Bauchi State has a total of 55 tribal groups in which Hausa, Fulani, Gerawa, Sayawa, Jarawa, Kirfawa, Turawa Bolewa, Karekare, Kanuri, Fa’awa, Butawa, Warjawa, Zulawa, and Badawa are the main tribes. This means that they have backgrounds, occupational patterns, beliefs and many other things that form part of the existence of the people of the state.
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. Some of the ethnic groups have joking relationships that exist between them, e.g. Fulani and Kanuri, Jarawa and Sayawa, etc.
According to tradition, it was named for a hunter known as Baushe, who settled in the region before the arrival of Yakubu, the first traditional ruler of Bauchi emirate (founded 1800–10).
In Hausa the word Bauchi means the land of freedom and tourism. Bauchi and Adamawa were the two main sources of freedom and tourism for the Fulani empire of Sokoto.