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March 30, 2013

The Gwari, also spelled as ‘Gbagyi’ or ‘Gbari’ are an ethnic group in Central Nigeria, they are predominantly found in Niger and Kaduna States and some part of Nassarawa and Kogi States. Historically, the first settler was a hunter who was an expedition to the Paikokun land, a thick forest in Abuja. Paikokun was the name of the mountain where the first settler inhabited.

Principally there are three types of Gwari: Gwari Niger, Gwari Gengen and Gwari Yama. They are the most populated in the capital territory, their major occupation is farming. Before their farming occupation, Gwari’s were into calabash carving. Culturally, Gwari’s put there personal loads and luggages on their backs, as an ethnic group they respect head and believe that there can be no life without head.

The Gwari’s usually dress like Hausas and they have predominantly muslim population, they plant cotton on their farms which they use the material to fabricate their traditional cloths. In terms of language, they are linguistically different from hausa in dialect and pronunciation.

Body decoration and body piercing is a long practise of the Gwari people, it is used to be done for easy identification or writing the name of suitor in the body. The women decorate their body to attract men; it has aesthetic values and increases honour and respect of the doer.

Gbagyi’s are known to be peace-loving, transparent and accommodating people.


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