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Peuple - ethnie Ga'anda

Pays : Nigéria / Congo-Kinshasa - Région ou ville : Gombi

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The Ga'anda (or as locally called: Kaa-nda) are a group of Chadic speaking people living in North Eastern Nigeria.

They are divided into four groups and each speaks a thinly and fairly differentiated dialect that distinguishes them from each other.

The name Ga'anda as anglicized is used to apply to the entire land and people as well as their language.

Ga'anda boys and girls must pass through some ordeal before they transition to adulthood. Girls are usually engaged to boys at a very early age, when they are young they pass through five stages of body markings or scarification covering the entire body. The last set of markings is usually followed by extensive celebration during Hombata, the Ga'anda end of year and Harvest Festival held sometimes in November. By this time the girls would have been ready to proceed to their husbands' compound that must have built and decorated his house for the expected Perah (bride).

The boys at age 12 to 13 also pass through some ordeal they called Sabta, that is initiation of young boys to adulthood through intensive training and ordeal meant to produced hardened and resilient men for the community. Sabta is culminated by an elaborate feast and ceremony called Yohiwa. The Ga'anda are patri-lineal.

The Ga'anda believe in the existence of a supreme being whom they refer to as Farta, the same name they also apply to the sun. There was however no direct Farta worship, they worship Farta through some fetishes as intermediaries spread across the entire area. The most important fetish is called 'Yera' which literally means rain. Their chief priests Kutur 'Yera use the rain cult and his principal object of authority, he was therefore the most important person in the whole tribe. He was also in charge of wan-mirta spirit (Bringer of Death) to whom he makes sacrifices in April every year; there was also the Mbirthleng-nda which is the protector of the Ga'anda people. The chief priest, the people believe, has the ability to cause rain, sacrifice and appease the Wan-Mirta spirit as well as use Mbirthleng-nda to protect the Ga'anda people while Ngum-Ngumi serves as the overall guardian

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