Angas

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The Angas sometimes called Ngas are a Nigerian group identified as a section of the Benue-Chadic language group and a member of the Afro-Asiatic family. They have a history of migration and according to oral history, they are descendants from Sudanic groups from the Nile region.

Origins

The Angas trace their history to the Nile region, on deserting the Nile they settled in Kanem and later Bornu before emigrating from Borno around 1350 to their present region in the Plateau. Along the way they passed through Yam at Kanam Local Government, Bauchi, Sur and Zwal country. The migratory groups later split into sub-groups founding different settlements including Gyangyand, Boksella, Shuwah, Amper, Ampang, Kabwir and Garram. It is believed that a powerful Garram state led to the emergence of other ethnic groups such as Tal, Chip, Mufun, fier and Kwanka in Shendam, Langtang, Quan Pan, Mangu and Pokkos Local Government Areas.

The Angas of today are split into two groups: Hill Angas and Plains Angas.

Geography and history

The Pankshin district, an old colonial era divisional district in Angas country is situated in the Eastern escarpment of Jos-Highland Plateau and enjoys a temperate climate. Angasland itself is located Southeast of Jos. In the early twentieth century much literature on the area dealt with the hill refugee theme, whereby various groups in the Jos Plateau largely for defensive reasons use the barren hills to isolate themselves and fight off slave raiders.

History

The Angas are predominantly Christian though there exist significant number of Angas Muslims residents as well as Muslims from Hausaland and nearby communities. During the Jihad of Uthman Dan Fodio and a brief rule of the Bauchi Emirate, few Angas converted to Islam. However, through their history, the Angas have had to combat threat from without shaping their instinct for military readiness.

In the 1900s, a group of missionaries under the leadership of T.E. Alverez came to Kabwir in Angas land to establish a Christian community. They sent emissaries to the the Chief about their mission and after the chief had performed some local customs welcomed the Christian message.

One of the advantages gained out of the missionaries was the establishment of educational facilities in the land. The colonial authorities also introduced educational facilities, a man made lake and a hospital.

Farmers resident in Angasland usually find the area not conducive for farming so some have to use farmland faraway from their home. However, areas around Pankshin historically served as a fertile ground for iron works. The Angas practice an agriculture related astrological time system with cycles of five moons divided into Moons for Sowing, Weeding, transplantation, second ridging and harvest. There also exist three major communal rituals.