The origins of Kushi in oral narratives

Gian Claudio Batic

Abstract


The Kushi are a relatively small Chadic-speaking group settled in north-eastern Nigeria. Reconstructing the migratory movements that brought the Kushi to their present area is a daunting task. Oral history is one of the most valuable tools we can turn to in order to understand the origins of Kushi as well as the several ethnic and linguistic components that contributed to the merging of the present-day community. A critical reading of the historical events as narrated by a Kushi speaker will show that Kushi is the result of a series of migrations undertaken by different groups over a certain period of time, thus contrasting with the default narrative of an indivisible and linear migration coming from east. Apart from its historical significance, the text – supplied with interlinear analysis – is intended to contribute to the documentation and description of the Kushi language.


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