Bauchi state has a total of 55 tribal groups in which include Hausa, Fulani, Gerawa, Sayawa, Jarawa, Bolewa, Karekare, Kanuri, Fa’awa, Butawa, Warjawa, Zulawa, and Badawa as the main tribes. There are cultural similarities in the people’s language, occupational practices, festivals, dress and there is a high degree of ethnic interaction especially in marriage and economic existence.
The people of Bauchi State are known for their traditional wrestling and boxing dexterity, which attracts participants even from neighboring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The traditional wrestling is known as Kokowa while the traditional boxing is called Dambe.
Aside these festivals, the state also holds the Bauchi State Festival of Arts and Culture (BAFEST). This annual event is held among Local governments. It includes a display of various traditions of the people of the state in the fields of traditional dances, music, arts, crafts, and fashion designs, as well as inventions and innovations.
Bauchi state is known for its arts and crafts which include beautiful embroidered caps and gowns (known as babbanriga), fiber craft, and decorated calabashes. It is also very versatile in the production of metal works (such as weaponry), agricultural tools, pottery, and leather works. The leather works include the production of sitting poufs, bags, footwear, and footballs.
Mat weaving is also a common craft in several Local Government Areas like Zaki, Ningi, Misau, etc. The outstanding festivals include Durbar whose main feature is horse racing. The durbar features the parade of horses from the Eid-prayer ground to the palace of the traditional rulers where the horse-racing and other display of horse man ship takes place.
Other festivals are the Kyaro war dance performed by the Warji ethnic groups, Afizere dance a traditional dance of the Jarawa people of Toro Local Government, Takai dance which is popular among the Hausa-Fulanis, Ngat-al-Bajar dance popular among the people of Dass Local Government, Lawurba dance peculiar to Sayawa people of Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Governments, and Amanya, a naming ceremony festival among the Badawa people in Zaki Local Government.
Nigerians know Bauchi as the Home of Peace & Hospitality and that is what it is. Over the years, Bauchi State has been able to produce some of the best tourist sites in the country. We have taken out time to see what the people of Bauchi are famous for and it may interest you to know about some of our findings, the following are some of the traditional activities mention above;
The traditional Wresting and Boxing
Wresting and boxing have become a famous event that attracts a lot of people to the state. Interestingly, you'll also find people from other African countries like Cameroon, Chad and Niger state coming out here to participate in the events. The boxing is known as Dambe while Kokowa is the traditional wresting. Bauchi State Festival of Arts and Culture (BAFEST). The Bauchi State Festival of Arts and Culture (BAFEST) is a great festival that is well attended every year by many people. This event is set up to showcase the rich cultural heritage specific to the different local government areas in the state. It always makes for an exhilarating experience.
Babanriga is already a popular type of gown that has spread across the country. This style originated from Bauchi and they are famed for the pretty embroidered gowns and the accompanying caps. Also, the interior design industry is great here with its leather works, pottery, agricultural tools and metal works. You can buy some of these items at a very low cost compared to what you can get from any showroom in the country.
The Durbar festival is popular for the horse racing that happens at the event. The parades of beautifully decorated horses that are seen from the Eid prayer ground down to the traditional ruler’s palace just stokes your anticipation for the main race that happens at the event. You'll get to see the horsemen display some incredible moves that would make the experience worth your while.
Kyaro War Dance
This war dance is sure to impress you because of the way that the dance is performed. Anyone who has witnessed this dance will always be eager to come back to see it again.