local government areas of Kebbi State, and also in Niger and
Yobe States, and the southwestern part of Niger Republic.
Zabarmawa are often included in a larger group of people living in West Africa
known as the Songhai. The Zabarmawa may have originated from Mali, emigrating
southwards centuries ago. The speak Zarma, a dialect of the Songhai from the
Nilo-Saharan language family. These aggressive, aristocratic people are the
second largest group in Niger Republic.
Although three-quarters
of the Zabarmawa profess to be Muslim, their Islamic beliefs and practices have
been intermingled with their traditional animistic beliefs.
There are
around 130,000 Zabarmawa in Kebbi State, and over 3 million worldwide.


The Dukawa
are found in Danko-Wasagu and Yauri local government areas of Kebbi State, and
in Rijau local government area of Niger State.
The Dukawa are
closely related to the Kambari, speaking a similar language.
The Dukawa
are referred to as a fine race. The men average just under six feet in height
and the women have strong healthy physiques from carrying loads on their
There are
over 150,000 Dukawa in Kebbi State, majority of whom still practice their
native religions.
The Dukawa
language, the Hun-Saare is part of the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo
language family.


The Faka,
also known as Fakanchi or Puku are found in Zuru and Sakaba local government
areas of Kebbi State, and also in communities in Zamfara State. They are
closely related to the Bangawa and Dukawa people and share many cultural traits
with them.
In the
1700s, war erupted between the kingdom of Kebbi and the people of Zamfara. The
Faka became foot soldiers and bodyguards for the Kebbi. Because of relentless
attack from Zamfara, the Faka left the region in which they lived.
The Faka
soon established their own kingdom and became a strong fighting force against
the Fulani Jihad that followed.
there are over 50,000 Faka in Kebbi State.


The Banga,
also known as the Bangawa are found in Danko-Wasagu local government area of
Kebbi State, and in Gummi local government area of Zamfara State.
tells of a revolt that broke out around 1700 between the Zamfara and Kebbi
people. The Banga were the first tribe to move south, where they formed the
semi-independent Donko Kingdom.
In the 19th
century, the Banga became a great fighting force as a result of persisting
Fulani raids in and around. Today, they continue to resist the encroachment of
the Fulani and the Hausa.
some of the Banga have converted to Islam due to Hausa and Fulani influences,
majority still practice their traditional religion.
There are
just about 25,000 Banga nationwide.


Damakawa are found in Zuru, Sakaba and Danko-Wasagu local government areas of
Niger State, and also in Rijau local government area of Niger State and Gummi
local government area of Zamfara State.
There are
just a little over a thousand Damakawa nationwide.

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