Kingdom at war is an ethnographic study of Niger, Kebbi and part of FTC.
The Achipawa live in Sakaba/Wasagu LGA of Kebbi State. (There is also a group called Achipawa or Eastern Achipawa in Rafi LGA of Niger State. They are part of the Kamuku. See the Kamuku report in Niger State). Their population about 20,000. Their settlements include Karishen, Kadonho, Kadedan, Mazarko, Kumbashi and Busa. They speak Dakarkari, Kambari and Hausa as well as their language. Even their old men speak Hausa. Sociolinguistic survey revealed that the Western and the Eastern dialects have just 20% lexical similarity while the similarity between the Eastern and Kamuku was about 50% (Dettweiler 1993). The Achipawa do not have tribal marks but the men and women both have pierced ears. The elders still wear leather loincloths. Karishen, their oldest settlement, is on a mountain and is inhabited by the chief (the Womo) and his elders.
The rest of the houses are kept by other clans for festivals. Houses are also maintained in old Kadanho on the mountain, and are used during ceremonies. Nearby Sakaba and Makuku towns each have a primary school and dispensary. Makuku even has a junior secondary school and a borehole. Most of the Achipawa have not sent their children to school or gone to dispensaries, but a few are university graduates. Common diseases among them include cerebro-spinal meningitis, guinea worm and various kinds of stomach ills.
According to oral tradition, Damasa the son of Damarudu and the grandson of the famous Kisera was the ancestor of the Achipawa. He left Arabia after losing his father in war with Muhammad. They passed through Katsina, to Kanoma, now in Sokoto State, where his younger brother Wuya decided to stay. Damasa proceeded to the foot of Karishen hill where he stopped because his wife was in labour. Toro his other younger brother continued and founded the Bariba people. Later two of Damasa’s followers who had settled on the Karishen hill invited him up and made him their chief. He and the chief of Kadanho are the guardians of the magical sword of Kisera which they say is still in their possession. The Achipawa claim relationship with the Sef of Borno through his mother, Rabi, who is said to be the daughter of Kisera. The Jukun also claim possession of the Kisera sword. Kisera is likewise regarded as the ancestor of the Kyangawa people and brother of Zabarcan the founder of the Zabarmawa.
Eastern Achipa believe they migrated from Kotonkoro together with the Kamuku people. Those found beyond Randeggi even perform their religious functions together with the Kamuku.
The chief (Womo) is considered divine and holds great spiritual power over the people. He is called Daidai da Allah in Hausa, meaning “equal with God”. He speaks through the elders and lives on a great mound of boulders where he has a hut for receiving the elders or visitors. Everyone going towards the chief’s place must remove his shoes and cap. Women are not allowed to see him. The elders wear leather girdles in his presence. He does not farm or come down from the mountain. The last chief (died 1992) who was blind, was deeper in traditional worship than the present one who was a Muslim before being made chief…