Unmask the Giant is an ethnographic study of Bauchi and Gombe.
AYAH (BOI-HAUSA) OF BAUCHI STATE
The Ayah people are found in Deshan, Yelwan Boi, Janyar, Dalli, Rishak, Jallang and Kijim, all villages in Tafawa Balewa LGA of Bauchi State, and in Sangans village of Pankshin LGA of Plateau State. They live along the southern part of the Bauchi/Plateau State boundary, in the hills where many streams flow.
They speak Ayah, Angas, Sayanci, Tapshin, Bijim and Hausa. They use Hausa widely as a trade language. The Boi people are somewhat modernized with a few schools and roads. The COCIN Church runs a clinic in the town of Boi, which also has some commercial chemists. Because of the 1991 religious crisis in Tafawa Balewa, there is tension about religious affiliation. Social interaction between Muslims and Christians is often hostile. But with the presence of security agents and constant government appeals, the tension is being lowered.
Snake bite and malaria are the most common diseases found here.
The history of the Boi or Ayah people is full of diverse stories and legends. As can be seen from the fact that they are familiar with so many languages, their history can be traced to many groups. None of the existing sub-groups can claim the superiority of being the first settlers in the area. This has made land and chieftaincy claims very volatile issues.
AWAK (YEBU, AWOK) OF GOMBE STATE
The Awak tribe are found mostly in Kaltungo district, Kaltungo Local Government area of Bauchi State where they live in Galong, Gwaiyeng, Yarbo, Tondoli, Kwelasine (Gangale) and Bilatiya. Some also live in Ralab village of Yamaltu-Deba LGA, while others are found in Kembu village, Akko LGA. Their population is about 6,000. Languages which they speak are Yebu or Yiin Yebu (Wente-Lucas 1985), Kamu, Tangale, Tula, Kaltungo and Hausa, which is the trade language. Yebu or Yiin Yebu is their mother tongue.
The Awak claim they originated in Yemen. From Yemen they came to Bornu. Moving from Bornu, they settled at the Birmah hills near Gwani. When they left Birmah hills they came to settle at Awak from where some spread to Yamaltu-Deba and Akko LGAs where they now are. Their initial settlement at Awak was near the hills of Mbang-Yebu. At the hills the Jihadists confronted them but could not prevail against them. Also the Emir of Misau, by name Sale, and that of Bauchi, called Yakubu, fought them at different times but could not overpower them. It was the Europeans who came later, who could subdue the Awak people…