The Ham of Nigeria, an expression of identity through the soceity’s attire and the relevance of Nok culture










Philip Hayab

1.Green Colour:
This stands for the arable land of the area which represents agriculture. Green is also associated with productivity which is source of wealth. In this direction, it symbolizes the colour of nature and equally stands for growth, harmony, freshness and fertility of the land (ribi) of Ham.

2. Maroon Colour:
This symbolizes royalty & also stands for courage, heroism, strength & energy. Maroon, a dark bluish red colour, denotes control & thoughtfulness. Maroon also represents sacrifice & bravery. These characteristics are associated with the Ham people, particularly, their ability for leadership & the role they often play wherever they find themselves. A Ham individual (mind you NOT Jaba) always stands out & often provide exemplary leadership with unique abilities.

3. The Gold Brown:
This signifies the precious sculpture, the Nok Terracotta, which was excavated in the Ham area. More so, the colour represents Fonio (often known as Hungry rice – Kpyo in Hyam and Acca in Hausa). Its production is harculean thus it stands for commitment, hard work, and a sign of good health. Perhaps you may be aware that Kpyo is also panacea for diabetic patients. To the Ham, kpyo is staple food and is utilised to prepare Shap/sap, Nburi/Nburo, diyeny (Kunun kpyo).

4. Golden Yellow:
This speaks of ginger which represents economic empowerment, strength & unity of the Ham people. Study has shown Kaduna state alone accounted for more than 75% of ginger exported from Nigeria in 1975.

Another point replete in literature, from childhood experience, and from oral testimonies is that the Ham are known for hospitality as there is always a reserve of food (mostly nkam) for passers by and visitors.

Disclaimer : the opinion of the comments by the reader is solidly his not mine

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