The major tribes in Gombe State are not so many as obtains in other states in the northern part of the country, Nigeria. This great northern state is bordered to the north and northeast by the states of Borno and Yobe, to the south by Taraba State, to the southeast by Adamawa State, and to the west by Bauchi State.
Named for the city of Gombe, the state’s capital and largest city, Gombe State was formed from a part of Bauchi State on October 1, 1996. The state is among the multilingual states in Nigeria. Of the 36 states in Nigeria, Gombe is the 21st largest in area and the 32nd most populous, with an estimated population of about 3.25 million as of 2016.
Historically, the area that is now Gombe State was split up between various states until the early 1800s, the Fulani jihad seized much of the area and formed the Gombe Emirate under the Sokoto Caliphate.
In the 1910s, British expeditions occupied the Emirate and the surrounding areas, incorporating them into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria before becoming independent as Nigeria in 1960.
The Major Tribes in Gombe State
Ethnically, the State is inhabited by various ethnic groups, primarily the Fulani people living in the north and center of the state along with the Bolewa, Kanuri, and Hausa people. The state’s diverse eastern and southern regions are populated by the Cham, Dadiya, Jara, Kamo, Pero, Tangale, Tera, and Waja people. In details, here are some of the major tribes in Gombe State which you may likely want to have knowledge of.
The Waja people are one of the ethnic groups in Gombe area of Nigeria that were the early inhabitants of the region. They are the least dominant ethnic group in Gombe state. They inhabited the east-southern corner of Gombe state, occupying the present Balanga local government area of the state.
The Tangale people are one of the ethnic groups in Northern Nigeria, situated in Gombe State. The Tangale people that majorly speak Tangale got their name from “Tangal”, a chief of Billiri, in the present day Gombe state of Nigeria.
The Tera people are an ethnic group that make up the early inhabitants of the Gombe area prior to the 18th century. Presently, Tera people are mostly found in the east of the present day Gombe emirate.
Read Also: Major Tribes in Bauchi State
Gombe State is populated by the Fulani people, constituting more than half of the state’s population. The Fulani people re an ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region.
Inhabiting many countries, they live mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa, South Sudan, Darfur, and regions near the Red Sea coast in Sudan. Gombe State is a multi-ethnic society that consists of the majority Fulani tribe, who inhabit the Northern part of the Gombe State. They dominate 6 out of the 11 Local Government Areas of the state.
The Bolewa people are an ethnic group located in the northern part of Gombe State. According to Bolewa tradition, their ancestors originated in Yemen. They migrated together with the invaders and originators of the kingdoms of Kanem and Songhai. Kanuri peoples include several subgroups, and identify by different names in some regions.
Those generally termed Kanuri include several subgroups and dialect groups, some of whom identify as distinct from the Kanuri. Most trace their origins to ruling lineages of the medieval Kanem-Bornu Empire, and its client states or provinces. In contrast to the neighboring Toubou or Zaghawa pastoralists, Kanuri groups have traditionally been sedentary, engaging in farming, fishing the Chad Basin, and engaged in trade and salt processing.
Jukun (Njikum) are an ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in West Africa. The Jukun are traditionally located in Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Adamawa, and Gombe States in Nigeria and parts of northwestern Cameroon. They are descendants of the people of Kwararafa.
CHAM known as ‘Chum’ meaning brother (a mutation due to bad pronunciation by traders and neighboring tribes) is a Lilliputian minority ethnic group found in the southern part of Gombe in Balanga local government area along Yola road.
The Tula Kingdom is a Nigerian traditional state in northern Nigeria with its headquarters in Wange, Kaltungo, Local Government Area Gombe. Its language is one of the Savanna languages of Gombe State, northeastern Nigeria.
Other Tribes are: