The early settlers of Kaduna State were the Atyap (who occupy its southern part) and the Gbari peoples. Archaeological finds show that Kaduna State was home to the ancient Nok civilisation which dates back to 500AD.Kaduna State was originally part of the Northern Region in the three-region structure of 1954. In 1967, with the creation of twelve federal states by General Yakubu Gowon's military government, Kaduna State became part of North-Central State. The 1976 military government of General Murtala Muhammed created nineteen states from the existing twelve and North-Central State was renamed Kaduna State. In 1987, General Ibrahim Babangida's military government brought the number of states to twenty-one and Kaduna was divided into Kaduna and Katsina states.
The main ethnic groups in Kaduna State are the Gbari, Hausa, Kamuku, Kadara and Kurama. Fifty-seven languages are spoken in the state; of these, Gbari and Hausa are the major ones. Kaduna is divided into two: North and South. The northern part is majorly Muslim, while the southern part is Christian. Also a small number of traditional religions are also present in the state.
Queen Amina was a fifteenth century warrior queen who expanded the territory of the Hausa people to its largest historical limit. The headquarters of her kingdom was in Turunku, Zaria.