Here is all you need to know about the Gade tribe, native to Abuja, Nassarawa and Niger states of Nigeria.
A people of rich culture and tradition, let’s take a brief walk into the lives of this ancient ethnic group, the Gade tribe of Nigeria.
The Gade tribe and settlements are predominantly found in parts of the FCT, Nassarawa and Niger states.
The Babye, popularly known as Gade people, can be traced back to their first ancestors called Adakpu.
Adakpu migrated from the Congo-Niger Basin through Sudan to Kano area in search of farmland, in the year 1068 AD. They settled in the Gadawur area, present Jigawa State, with their leader Gakingakuma during the reign of Tsamiya, the then Emir of Kano, till 1075 AD when Tsamiya was succeeded by Bagaudu. In the course of their migration, they joined other Kwararafa lineage such as Jukuns, Igala, Alago, Afo, Korn and Egburra.
When the Gade leader, Gakingakuma, died, it led to the mass exodus of the people from Kano to the Doma area in the present Nasarawa State.
Gade is actually a corruption of the word Ngade meaning, “I said”, a name adopted because the Hausa people wanted to distinguish between Gade and Maguzawa. Within themselves, they are known as Babye. The group can further be split into the Gazargawa, Zadawa, Sheme, Gadawa and Tokarawa tribes.
Today, the Gade can be found majorly in the North Central region of Nigeria. In the FCT, the Gade settlements include Yanga, Kurudu, Anguwa Gade Gwagwalada, Anguwan Gade Dobi, Anguwan Gade Tungan Maje, and Anguwan Gade Dabi and Sabo.
The Gade people engage in many activities for economic purposes, but mainly, farming and hunting are their main occupation. Their women are good weavers of clothes and makers of baskets.
Culture and beliefs
This ethnic group are predominantly of Islamic religion but have mystic and traditional beliefs. During their festivals, memorial ceremomies and occasions such as the Annual Gade Cultural Festival, there are masquerades that come out to display such as Adakpu masquerade, Zurukpukpu masquerade, the masquerade for women Kakamauwu and the Zurunuba masquerade. At their festivals, some of their mystic displays include pounding of millet with a mortar placed on the abdomen of an old man and young men slicing every part of the bodies with sharp knives.
Gade is of the Niger-Congo family and Volta-Niger classification. A Nupoid language of Nigeria, the dialect of the Gade is Libye/Ribye.