Ka ngere'dnga ruwiyu
To energy+my child+this
This child will support me when I am old

Old man portrait

| Home | Intro | Tour(ism) | Montagnards | Society | Culture | Language | Images | Music | Library | Sakun | Links |
Latest additions !!

A site map is available here.

This website is being developed to introduce Sukur to the wider world by assembling as much information on its unique society and rich, self-reliant, culture as is available in archives, publications, and the data collected by Nic David and Judy Sterner between 1991 and 2008. When dates are not specified, the 1990s should be considered the "ethnographic present" in which events take place.

No Sukur dictionary as yet exists so the spelling of Sukur words and names presents a problem. In the 1990s the authors attempted to transcribe Sakun using the English alphabet plus a few phonetic signs. From 2008-12 linguist Michael Thomas carried out research for his doctoral dissertation on Sakun grammar, developing a far more accurate transcription in the process. We have tried to follow his lead, but until a Sukur dictionary is finally published, all spellings are provisional. Some pages preserve our earlier spellings although we have updated as time allows.

Other materials, much hopefully contributed by Sukur, will be added as they become available.
lease be very patient!
We are developing this web site as we can. Much is under construction and you will find some categories that are empty.


This website is intended to be viewed using the fonts 'Charis SIL',' 'Verdana,' and 'Goudy Handtooled BT.' These are either commonly supplied with Windows and Mac OS, or, with a little searching, are available for free download on the WWWeb.

How to use this site

Categorization fragments the whole but also facilitates access to information. The categories above -- Home, Tour(ism), Montagnards, etc. -- are artificial but hopefully convenient.

The 'Tour(ism)' section, after a brief Travel Advisory, includes a slide show, serving to introduce you to Sukur, its landscapes, and its people. A third element is a discussion of the social geography that forms the context of daily life from the regional to the intra-village scales.. This is required reading for anyone contemplating fieldwork of any kind at Sukur. Since inscription of Sukur's Cultural landscape on the World Heritagge list in 1999, Sukur has attracted considereable attention from Nigerian aacademics. A sub-section on 'Tourism' presents and critiques their writings.

'Montagnards', meaning inhabitants of the Mandara mountains of Cameroon and Nigeria, will provide a broader context, geographic and socio-cultural, within which Sukur can be better understood.

Since society is expressed in culture, the categories of 'Society' and 'Culture' are the hardest to disentangle, and we will do our best to interrelate them with hyperlinks. 'Society' contains pages on history, legends, the sequence of chiefs, clan histories, Sukur title-holders and the origins of the titles. Culture includes a piece on the Sukur calendar, an account of an archaeological excavation of a midden immediately above the Hidi house and popularly associated with that residence, also a page on iron production focusing on Sukur's furnaces, and another on the iconic paved ways of Sukur. We hope in due course to be able to add material on ceremonies public and private, on material culture, and other aspects of Sukur life.

'Language' is at one and the same time more self-contained as a category and essential underpinning to everything else. At present it mainly contains our inexpert data on Sakun, the language of Sukur. While most people will use it not at all or occasionally for reference, we hope that students of language will find it useful. We have upgraded wherever possible to the transcription developed by linguist Michael Thomas, and soon we hope he will be publishing this on his website.

'Images' are to be included in all categories. 'Images' will offer a gallery of pictures of Sukur people and their lives.

'Music' gives a brief description of Sukur music and musical instruments and includes a sample of audio files.

The 'Library' includes a compilation of references to books, chapters, articles, videos, in fact everything that is referred to elsewhere on the web site and other sources of relevance. Where we have digital versions of such documents they are available for download. We are also adding a new page containing relevant archives from the from the Nigerian National Archives and Arewa House, Kaduna. These we had photocopied on site, since when Judy Sterner has retyped them and it is her digital versions that are available for download.

'Sakun', at present an empty category, is reserved for contributions by Sakun (Sukur) on any of the topics covered by this website. We hope that as time goes by more and more Sakun will contribute to knowledge of their history, language and culture.

'Links' offers the visitor connections to other Internet resources that are of interest.

'Latest additions' describes the sequence of additions and revisions of this website, beginning with the latest and working backwards in time.





Inoculation of children

Inoculations against meningitis and other diseases are carried out by medical technicians who walk up the mountain without complaint, sometimes even returning to visit on their free days. The inoculations we witnessed were free as part of a WHO program.











Chameleon on a white-barked acacia






















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