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Bali Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Bali Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow



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Published by Isaac Pamni
Brief History of Bali Community, Life, Culture and Tradition. Bali is located in Adamawa, Nigeria
Brief History of Bali Community, Life, Culture and Tradition. Bali is located in Adamawa, Nigeria

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Isaac Pamni on Jul 17, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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To start with the word “Bali”
(also known as Bibaali, Maya,Ibaale, Abaali, Ibaale or Ibaali)
is used to refer to the communitiesthat settled at these villages: Farabaune, Tashan Gurgu,Geidam/Tamgum, Tagombali Center, Duwo, Tamwa, Badan,Kwafara, Gidan-Rimi, Tamshe, Bali, and Bomni located onNuman-Jalingo Highway about 20KMs from Numan. Others whosettled in the interior are: Janawuri, Salem (Babgye), Badalang, Tamgong, Tagombali Dutse, Tangshi, Guri, Guri Kasuwa, Dingle,Kwabak, and Ubgo (Dingle Dutse) who speak Congo-Ubanpilanguage as classified by Blench and others. Presently, Bali islocated in Demsa, Numan, Mayo Belwa Local Government areasof Adamawa State and. Majority of the people are agriculturalist,though there are traders, herdsmen and civil servants amongthem.Like any other ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Bali claims thatthey entered the Nigeria region from the east. The Bali, forexample claim that they entered the Nigerian region fromthe Republic of Congo and through gradual process; they cameand settled in their present geographical location. The Yotti claimthat they came into the Nigerian region from Egypt. TheKpasham and Bomni denied any knowledge of distancemovement. They claim that they came from Bachama land,probably from Lamurde to the area they are now occupying.However, linguistics evidence suggests that the people are of 
Bantu origin. The evidence points to Republic of Congo as theiroriginal homeland.It is not known when the people left their originalsettlement. Probably, the people must have left their originalsettlement in the 17
Century by which time there waspopulation movement in the whole of the West, East and CentralAfrica as a result of famine, facial wars and chieftaincy tussle. The Bali might have formed part of the population that migratedto the Lake Chad basin area and, later to the Upper BenueValley. Before the declaration of the Jihad in Fombina, in 1809,Bali had already settled in their various communities and hasdeveloped village governments or better still, communitygovernments, independent of each other.Apart from these community governments set up by theBali, the people also had a well defined social and economicsystem which rendered their societies stable. For example, oneaspect of the social life of the people is that the Bali had greatrespect for life. In fact, the spilling of human blood was seen asoffensive to Kpan Biswi (Kpan Luh or Luwe, among the Yotti andKpasham respectively). Most Bali believed that it was KpanBiswi that guide and sustain their livelihood. To the Bali,therefore, life was very sacred. The birth of a child was greeted with joy not only by the parents but also by the community as a whole. The growth and development of such a child was watchedcarefully by the entire community.
He was trained not only by his parents and relatives alonebut by the community as a whole. This made Bali child usefulmember of his society.Similarly, the death of a member was mourned by all and was seen as a great loss to the entire Bali Community. In short,there was social cohesion among the Bali people before theadvert of Colonialism. For instance, an attack on any of the BaliVillage by the enemy was seen as an attack on all. Besides,individual farmers or other hunters assisted their colleagues intime of need, especially through communal work (Gaya inHausa). To put it in another way, during pre-colonial period, BaliSociety was quite peaceful and people were hardworking. Theirquarrels were settled among them peacefully, although on rareoccasions, they resort to skirmishes.During the first decade of the 19
Century, Bali Landstarted to experience some political, economic and socialdisequilibrium. The declaration of the Jihad in Fombina in 1809by, Modibbo Adama affected not only the Bali but the whole of the Upper Benue Region. The Jihadists attempted to overrun the whole of Bali land but without success. However, onedevastating impact of this Jihad on the people is that there were population movements throughout Bali land. In theprocess, many of the Bali lost their children, their relatives,friends and possessions to the Jihadists. Even before thedeclaration of the Jihad by Moddibo Lawan on Bali people,Baliland had been under constant threats from Fulani andBachama slave raiders.

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