Bauchi State has a total of 55 Tribal Groups in which include Hausa, Fulani, Gerawa, Sayawa, Jarawa, Bolewa, Karekare, Kanuri, Fa’awa, Butawa, Warjawa, Zulawa, and Badawa as the main tribes. There are cultural similarities in the people’s language, occupational practices, festivals, dress and there is a high degree of ethnic interaction especially in marriage and economic existence.
The people of Bauchi State are known for their traditional wrestling and boxing dexterity, which attracts participants even from neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The traditional wrestling is known as Kokowa while the traditional boxing is called Dambe.
Aside from these festivals, the state also holds the Bauchi State Festival of Arts and Culture (BAFEST). This annual event is held among Local Governments. It includes a display of various traditions of the people of the state in the fields of traditional dances, music, arts, crafts, and fashion designs, as well as inventions and innovations.
Bauchi state is known for its arts and crafts which include beautiful embroidered caps and gowns (known as babbanriga), fibre craft, and decorated calabashes. It is also very versatile in the production of metal works (such as weaponry), agricultural tools, pottery, and leather works. The leather works include the production of sitting pouffes, bags, footwear, and footballs.
Mat weaving is also a common craft in several Local Government Areas like Zaki, Ningi, Misau, etc. The outstanding festivals include Durbar whose main feature is horse racing. The durbar features the parade of horses from the Eid-prayer ground to the palace of the traditional rulers where the horse-racing and other display of horseman ship take place.
Other festivals are the Kyaro war dance performed by the Warji ethnic groups, Afizere dance a traditional dance of the Jarawa people of Toro Local Government, Takai dance which is popular among the Hausa-Fulanis, Ngat-al-Bajar dance popular among the people of Dass Local Government, Lawurba dance peculiar to Sayawa people of Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Governments, and Amanya, a naming ceremony festival among the Badawa people in Zaki Local Government.