ORIGIN OF THE NAME “TANGALE”
The Tangale’s lived mainly in the local governments of Billiri, Kaltungo and Shongom in Gombe state, Nigeria, but they can be found in other parts of the world.
The name “Tangale” is said to have been given to the people of my tribe by Fulani herdsmen in the course of their migrations, probably around Kwame or Terah land, the way Northerners in Nigeria often refer to the Igbo as Nyamiri, from the phrase “weteh nyan miri” which means give me some water. The Igbo’s during the Nigerian civil war, in their plight in the North, were always asking for water in their native language, cause they do not know how to speak in Hausa and the northerners wherever they see them, will refer to them as the “inyamirai” and the name stuck, such that a lot of people from the North think that the real name of an Igbo person is Inyamiri.
Likewise the name Tangale is from the phrase “ana tii tanga ma le” a common salutation by our people meaning “greetings, cattle herders”, to which whenever and wherever the Fulani’s see my tribesmen, they refer to them as the “Tanga lele,”, and with time changed it to “Tanga le” and finally to “Tangale”. The way they pronounced it, which some Fulani’s still do, is like their spoken language and not the way we call ourselves today. The Fulani’s have manipulated and influenced so many things in my place, not just the naming of my tribe, but several other things like the title of a village head which in most of our villages is now “Jauro!”. Even some place names are being manipulated, like the popular market village of LALAIPIDO which they are trying to change to leggal!
There are other versions of the origin of the name “Tangale”. The one described above is the one I like most and the one I will always tell because it is in my dialect!
As to the name of my tribesmen before then, they actually had none. They were always referred to as the people of so and so e.g. the people of Abdu and Giddigiddi. This is because they were always moving in two distinct groups each led by a brother of the other and always succeeded by the nearest kinsman to the leader.