RE: PROFILE OF THE TANGALE ETHNIC NATIONALITY: THE TANGALE PEOPLE

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The purpose of this rejoinder is to checkmate the unfounded historical narrative of the Tangale people. For if left unchecked, it would posed a serious danger to the wellbeing of the people in question.

RE: PROFILE OF THE TANGALE ETHNIC NATIONALITY: THE TANGALE PEOPLE

JAPHIL YILA ESQ.PHONE: 08067702260
This is a rejoinder to an article published by NORTH EAST STAR Magazine of ISBN 2384-7042 VOL.4 No. 4th, October, 2017 Edition title: PROFILE OF THE TANGALE ETHNIC NATIONALITY:
THE TANGALE PEOPLE AT Page 11-16
BY YILA PETER MALUM
INTRODUCTION:
As most historians world assert, history is like a standing elephant surrounded by hunters who must described what they observed: believably, the one behind would rightly say he saw two gigantic legs with a short tail, the hunter at the front would cry of beholding a long trunk that looks like a nose with two white tusks pointing out. While hunters standing by the other sides would cry of observing flapping ears like banana leaves.
Unarguably, that is just what history is all about.
But that notwithstanding should not give everybody who could read and write, the avenue to write unfounded stuff the way and manner they felt.
Writing history must carry aims and objectives and a message to the interested reader of such history.
I believed, one of the major aims of writing a history is harmonizing a people and not to disintegrate them!
The purpose of this rejoinder is to checkmate the unfounded historical narrative of the Tangale people. For if left unchecked, it would posed a serious danger to the wellbeing of the people in question.
Here we are talking of a people who have been living like some uncontrollable cat and dogs with each other in recent years.
 
THE TANGALE PEOPLE
Perhaps it would be of interest to define the word “TANGALE” it appears all historians who wrote about this people in question ignored defining the meaning of the word “TANGALE”. Unlike HAUSA which historical legends has it that it was coined by the emergence of “BAYAJIDDA” the Hausa legend who was described as “–Ya hau-sa–meaning “he clambered a cow”. Sources had it that he came on a horse but the native had never seen a horse, therefore, as far as they were concerned he, Bayajidda clambered a horse. Hence,”—hau sa” became the name of ethnic group “HAUSA” therefore, the connotation Tangale is not a word found in the linguistic of the people of Tangale: the word Tangale must have been named by the Arabs or Kanuri during their intercourse at the kenem-Borno era close to a mellinia ago.
Linguists like Harman, Adelberger and Mairo could not fathom a relationship between the word Tangale and the people the word described.
The Hausa, Fulani and other neighbors simply called the people “TANGALU”, a coinage I feel sounds better and sensible since it carries the scent of Hausa insertion.

The word “TANGLE” on the other side refers to the clan of Billiri from the name “TANGAL” as was pointed out by Peter Yila Malum- quoting Mr. A.D. Yelyel who suggested that the name Tangale adopted by the seven clans located by Tangale kingdom must have been associated with the name of one of their former rulers, Mai Tangal

In view of the above and contrary to what Yila Peter Malum asserted at the first page of his misnomer that: “— People generally refer to them as Tangale or Tangle. They comprised of seven major clans (Tul Tangle Pelou) as follows: “Tangaltong made of Billiri and Bare, Kalmai, Banganje, Tangland, Tal, Todi and Nathe —-Some colonial document as well as those written by certain European anthropologists and linguists tended to suggest the existence of an extension of the Tangale Kith and Kin somewhere east of the kingdom, comprising mainly what they had earlier known as the shongom people made of: Ngalargo (located in the present Kaltungo town), kulishin, Bo, Lapan and Ture.
The writer further went on to say; incidentally, the people of Kaltungo also speak a similar Tangale dialect with that of the seven clans of Tangale. It would be difficult for one to suggest any precise original common name for both seven clans of Tangale and probably their eastern Kaltungo neighbors, should it be established that both groups are one and same ethnic and language group—-“
The ethnic nation of what was from the beginning and still today known as the Tangale people comprises of Billiri, Kaltungo, Shongom and Ture.
If Peter Malums misnomer is anything to go by, then it would be tantamount to restrict the nation of Tangale to Billiri alone, detrimenting the other brothers as subsidiaries. And in turn creating separation of superiority complex and inferiority complex among the people, a disease that would have these people fighting each other as we keep witnessing today.
Therefore, against the above unsubstantiated assertions, based on faceless colonial anthropologists and linguist which was swallowed by the writer hook line and sinker, the people called Tangalu had lived in harmony since discovering them at a place called “MAK” mingling around other groups called the chandic group of languages over chad-basin, an area extending the lake chad to the Cameroun, Niger republic and the Borno axis.
According to Prof. Abdullahi Smith and Prof. Saliba James the Tangalu meandered alongside the Bolewa, Kanakuru, Terawa, Jukuns etc all through their migrations down to the Gombe land.
Historical sources point to the fact that the Tangalu exist under one umbrella as a people without a clear cut leadership, and not until the 16th century when the Kwarairafa Empire was founded at Pindiga did two distinct personalities came to limelight: Giddigiddi and Abdu, the former was said to be the “Mai” Chief while the latter his assistant.
The likes of Prof. Helon Habila, Prof. James Saliba and Prof. Sa’ad Abubakar pointed out the fact that the Tangalu lived among the Jukuns at Pindiga as four clans under one umbrella nation.
Only towards the end of the medieval age and the beginning of the enlightened age 1600-1700 did the people went their separate ways after enjoying the Tungo hills, a hill 10km North of Kaltungo and about 15 km North east of Billiri. Where sources had it that after countless years of living under one umbrella, the Tangalu broke up, as a result of argument over a woman and another version has it that it was over land dispute.
Anyway, the end result was that, by then there existed a clear cut of clannish headed by most elderly amongst the four clans.
Therefore, Billiri clan headed by one Tangal left the group along his clans men and settled at the present Billiri land, and years later the Kaltungo, Shongom and Ture clans left Tungo and settled at their current settlements.
BETWEEN TANGALE AND TANGLE
As already discussed  above, the Tangale-Tangalu remains the name of an ethnic group located roughly between longitudes 10°and 12° West and Latitudes 9° and 11° North, covering no less than 720sq Kilometers. The area in description can simply be geo-politically called Gombe South.
Although the people live along other natives like the Wajawa, Tula, Didiya, Pero etc., as neighbors.
The Tangalu speaks same native language with slight trace of linguistic intonations with varies from one clan to another.
The people share almost same culture, tradition and religion.
 Therefore, while Tangale refers to the entire people, Tangle refers to one branch of the people- others are to Shongom or Chomgom, Kaltungo and Ture.
It would be myopic to assert that one branch holds custody of the umbrella name Tangale against the entire group.
CONCLUSION
The Tangalu which started as a tiny ethnic group from a far and subsequently migrated and settled where they are now only surreptitiously grew gradually to what it is today.
As enlightened men we should endeavor to root out the true history of the people with the notion of harmonizing not disintegrating the people with false and unfounded historical analysis.
It would do much incurable damage if the study of the Tangalu ethnic group is not viewed objectively without sentimental attachments.

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