“The Komda People Of Kaltungo”
A Tangale Legend
According to legend, and although there are various accounts, it is generally believed that the original inhabitants of the present day Kaltungo used to be a tribe of tall mighty people that were almost giants, whose leader was the great Njomjom, of whom tracking his paths could be misleading, as he had twelve (12) toes, six(6) on each feet and turned the opposite direction, such that whoever tried to trail his footpaths will go in the other way Njomjom went! His fingers were also twelve (12), six on each hand, but not turned in an opposite direction.
The people of Komda were distinct and civilised, they used leaves and animal skins for clothing. Apart from farming which everyone does, most of them were excellent mat weavers and lived in comfortable and spacious roof thatched huts. They also had iron smithies where they made hoes, other farming implements suitable for that time, and weapons like spears, arrows, shields etc.for hunting and defence.
They were a quiet and peaceful lot who didn’t have to bother with attacking anyone, cause they were contented with their fertile homestead. They were also very confident of their might and it had been several hundred years when they were last attacked and crushed the assailants to the last man. Apart from occasional night raids by unsuccessful animal thieves(they had lots of livestock, most of which were goats and sheep), they were practically undisturbed!
Seeking A New Land
When the Tangale people of Kaltungo felt a need to change their dwelling place, from the sixth location, which was on Tungo hills, their four(4) men gods(at that time, the fifth, the goddess Ngumyu, had not joined them, because they had not reached the seventh destination, which was where she was meant to join them), under the leadership of Kunlung, met and decided to seek out the last destination for the people, to which one of them(gods), Pargatak was mandated to scout a suitable place for the people.
Pargatak changed into his animal form of a lion and set out. He traveled several kilometers till he came near the settlement of the Komdas where he picked domestic animal trails and smells. He went to a nearby hill, got to the top and from the height was able to see a vast settlement from a distance, with lush green vegetation and fertile land (although the people they the gods) were leading are a warrior tribe and not a farming one.
When Pargatak reported back to the other three the result of his scouting, a deliberation was made during which several suggestions were offered with Kunlung making the first, by saying he will go to the people of Komda and turned into thousands of poisonous snakes, then bite as many of the men as he can, thus weakening them, but it was countered that he could be overcome. Then Pargatak said he could take the form of a lion and attack the people, killing as many as he could, but that too, was countered, then Kolwi said Layenge should speak out and when he did, they all agreed to his plan, which involves tricking the young men of the komda’s into an ambush to be massacred!
A date was fixed for an attack on the people of Komda, it was on an early evening when most of the people used to come out and sit in groups, based on age limits, weaving mats under different large trees.
The people of Kaltungo marched and when they got near the Komda’s, they formed an ambush. Kolwi turned into a mini forest to hide the Tangale warriors, while Layenge changed into a large eagle and flew towards the unsuspecting Komda people.
He flew low and having sighted a young ram tied to a tree and feeding near some youths, it flew down in a fast scoop and seized the ram in its talons, then flew up and did a circular act before it began a descent as it flew away in a low speed, towards the waiting ambush.
The youths of Komda, seeing an advantage of saving the ram due to the low altitude the eagle kept, ran after it with only sticks and got caught up in the ambush, where all of them were slaughtered!
Kunlung and his men returned to Tungo after the successful raid and a year later returned and did the same thing to the people of Komda, who thought it was just an ordinary hungry eagle!
In the third year, Kunlung assembled his warriors and set out to fight with the giants of Komda, due to their confidence in having greatly reduced the number of the youths of the giants,(they formed the bulk of the fighting men) in their previous raids.
When they got near the town, they saw a long battle formation of soldiers ready for war, and fear gripped some of them, because it seemed like the number of the Komda’s had increased! One of Kunlung’s warriors, a certain Lamaljau, drew out his bow and shot an arrow at the line up of the Komda people on a kwagwam(shield) and behold, a loud sound was heard as the shields which were fixed to poles and made to look from a distance like warriors in battle formation, fell to the ground!
The people shouted and rushed to the settlement of the komda’s only to discover a deserted town, which they burnt down and left for seven years, after which they returned to possess it, being certain the land was cleansed.
They made camps to rest on the day they arrived and in the evening, they sighted a light on the lower levels of Pandmana, which some warriors, led by Lamaljau went to find out the source and on reaching, met a lone man trembling, who begged for his life and promised to teach the Tangale people of Kaltungo, the ways of the Komda people, which include agriculture, smithing, and divination especially with regards to the mountains, as he was a priest.
One of the warriors is of the Shongom section of Lapan asked his colleagues to spare the man, which they agreed and took him to Kunlung who after interviewing, allowed the man to live and gave him to the man of Lapan, Maku, who made him a part of his people and the man of Komda married one of Maku’s third cousins, a certain Kwari and their descendants grew in number and formed the Ngalkwari clan in Lapan!
Of The Komda’s
Of the Komda’s that deserted their homestead, nothing is exactly known, but it is speculated that they journeyed far, to a mountainous region and settled near the present day city of Pankshin.
Although like all the myths, legends and history of the Tangale people, this too is from oral sources, a summary of the Komda offensive is made in the introductory pages of
“The Dictionary Of The Tangale People” by Hermann Jungraithmair.