Culture and Traditions

Noman Gayya: Seasonal Hausa Festival that encourages Division of labour

The word “Gayya” in Hausa terminologies means team and “Noman”, an adjectival word meaning farming or the farm, so therefore Noman Gayya in short can be said to mean team of farmers farming communally to help one another at no cost. Noman Gayya is a communal farming, a long ages farming festival practised in vast Hausa communities. It involves invitations and cookings and merriments, though it is most attained during the farming seasons. The communal farming involves invitation of friends and family to aid in farming activities and some chores, in case if the invitee was sick and unable to work.

In Niger Republic and parts of Nigeria, West Africa where the event is mostly practised, farmers who are incapable to cultivate their farm lands and those with no able bodied children to farm in their farms are those that call for the communal farming during raining seasons. In some cases a renowned farmer, Sarkin Noma or Nomau (Chief of Farming) can invite people from various communities, but it’s a “Do me I do you event”, if you don’t attend other peoples invitations, no one would be able to attent to your Gayya. And too, female farmers who met the above criteria used to call their fellow females and peers to their farms to help them.

During the event various delicious starchy meals are prepared to give the workers more energy to work. Different kinds of foods and assorted porridge like Hura da nona, Kumande, Nashe, Lalame, Kunun zaki and Kunun kanwa (Various names for Hura), compound of Rice and beans (Garau-garau), Tuwo da miyan kuka e.t.c Children are always joyous and craving for such moments because foods are prepared in aboundance and they ate like they never do. Their only chores was to take trays and plates of food to the farms and ate leftovers. They occasionally put on new clothes because it is an event for merriment to them.

At times drumers are called upon to beat their drums so to give the workers an added energy in the process by following drums rhythm and forming one style dancing while ploughing.

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Multilingual Blogger, Website and Graphic Designer, Gobir Enthusiast, GTE at WordPress Hausa. I am Abdul Mailahiya Hausa by name, Founder- Operator at Bago Technologies. My hobbies are reading, travelling and discovering.

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