Introduction / History
The Ashingin, or Kambari, people, are mainly found in Agwara, Magama and Mariga LGAs in Niger State. Some live in Rijau , Wushishi and Borgu LGAs. They are also found in Ngaski and Yauri LGAs of Kevvi State. The Kambari are farmers growing millet, guinea-corn, groundnuts and yams. They are grouped into three dialects. The three dialects are Tsishingini, Tsikimba and Cishingini. Not all the dialects are mutually intelligible. Many Kambari people have a negative attitude to modern ways. The elite class among the Kambari feel that the traditional authorities have not approached this well and the authorities blame the elite for failing to cooperate with them.
The authorities have tried by gifts and decrees to get the Kambari to conform to the national culture, but this has been misunderstood and suspected because the authorities did not take the Kambari culture and world view into account. In most places the Kambari are ruled by non-kambari chiefs and their elite have began to oppose this. Most parents are against sending their children to school, feeling that it is a waste of time when the children could be doing farm work. The literacy level in Kambari land may be 3%.
Generally, the Kambari people are very friendly to strangers in their midst unless they deride their culture and religion. Social amenities like roads, health care are very inadequate in all Kambari land but especially south of Niger. Social gatherings like weddings and markets draw huge crowds and many celebrate Islamic festivals. Social vices in the land include drunkenness and sexual immorality. Stealing is not common.
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