This work is on Atsam morphology. Atsam is one of the languages spoken in Kauru local Government of Kaduna State. Another name for Atsam language is ‘Chawei’
This chapter will be devoted to the historical and linguistic background, geographical location, genetic classification, scope of study and synopsis of chapters.
According to oral tradition, Atsam people are ethnic group found in Kaduna State. They are predominantly found in States like Plateau, Nassarawa and the Federal Capital Territory. Atsam people originated from Sango Kattaf.
Atsam speaking people can be found in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. They share boundaries with Plateau, Kaduna Local Government in the South and Zango Kattaf on the West. Atsam is spoken in six districts in Kauru L. G. A. they are:
Each district is headed by a district head.
Culture is the total ways of life of a people in terms of their bliefs, way of life or art. Culture must be studied directly by studying behavior, customs, language and so on.
The aspect of Atsam that we shall discuss here covers their language, festivals, religion, marriage rite, types of food they eat and jobs they engage in.
One of the festival in Atsam is “SHAKDODO” Shakdodo is the name of a man who in account of the bad behaviors of his wives got angry and turned into a river. Shakdodo is been scarified as dictated by the priests, food and domestic animals such as Goat, Fowl, Guinea – corn are used to make sacrifice to the river
Women are not allowed to participate in this festival, any woman found, will be punished by bringing items like Goat, Fowl to appease the river.
For a man and woman to get married in Atsam land, few steps are taken. Firstly, there is an intermediary between the wife and the husband’s family. It is the duty of the intermediary to make known the intension of both families. The bride’s family will then decide if they want their daughter to marry the man. After many consultations, a date is picked, this time; dowry of the woman (bride) is paid along side with tubers of yam, kolanut, and some yards of cloth. But if the couple is willing to have a church wedding or a nikkah program, a separate day will be picked for it.
Burial ceremony is being conducted in several ways among the Atsam people depending on the sex of the dead person. If an old man dies, “SHANGBARI” a rite, is been performed in honor of the dead person for seven days, on the 40th day, another rite called “PEPIYON” is performed to appease the dead not to forget his family members, this rites are not done for women.