The Angas people are a minority ethnic group, located on the highlands of Plateau State. They are also known as Ngas and the Kerang. The people are said to have migrated from Bornu, passing through villages before settling at their new homes on the Plateau highlands. In the course of their migration, the groups splintered into sub-groups settling in Ampang, Amper, and Kabwir districts. The major city of the Angas is Pankshin.
The main language spoken is Ngas or Angas, an Afro-asiatic language spoken in Plateau State, Nigeria. There are dialects such as Hill Angas and Plain Angas. There are about 400,000 native speakers of this language.
The sub-groups of the Angas i.e Ampang, Amper, and Kabwir have a distinct leader. The Ampers are led by a chief called Kendim. The settlers at Kabwir are also led by a chief called Gwallam.
Like other ethnic groups in Nigeria, there are several festivals celebrated by the Angas. Notable among the festival is the ‘Tsati Tar or Mos Tar’. During the celebration, a brief event called ‘Shooting the Moon’ takes place to mark the end season and the beginning of a new season. This festival is usually celebrated during the time of harvest.
There is also the Moslum festival usually observed around March/April. During this festival, a local brew is prepared and used in a ritual during which the people request for the blessings of the gods for a good harvest. During the festive periods, Wong, an Angas masquerade is featured.
The Angas tribe is known to contract marriage at a time when their kids are too young to understand what marriage means. The parents of a young child reserve a wife for their son from a family they like. The child then gets to know about this when they are fully grown. Paying for a wife involves farming for the eventual in-laws and this lasts for as long as the courtship lasts. Cakes of tobacco and salt are also offered to the girl’s father and mother respectively. There is no specific bride price here. Goats are also offered as part of the marital rites.
DO YOU KNOW THAT?
Angas people don’t practice inheritance as it is done in most African tribes. When a man dies, his land is not shared among his children. Anyone who wants it may build on it.
Also in Angas land, when a young person dies, there is much wailing because they believe that somebody must be responsible for his/her death.