Rukuba - Orientation

Identification. The Rukuba live in central Nigeria, on the High Plateau at some 30 kilometers west of the town of Jos, capital of Plateau State. They are one among the numerous small groups inhabiting the region. These groups are, by African standards, demographically small.

Location. The Rukuba inhabit a rugged country and, until the mid-1950s, when some of them descended to the foothills, lived on the hilltops, where many still remain. The geography is Northern Guinea zone characterized by thickets on the hills and "orchard bush" (cultivated land on which useful trees have been retained). Elevation is about 1,200 meters; annual rainfall averages 150 centimeters and falls mainly from April to September, with a peak in July-August. The average temperature in the early dry season (December-January), when the northern wind blows, is 20.5° C; it rises to 25° C in March-April, the hottest months, and goes down again in the wet season.

Demography. The Rukuba number around 12,000 people who occupy a territory of about 440 square kilometers with a population density of nearly 27 people per square kilometer. Most of the Rukuba are farmers, and only a few Western-educated civil servants live in Jos township.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Rukuba language is classified in the Niger-Congo Family, Subfamily Benue-Congo, Group Plateau A, Subgroup 4. None of their immediate neighbors understand this language.

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