Kamuku people

The Kamuku are an ethnic group in central Nigeria. The Kamuku language belongs to the Kainji family and is related to C'lela, Duka, and Kambari.[1] They mainly live in the west-central region of Nigeria, particularly in Kwara State.[2] Their population in 1996 exceeded 35,000 people, found in the Sokoto division of Sokoto State, the Birnin Gwari division of Kaduna State and the Kontagora and Minna divisions of Niger State.[3]

The Kamuku may have been the dominant people of the kingdom of Kankuma (also Kwangoma or Kangoma), a people whom Al-Makrizi (d.1442) called Karuku in his book The Races of the Sudan. One historian speculates that Kankuma may have been the precursor to the Hausa state of Zaria.[4] The Gazetteers of the Northern Provinces of Nigeria: The Central Kingdoms, published in the early 1920s, described the Kamuku people as industrious agriculturalists who keep livestock, are of a somewhat timid and retiring nature and are thoroughly amenable to authority.[5] They did not seem to recognize a central authority above the level of a village head.[6] The Kamuku share some customs with the neighboring Gwari people, such as shaking peas in a tortoise shell and drawing marks according to the result so as to divine the future.[7]


  1. ^ Joseph Harold Greenberg; Keith M. Denning; Suzanne Kemmer (1990). On language: selected writings of Joseph H. Greenberg. Stanford University Press. p. 467. ISBN 0-8047-1613-7. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  2. ^ Muḥammad ZuhdÄ« Yakan (1999). "Kamuku". Almanac of African peoples & nations. Transaction Publishers. p. 396. ISBN 1-56000-433-9.
  3. ^ James Stuart Olson (1996). "Kamuku". The peoples of Africa: an ethnohistorical dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 270. ISBN 0-313-27918-7. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  4. ^ Djibril Tamsir Niane, Unesco. International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of Africa (1984). Africa from the twelfth to the sixteenth century. University of California Press. p. 285. ISBN 0-435-94810-5. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  5. ^ Anthony Hamilton Millard Kirk-Greene (1972). Gazetteers of the Northern Provinces of Nigeria: The Central Kingdoms: Kontagora, Nassarawa, Nupe, Ilorin (reprint ed.). Routledge. p. 60. ISBN 0-7146-2935-9. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  6. ^ Billy J. Dudley (1968). Parties and politics in northern Nigeria. Routledge. p. 43. ISBN 0-7146-1658-3. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  7. ^ William Russell Bascom (1991). Ifa divination: communication between gods and men in West Africa. Indiana University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-253-20638-3.

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