HAUSA BY: LESLIE C. PLANDO VERONICA MORALES RUZZEL JANE PATAG NERELYN MAGPANTAY
Predominantly Hausa communities are scattered throughout West Africa and on the traditional Hajj route across the Sahara Desert, especially around the town of Agadez. A few Hausa have moved to large coastal cities in the region such as Lagos, Accra, Kumasi and Cotonou, as well as to countries such as Libya.
The Hausa are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. They are a Sahelian people chiefly located in northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger, but having significant numbers living in regions of Cameroon, Ghana, Cote dIvoire, Chad and Sudan. However, most Hausa remain in small villages and towns, where they grow crops and raise livestock, including cattle. They speak the Hausa language, an Afro-Asiatic language of the Chadic group.
History and culture Kano, north Nigeria is considered the center of Hausa trade and culture. In terms of cultural relations to other peoples of West Africa, the Hausa are culturally and historically close to the Fulani, Zarma, Kanuri, Gwari and Tuareg, as well as other Afro-Asiatic and Nilo-Saharan groups spreading from eastern Mali to southern Libya and east into Chad and Sudan. Many Hausa have intermixed with other groups such as the Yoruba, Dagomba and Shuwa. Islamic Shari’a law is loosely the law of the land and is understood by any full time practitioner of Islam, known in Hausa as a Maallam.
Between 500 CE and 700 CE Hausa people, who had been slowly moving west from Nubia and mixing in with the local Northern and Central Nigerian population, established a number of strong states in what is now Northern and Central Nigeria and Eastern Niger. With the decline of the Nok culture and Sokoto, who had previously controlled Central and Northern Nigeria between 800 BCE and 200 CE, the Hausa were able to emerge as the new power in the region. Closely linked with the Kanuri people of Kanem- Bornu (Lake Chad), the Hausa aristocracy adopted Islam in the 11th century CE.
Nok cultureThe Nok culture appeared in Nigeria around 1000 B.C. and vanished under unknown circumstances around 500 AD in the region of West Africa. This region lies in Northern and Central Nigeria. Its social system is thought to have been highly advanced. The Nok culture was considered to be the earliest sub-Saharan producer of life-sized Terracotta. It has been suggested that the Nok civilization eventually evolved into the later Yoruba civilization of Ife based on similarities seen in the artwork from Nok sculpture, terracotta, Louvrethese two cultures
SOKOTO The name Sokoto (which is the modern/anglicised version of the local name, Sakkwato) is of Arabic origin, representing suk, market. It is also known as Sakkwato, Birnin Shaihu da Bello or "Sokoto, Capital of Shaihu and Bello"). Being the seat of the Sokoto Caliphate, the city is predominantly Muslim and an important seat of Islamic learning in Nigeria. The Sultan who heads the caliphate is effectively the spiritual leader of Sultans Palace Nigerian Muslims.
In 1810 the Fulani, another Islamic African ethnic group that spanned across West Africa, invaded the Hausa states. Their cultural similarities however allowed for significant integration between the two groups, who in modern times are often demarcated as "Hausa-Fulani" rather than as individuated groups, and many Fulani in the region do not distinguish themselves from the Hausa.
The Hausa remain preeminent in Niger and Northern Nigeria. Their impact in Nigeria is paramount, as the Hausa-Fulani amalgamation has controlled Nigerian politics for much of its independent history. They remain one of the largest and most historically grounded civilizations in West Africa.
The Hausa-Fulani KingdomThe Hausa cultures, which as earlyas the 7th century A.D weresmelting iron ore, arose in what istoday northwestern and northcentral Nigeria, to Bornu’s west. Theorigin of these cultures, however, isa mystery.Legend holds that Bayajidda, atraveler from the Middle East,married the queen of Daura, fromwhom came seven sons. Each son isreputed to have founded one of theseven Hausa kingdoms: Kano, Rano,Katsina, Zazzau (Zaria), Gobir,Kebbi, and Auyo.
RELIGION Hausa have an ancient Chadic/Sahelian culture that had an extensive coverage area, and have long ties to the Tuareg, Berbers, and other peoples in West Africa, such as the Mandé, Fulani and the Wolof of Senegambia, through extended long-distance trade. Islam has been present in Hausaland since the 14th century, but it was largely restricted to the regions rulers and their courts until 18th and 19th century jihads led by Uthman Dan Fodio and others led to the forced conversion, enslavement or killing of traditional believers
SAHEL CULTURE The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Sudanian Savannas in the south. It stretches across the north of the African continent between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Arabic word sāḥil ساحلliterally means "shore, coast", describing the appearance of the vegetation of the Sahel as a coastline delimiting the sand of the Sahara. The Sahel covers parts of the territory of (from west to east) Senegal, southern Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Algeria, Niger, northern Nigeria, Chad, Sudan (including Darfur and the southern part of Sudan), northern Cameroon and Eritrea.
The Sahel forms a belt up to 1,000 kmwide, spanning Africa fromthe Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.
CHADIC The Chadic languages constitute a language family of perhaps 200 languages spoken across northern Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic and Cameroon, belonging to the Afroasiatic phylum. The most widely spoken Chadic language is Hausa, a lingua franca of much of inland West Africa.
HAUSA CLOTHING The Hausa people have a very restricted dressing code due to the fact of religious beliefs. The men are easily recognizable because of their elaborate dress which is a large flowing gown known as Babban riga and a robe called a jalabia and juanni, see Senegalese kaftan. These large flowing gowns usually feature some elaborate embroidery designs around the neck.
Men also wear colorful embroidered caps known as fula, and depending on location and occupation, may wear a Tuareg-style turban around this to veil the face (known as Alasho or Tagelmust). The females can be identified by their dressing codes in which they wear wrappers called abaya made with colorful cloth with a matching blouse, head tie and shawl.
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