• July 11, 2020

Men Wear Loin Cloth. Women Wear Fresh Leaves. They Bury Twins Alive With Their Mothers – The Koma Tribe of Nigeria

Their men men wear loincloths; women wear fresh leaves and they regard a twin birth as evil and abomination. Until recently, babies of multiple births were buried alive with their ‘unfortunate mothers’.

They are in the Atlantika Mountains of Adamawa state – they the Koma ethnic group. They worship God and Zum or Nu – (god).

They believe in unalterable predestination and recognise the powers of local deities such as Kene, which can be appealed to for health, vitality, and fertility.

Every household has its Ken-shrine, overseen by male priests known as Kene-Mari, who is assisted by male prophets, Kpani.

They largely stick to their traditional culture and somehow abhors modern civilisation except for the youths in resettled areas who wear modern clothes.

But many of them prefer traditional dress, leaves and animal skins that exposes certain ‘sacred’ body parts.

Inheritance among them is in the maternal lineage and they share a boarder with Cameroon and are divided into three main groups: the hill-dwelling Beya and Ndamti, and the Vomni and Verre lowlanders.

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They are apolitical in thoughts and action. They have about 21 Koma villages in the Cameroonian side of the Alantika Mountains and 17 villages on the Nigerian side.

These 62, 000 people speak their own language known as Koma – a language of the Niger-Congo family.

They use traditional salt (Mangul) produced from the hills for cooking. They don’t use matches to make fire, but rub stones together to ignite the fire.

They also use some special oil produced via a natural technology and other forms of foods not common to other ethnic groups around the state.

When a woman dies, the daughters inherits the estate. Usually, the livestock, farms, domestic utensils, beads, pigments and decorated hoes go to the daughter.

Any forms of nut products are regarded as a woman’s exclusive property, while bows and arrows belong to the first son of the deceased male.

They thrive economically via farming, hunting (done only by men), cultivation, weeding and gathering.

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Women often have their own farms separate from their male counterparts and Patriarchy is blurred as as both men and women help each other out in farming.

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Femi Oshin

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