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Nigeria, the annual Gaani festival in Yashikira town of Baruten local government area pride itself as possessing a vibrant and thriving tourism potential and thus impact on the town as one of the foremost tourist destination in Nigeria. This claim is partly based on its rich cultural heritage, an engaging but delightful landscape and above all, its people have an enduring sense of history. The celebration of “Gaani festival in Yashikira being the second largest in the district dates back to nineteenth century and is usually celebrated between 8th -10th of the 3rd month of the lunar calendar, the same month that prophet Mohammed was born, in order to remember his birth day. These celebration normally takes place a week after it has been celebrated in Nikki as the headquarters and this continues in hierarchical order to other districts. The celebration of Annual Gaani festival started right from the time of their great grandfather to remember the birth day of the prophet Muhammed which was said to have come from Saudi Arabia and Bornu. It is the annual events that gather all the traditional rulers both the high ranking chiefs of the town and their subordinates’ chief together for them to pay homage to their overall leader. Social status and titles are inherited in the families, but the status of a person may be determined by the families’ nature of work. Notable subdivisions of the Baribas include the ruling Wassangari nobles, Batombu Commoners, Slaves of varying origin, Dendi merchants, Fulbe herders and other divisional ethnic groups.

Indeed, everybody in the town both men and women, old and young participate in the festival activities irrespective of their age group, ideological differences, Class diversity and religious affinity (i.e. Christians, Muslim and Traditional Worshiper). Three days to the festival, all the children from the royal families both the Princes and Princesses come out to shave their hair in order for them to be given traditional titles. A day after the festival celebration, the shaving still continues by the woman leader called “Nyakogi”. Any of the children from the royal families who fail to shave his/her own hair cannot hold any traditional title from the Royal Family. A day after the “Gaani Festival” celebration, there is always an event called “Kayessi” whereby subtitles are given to some people such as Crammy Yerima, Bio Yerima and Yaru Yerima.

The festival usually starts on a Friday with Jumaat prayers and recitation of the Quran at the fisrt mosque of Yashikira situated at ALAFIA-BANSU.

The annual Gaani Festival in Yashikira is very colourful events that have a lot of significance in different people, tribes, empires and Kingdoms in the district. Different kinds of cultural dances form part of this annual event, this includes Cocoma, Batonu, Teke and Ida dances.


It is a traditional dance that is mostly common among the people of Batonu in Yashikira town of Baruten Local Government Area. It is mainly carried out during a big occasion like “Annual Gaani Festival” using traditional instruments to make the events colorful. Recently, Cocoma music has been modernized in Yashikira whereby modern instruments like microphone, talking drums, Gitre, metal gong and loud speakers are used in making the events more colouful and interesting. In dancing the Cocoma music, both men and women come out in large number, shaking and twisting their body like a “Fish in the water” to the tune of the music. Cocoma music in Batonu language is usually sang to bring to the lime light the praises of their forefathers and a means of remembering their past ancestors.


This is a kind of dance that is mostly peculiar with the Batonu people of Yashikira that are hunters. This is to remember their past ancestors in the course of their hunting expedition. This dance is mostly carried out by two people, a hunter representing the bird and the other person representing the buffalo animal in the bush. When the hunter gets to the bush in search of animals he behave like a bird who attempts to remove insects from the body of the animals, while doing this the hunter gradually moves closer to the animal and eventually catch the animal and this marks the end of the hunters batonu dance. The betting of the musical instrument helps to add more colour to the Batonu music.


This is another important cultural dance among the Batonu people of Yashikera which is usually carried out by both men and women. They tie cloth around their waist and at times some of the men might dress in an armless regalia with some scattered cutting cloth around their waist dancing in twos with the instrumentalist adding more color to the music to make it more interesting while the dancers ensures that both their body and legs moves in line with the music. This dance usually take place during the “Annual Gaani festival” celebration.


It is a very important dance that is usually carried out by the Batonu people of Yashikira normally during big occasion in such as “Annual Gaani Festival”. This type of dance mostly comprise of both men and women singing their songs of praises to their forefathers in the remembrance of their past ancestors.


We must not forget to mention that the Gaani festival which is celebrated in Yashikera to commemorate the birth of the Holly Prophet Muhammed (SWS) is also an avenue to display the cultural heritage of the Baruba people.

There are many laudable


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