Culture can be defined as a complex totality of material objects, items of behavior and ideas, acquired in varying degrees by each member of a given society. A society could not exist without a culture which is a collective heritage handed down from generation that saves its members from having to re-invent all adaptations; a culture presupposes the existence of a group which gradually creates it, lives it out and communicates it. Although, there is the intellectual aspect of culture, which includes; philosophy, myths, and art forms, important symbols indeed, but they are not the only ones. Though it is interesting, in order to discover the special quality of Southern Kaduna contract it what’s outside it, it is just as valid to consider the area in itself and to try to discern the major cultural categories within it. The mother culture which reflects the purer and more coherent traits of the society is a bit different from the composite culture that was intermingled with others as circles of civilization which today has been ingrain in the mother culture of the past.
Culture in a distinct society can be recognized by the traits which its members share. Our ways of making a living, our language, our religious beliefs, dress, political organization, and all other aspects of life are influenced by our culture. Culture can be seen through materials things – for example, furniture in homes, art, and machines – but there are also other aspects of culture, such as religious beliefs, family life, and ways of spending leisure, which are not seen so easily. Music and dancing are important aspects of traditional and modern culture in all societies.
The things that make up culture are all created by man, and a person absorbs many parts of a culture by living amongst it. A man is likely to belong most closely to the culture he has spent most time in; he will not necessarily be part of the culture which his parents belongs. A person is influenced by culture, but zaZaat the same time, he can also modify and change it, as for example when he develops new political or social ideas and status.
The ways of life in many cultures today have been influenced and is gradually changing by contact with either the foreign cultures, including those within our nation – in terms of dress, crafts, art and technological development. It is imperative to state here that no culture in the world today that hasn’t been influenced in one way or the other – even in the 21st century cultures are greatly influenced via media and other social integration through the internet, institutions of learning, places of worship, offices and political gatherings.
The influence tends to cover particularly in art and music. The process of taking parts of another culture is often called assimilation. To some extent, our languages and customs are by the way influencing others as well.
Culture is not fixed and permanent. It is always changing; in all countries political ideas change, the economy develops, and new ways of life generally are different from those of a few years ago. Radio, television, books, newspapers, and films all help to shape of change cultural ideas, and as they reach more and more people, their influence on our culture becomes greater.
Southern Kaduna constitute different ethnic groups which ranges from Adara, Oegworok, Atyap, Bajju, Gbagyi, Gwong, Ham, Bakulu, Asholio, Akurmi, Atsam, Aniraga, Amap, Kivori, Mbang, Fantsuan, Ninkyop, Angan, Tyecharak, Attaka, Aninka, Numana, Mada, Anunu, Koonu, Kiwollo, Mala, Abisi, Amalan, Asenini, Bunu, Tumi, Jere, Atom, Abonu, Atumu, etc.
The above apparent ethnic and linguistic heterogeneity within each of the ethnic clusters conceals some glaring ethnic linguistic and cultural homogeneity of all clusters within the Southern Kaduna sub-region. This congeries of tribes together with their cognate ethnic and linguistic groups in the Jos, Plateau Region constitutes a distinct culture area.
Therefore, the Southern Kaduna sub-region forms a culture complex of its own. This culture complex comprises of the several distinctive features which culturally link these ethnic clusters together. These are expressed in the respective similarities in terms of their climate, fauna, and flora, topography, types of settlement patterns, types of occupation, identical family and kinship structures, traditional political organizations, religious beliefs and practices, etc.
Therefore, the area forms a definite distinctive unit of sort inhabited by these agglomerations of propinquity ethnic non-Hausa and partly or even wholly Christian groups. It is bounded on the north by a different culture area, altogether. The settlement patterns of southern ethnic groups were largely defensive types; the hill and non-hill related settlements with nucleated and disperse pattern.
The geographical compactness of ethnic settlements in Southern Kaduna appears to have preserved and nourished ethnic based cultures. It has also assured continuous socialization by traditional agents of the family, the lineage, the sub-clan, the clan and other traditional religion. The widespread acceptance of Christianity in the area was to demonstrate the “we” versus “them” dichotomy.
The Southern Kaduna is a culture area whereby similarities in culture are found. These cultures are fully expressed in a system of adaptation of a group to its environment. Suppose that by some accident, a generation did not hand down to the next one its collection of adjustments to an environment; the society would perish. The most urgent aspect of adaptation consists in extracting from the natural habitat which is necessary to maintain the lives of individuals. This is why the production of material goods is the basis of any culture. This production depends on the natural resources offered by the habitat of a society, and the utilization techniques at the society’s disposal. The other aspects of a culture – economic organization, political institutions, world view, art, etc. can only develop within the limits set by production. This dependence of the totality of the culture on the relationship between its environment and its technology is especially noticeable in societies which live only just above the subsistence level.
In Southern Kaduna, the area’s civilizations may be very adequately characterized by a certain type of material production. On the other hand the more rudimentary the technology the greater the importance of the natural habitat. This explains why the spatial boundaries of certain civilizations coincide with those of natural regions having a certain type of vegetation or a certain climate.
There is also the objective limitation of cultural possibilities by technology; this is the mechanism by which we construct our ideas and conceptions on the basis of our expressions. After all, the area confronts the world around them primarily in their work as producers, starting from their experiences of effort, submission, anxiety and success in the work situation they elaborate philosophical views about men and the world, religious and magical beliefs, ruler of conduct. It is not surprising that the most intellectual levels of a culture reflect the material basis of that culture, mediator by everyday experience.
However, the natural habitat, technology, migration, agriculture, social interactions, pandemic and innovations, etc incorporate new level of changes on the basic level of culture, but sometimes the lag may be quite long and perhaps may span for centuries and the culture may present a very irregular, even chaotic appearance. When this occurs, the people should know that the society is not constant, nor an island to avoid such changes – that’s why many cultures across the globe have witnessed dynamic developments.
There are some common cultural traits by which the people of Southern Kaduna are very well known with which includes; food, arts, festivals, etc. Virtually all kinds of food within the area are consumed across the ethnic nationalities in the area. There are also similarities among some tribal groups whose dialect could either be spoken or understood by another group. The peoples dressing are almost similar according to the historical milieu. In terms of ceremonies, festivals; there is indeed a direct connection to the people’s traditional religious beliefs as well as their social life in terms of wedding, burials and festivals of diverse purposes. At such occasions, musical drummers and dancers showcase their talents in the art of entertainment to sooth the events. These groups of performers wear their attires depicting their ethnic group as well as the occasion. The different instruments used are indeed a reflection of the cultural attachments during the array of festivals Afan Festival (1st Jan), Tuk Ham (Easter period), Bajju Festival (May), Bakulu Festival (Easter), Piti Hunting Festival, Ninkyop-Irreh Tenshi New Maize Festival, Kkituk Gwong Nyakpah Festival (Feb), Nimzam-Azhibar Igah Festivals, etc., within the Southern Kaduna sub-region.
However, our architecture, marriages, technology, arts etc developed within the historical ambit of time and other social interactions and today we are witnessing a nexus in our cultural outlook.
The question however now remains; how long can we preserve the cultural traits of the area in the ferocious phases of modernization and globalization? Therefore, our culture is our pride, let’s preserve it, transfer it and nurture it for a dynamic and distinct Southern Kaduna.