The coming of the Kungul

The history of the settlement of the lower Jos Plateau is a fascinating topic. Many people – including Ron people – are involved with archeological and historical research in this area these days. In addition to archeological findings, stories told by the elders may be a valuable source of information. The following text was told by the Daffo Chief (Saf Ɗafo), His Royal Highness Samuel Maɓung Maren, in 1992. I hope it will be useful for you historians out there.

Mayes ti Kunggul

Inii, ɗam mama naf ma we si laken, si nii, Makunggul ndee a yes, ta mun  a Fai-a-Di’, a Ɗayi. Maɗayi ta lak han, ta nii, waa’, naaf sani ma male’ mai, i wa a mati kwa. Hu kulis Mahurum a te’e! Nai ta lifit, ta yes. Da Jol, yit yis a Sunggwak. Nai ta mat sis, ta ɗor ti a Faram. Makunggul ta mun ti a Faram, si furai fwaahan ti wur si Maandung. Si furai fut hai si Maandung. Da Jol ta nii: „Wo’! Ahun i kir malamot sani a tei ndee, Maandung ma wan a tekai sen ha?“ Ta pakis ta ti a Sunggwak ka gaat mmis ma Saf ma Nyorong a ra. Ta hon ɗaam ma motashi shak ti a Hurum. Ta ɗoris, ta pakis a fa Tamba. Itii mai, si niyai „A fa tamba a naf ma Jol“. Nai ta munis a tei, ta hon Maandung a tei, ta hon Makunggul lan na a nani. Nai si furai fwaahan ti wur si Makunggul. Si kir ɓarnggal akul, masha mmis akul. Si furai fut hai nzis akul fiyang.

Nai mar mmis ma Da Jol, Borok, ta yes, ta shu fe mmis yuhun, ka Ges, ka Manggai, ka Bura. Manggut ta yes kong, ta lak han, ta nii: „A Maɗafo-o (ɗak a shitai Makunggul ma shu fe mmis, si hyau), Makunggul sani, hwa nyaahan ma male’ mai ndee, i tekan male’ sai, i hwyan ti la a yiri.“ Maɗafo ta niyis: „Mma a nii, ma yo male’ kwa, ha a tekai male’i a hai!“

Ta fa kunggwis mar mmis Manggai, Ukwin – Ukwin ti Magit. Ukwin ndai ti yes, ti kir Nggwak, ti kir Malo. Itii Manggut ta pakis ta ti a fa Tamba a naf ma Joli, ta pakis a Rokol, yit ti ref mmis fulal, ku Ukwin sin si matis ti Jukur (Ukwin tima ti shu ka Nggwak si Malohi).

Ka Malo si Nggwaki si mun ti a Rokol, si nii: „Mawa, a nisin a Jukur, naa winin a mapak a ɓasas ta washash mminin.“ Itii mai, si niyai a Naf-ma-Nggwaki. Si yu, si mbuk ɓasasi la, si ta’ wur nzis ti sin si nisis – sin fe ma Ukwin.

Taa tei, itii Nggwaki, a yes, a tik a kunggo Unggai – Unggai ti Kwate. Shigal a kunggo Uyar – Uyar ti Kwate. Unggai mwan ti kir Maren (Maren ma Nggwaki). Taa tei, Makunggul a tik a mamun ma male’ kwa. Si yu a ver akul, si masai shak ɗaam akul, si munis yo Mapun ndai kong. Makunggul a katis yo Maapun – shak ta andai, yit a cwai puri, yit a cwai gandyar mmis! Hani ti, male’ a luk la taa hai ta Makunggul. Ɗam mama i sun nai.

Inii mai, i mun: Dong ma Abung, Abung ma Aren, Aren ma Nggwak, Nggwak ma Anggai, Anggai ma Anggut, Anggut Aborok, Borok ma Jol, Jol ma Amwan (a Sunggwak), Amwan Awal, Wal ma Anggai, Anggai ma Daas. Inii mai Saf ma Ɗafo.

The coming of the Kungul

The old people told me that the Kungul first settled at Di’ hill, in  Dayi village. But the Dayi people rejected them as being taboo to them. They drove  them away to Hurum. So they went and came to Hurum. At that time Da Jol (a great-grandson of Mangai a Daas, the ancestor of  the Daffo people) was living at Sungwak village. He received them and settled them at Faram. There they lived together with the Mandung and had a good relationship  with them, having many customs and beliefs in common. They began to unite with them. Da Jol was afraid that the Mandung may part him with the Kungul people  (which he treated as his servants). Therefore he himself departed from Sungwak village, with his staff of  office in hand. He left all his ritual things in Hurum. He went down and settled on top of the Tamba hill. That place is today known as “A fa tamba a naf ma Jol” (“the Jol family  hill). He settled in the middle between the Mandung and the Makungul. They became acquainted to his rituals. They had a ritual meeting place and their circumcision together. They united very closely.

Meanwhile the son of Da Jol called Borok begot three sons named Ges,  Mangai (=Mangut?) and Bura. Mangut, seeing that the Kungul gave birth to very beautiful daughters,  called on the people of Daffo to stop calling the Kungul taboo. They said to him that by stopping to treat them as taboo he would take  the taboo on himself.

He broke the taboo by getting his son Mangai to marry one of the Kungul girls called Ukwin, Magit’s daughter. Ukwin gave birth to Ngwak and Malo. Meanwhile Mangut decided to move his settlement from the Jol family  hill (near Faram) to Rokol (near Hurum), together with his two wives (Ukwin and the mother to his son Jukur).

Malo and Ngwak told their half-brother Jukur: “Brother, we wish to  leave you here in Rokol and move closer to our mother’s family.” The place where they settled became known as “Naf ma Ngwak” (“people of  Ngwak”). They went and weeded fields for cocoyam farms and built houses close to  their brothers’ – the children of Ukwin.

Later on, Ngwak again married a Kungul girl called Ungai Kwate. Shigal married her sister Uyar. Ungai gave birth to Maren. After that, the taboo against the Kungul was abolished. They had their religious festivals together with the Mapun and took over  their culture. The Kungul are now similar to the Mapun – the only difference is that they eat horse meat and lizards. That is how the taboo was taken from them. This is what I know about it.

I am Dong, Mabung’s son. Mabung was a son of Maren, Maren was a son of  Ngwak. Ngwak was a son of Mangai. Mangai was a son of Mangut. Mangut was a son of Borok. Borok was a son of Jol. Jol was a son of Mamwan. Mamwan was a son of Wal. Wal was a son of Mangai. Mangai was a son of Daas. I am the present chief of Daffo.

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5 responses to “The coming of the Kungul

  1. interesting!

  2. The choice of abode by Kungul people on arrival in Daffo community was largely influenced by the cultural affinity between them and Mandung people. The abode became referred to as ‘fa rahm’ in Ron native language, which is literally translated descriptively as ‘by the mountain side’. Kungul became the seventh migrant group to settle in Daffo; the first six being Mandung & Mapun around the same hill, Dai & Dahuwa [ Dai a Fit & Dai a nyeh] around the same hill while Mayi & Hottom settled at separate adjoining hills. Together, the catchment settlement hills form a triangle of a sort that seems to define Daffo community.
    The Mapun group has Mangai Daas as their progenitor; they became subdivided into three due to dynamics that were internal to them. As a result, the Jol sub-group moved to an abode that stood between Mandung & Kungul peoples. Hitherto, the ties between Mandung & Kungul peoples waxed strong due to many shared ancestral customs and beliefs such as the eating of horse meat and lizards.
    The relocation of Jol from sungwak in Mapun homestead became the watershed that defined Mapun people into three sub-groups; Faram, Malul & Hurum. The schism in Mapun People increased the aboriginal hamlets in Daffo community from seven to nine, as they stand today.
    A symbiotic relationship blossom between Jol and Mandung people; both sides held each other to diplomatic ties and shared security & defense information to this day. Such ties in Ron language are described as ‘naf ma attier’ meaning the informant or person of the road.
    This much on the Mapun and Kungul peoples was a regular narrative that I heard from old people of Mandung as a growing young lad; my father, Da Akun Adawel being the fifth ruler of Mandung as well as my immediate predecessor to the ruling throne of Mandung. My succession to Mandung throne was celebrated on 6th January 1999 after the demise of Da Akun on 12th April 1997. I hold two university degrees from Nigeria, B.Sc & M.Sc Economics and extensive working career with the central bank of Nigeria from 1984 to date.
    My position as the ruler of Mandung makes me a prominent member of the aboriginal cabinet the rules Daffo community with Da Bitrus Andong Mabung Maren as the chairman & District Head of Daffo. The name Samuel is wrongly attributed to him.

  3. Thank you for this addition and clarification.

  4. Seth Ayuba Fwangwon

    Pls. what is the relationship between Mangai and Shagau?

  5. Dear Seth,
    I have posted this question in a Facebook group with many Ron-Kulere members. The answer I got is that according to tradition, Shagau is Mangai’s father’s elder brother.

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