Science Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
March 2014, Volume 2014, ISSN:2276-6359
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
An Ethno-historical Appraisal of the Circular Stone Heaps of Dutse Dawadi in the Mambilla Plateau, Taraba State of Nigeria
Richard, Tanto Talla
Department of History , University of Buea, Cameroon.
Accepted 29th September, 2013; Available Online 3 March, 2014
The history of early settlements in this part of the world is fraught with a lot of constraints because of the prevalent activities of nature and man which have destroyed the evidence needed for such studies. This study appraises the circularly arranged stone heaps, found on some of the flat hill tops in the Mambilla plateau of Nigeria with a focus on the Dutse Dawadi Hill. This is meant to find out their origin; why the stones were arranged in a circular manner; and what they were used for? A reconnaissance survey of the site, helped in the identification of 47 of these stone heaps and some associated cultural materials such as broken pieces of pot or pot sherds, iron slag and a hollow stone. Oral traditions and ethnographic investigations conducted in the nearby town of Yelwa did not seriously assist in our understanding of the origin and function of the circular stone heaps. This was because, traditions of the five ethnic groups-Mambilla, Fulani, Kaka, Kambu, and Panso, which presently occupy this plateau, do not actually possess any information about these stone features. This raises the possibility that they knew nothing about the stone heaps, which were certainly erected and used as homes by the hitherto unknown inhabitants. On the whole, the study revealed that the hill tops were probably settled in times of war and the rocky hills provided the stones used in constructing the circular stone heaps.
Keywords:Mambilla, Dutse Dawadi hill, Ethnography, Stone and Circular.