23 May 2017
Taraba is called “Nature’s gift to the nation” as the state is rich and have many ethnic groups, includingJenjo, Jibawa, Kuteb Chamba, Yandang, Mumuyes, Mambila, Wurkums, Fulanis, Jukun, Ichen, Tiv, Kaka, Panso, Kambu, Wawa, Vute, Tikari, Hausa and Ndola.
Quickly, Taraba is a state in Nigeria, named after the Taraba River which traverses the southern part of the state. Taraba’s capital is Jalingo.
The state was created out of the former Gongola State on 27 August 1991, by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.
Furthermore, a striking historical fact about the State is that it encompasses part of the Mambilla region which is famed as the Bantu cradle, having been occupied for some five millennia to date (Schwartz, 1972; Zeitlyn & Connell, 2003).
This piece on Taraba will be incomplete if I don’t talk about the state’s culture and pleasurable places to be visited.
The government has made concerted efforts to improve areas of tourist attractions like Mambilla Tourist Center, Gumpti Park and game reserve in Gashaka; and the Nwunyu Fishing festival in Ibi, which is usually held in April of each year where activities such as canoe racing, swimming competition and cultural dances are held.
Other festivals are Purma of the Chamba in Donga, Takum and Jibu culture dance in Bali, the Puje of Jukuns, Kuchecheb of Kutebs in Takum and Ussa, Kati of the Mambilla and host of others.
In addition, the major occupation of the people of Taraba State is agriculture. Cash crops produced in the state include coffee, tea, groundnuts and cotton. Crops such as maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, and yam are also produced in commercial quantity.
Also, cattle, sheep and goats are reared in large numbers, especially on the Mambilla Plateau, and along the Benue and Taraba valleys.
Similarly, the people undertake other livestock production activities like poultry production, rabbit breeding and pig farming in fairly large scale.
Communities living on the banks of River Benue, River Taraba, River Donga and Ibi engage in fishing all year round.
Other occupational activities such as pottery, cloth-weaving, dyeing, mat-making, carving, embroidery and blacksmithing are also carried out in various parts of the State.
When next you’ll visit Taraba, let it be in April so you may celebrate the Fishing Festival with them.
Also, don’t forget to visit other tourist centres and bring home their agricultural produce.