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6 years after, Kaduna community revives cultural festival

The Ham people in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State recently rolled out their drums to celebrate their cherished cultural festival after a long…

The Ham people in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State recently rolled out their drums to celebrate their cherished cultural festival after a long time, Daily Trust Saturday reports.

It was a joyful moment for the Ham people, in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State, as hundreds of dignitaries from diverse ethnic groups within and outside the state gathered recently to celebrate the annual ‘Tuk-Ham festival’, showcasing its rich cultural heritage after six years of suspension due to insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Ham people in Kwoi, Jaba Local Government Area headquarters, the paramount chief, Kpok Ham, Dr Danladi Gyet Maude, said Tuk-Ham was last celebrated six years ago due to a sharp increase in the incidences of communal attacks, banditry, kidnappings, and terrorism which created general insecurity that affected normal life and daily activities not only in their surrounding communities but in many other areas in the state and beyond.

According to him, it is a thing of joy that after these years of fear and uncertainty, they gather again because things have somehow abated and normalcy has gradually returned in relative terms.

“From its inception in 1980, the Tuk Ham Festival was conceived to take place during the Easter season.

“The celebration of Tuk Ham serves two purposes – thanksgiving and supplication. First, we have to take time to thank God for the bountiful harvest of the immediate past farming season, and second, to pray for success, protection and multiplication of blessings in the next farming season.

He explained that the Tuk-Ham festival is deeply tied to farming as the dominant occupation of the Ham people, while calling on the people and the youths, in particular, to revive the time-honoured tradition of communal farming.

Commenting on the ginger pandemic, the monarch appealed to both the state and the federal governments to put together financial and material support to help ameliorate the losses suffered by ginger farmers.

He lamented that more than 80 per cent of ginger farming capacity in terms of seedlings has been lost, adding that the future of ginger farming in Hamland precariously hangs in the balance because both the variety and quantity of product may be lost completely.

“To avoid total calamity, the government needs to either support or commission academic research into the root cause of the ginger pandemic to find an effective and lasting solution to its menace.

Chairman of the occasion, Ambassador Bulus Lolo, stressed the need to preserve the Ham culture through the festivals.

Hon. Dr Gideon Jock and Engr. Mamudi Ladan, said the Tuk-Ham used to be celebrated worldwide, people usually come from across the globe to join the Ham people in celebrating their day because of the rich cultural values of the Nok-Terracotta. 

“The more the Ham people celebrate the Tuk-Ham, the more they’re united. It makes us remember our cultural backgrounds and our grand-parents.” 

They noted that the topography and mountains that surround the Ham land could be made a good place for tourism so that people from different parts of the world can come and see the beautiful land. 

They encouraged privileged individuals to come back home and see how the system is decaying and join hands together to attract development to the land. 

Daily Trust Saturday reports that the Ham people are the custodians of the world-renowned Nok Culture and famous Terracotta, dating back to 500 BC.

 

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