Hausa Culture Area

The Hausa speaking people occupy the plain western and north central Nigeria. The predominant language spoken in the entire northern Nigeria is Hausa language. The Hausa and non Hausa in the region alike speak the language as mother tongue. Most of the Fulani people who are nomadic herdsmen speak only Hausa language.

The Fulani people have lost their distinguishing characteristics because of their long period interactions with the Hausa culture, especially in the area of inter marriage and commerce. Majority of Fulani people speak only Hausa language as their only form of communication.

The account of the foundation of the Bakwai and the Banza states seems to explain the widespread use of Hausa language and the cultural affinities between them and their neighbours.

Thus, the north has become monolithic in language as other ethnic group in the area identify with the language of the dominant sub-group.

Before the advent of Islam, the Hausa religion was indigenous African religion which believed in the existence of a supreme being called Ubangidi and the worship of objects such as trees, stones etc, as gods and goddess.

 Barbushe was the high priest of the god tchunburburai, the gods exercise considerable religious authority over the Hausa state of Kano before the introduction of Islam.

Once every year the chief priest would sacrifice a black animal to the god tchunburburai, and after communicating secretly with the gods, tchunburburai will foretold the events of the coming year.

Islamic religion which is now the way of life of the Hausa people was first introduced in Kano. The kano chronicle records that Islam was introduced into Kano between 1349 and 1385 during the reign of Sarki (king) Yaji Ali.

It was brought by Muslim scholars from Mali, gradually Islam spread into other Hausa states. But the practice of the religion was too slow among the Hausa indigenes, the Habe rulers and their subject backslides into their idol worshipping.

This prompted Usman Dan Fodio, a pious Islamic preacher and scholar and his followers to carry out a Jihad (Holy war) on the Hausa Land in 19th Century in order to establish Islamic purity. Even among the Kanuri, Islam has become an acceptable religion.

The Hausa also evolved indigenous socio-political system of organization before the advent of Islam and its form of political organization.

The Hausa states were ruled by Habe kings called Sarkis with the assistance of council of ministers drawn from the hereditary aristocratic class.

Usman dan fodio conquest led to the removal of Hausa rulers and replaced them with Fulani Emirs, the Islamic system of government and Sharia law were adopted by the emerging ruling class in Hausa land.

Till today, the feudal Fulani emirs still hold the reign of power in the traditional political systems of Northern Nigeria.

The Culture of Calvary or horsemanship otherwise called granddubar is peculiar among the Hausa Kingdom and their neighbors. It serves the purpose of entertainment at occasions.

Agriculture especially animal husbandry, industry and trade are the major occupation of the people. Many Hausa communities prospered increasingly from their farming, handicraft industry especially cotton weaving and leather products.

Trades flourish between the Hausa states and other West African states as well as across the Sahara to North Africa.

Traditional dresses include Agbada, babariga and Kaftan with embroidery cap to match for men and long gown with veil for women.

In Hausa land before a man can marry a bride, his fertility is put under test through flogging; the essence of the flogging is to ascertain if such a person is man enough to marry the bride.

In Hausa culture, marrying many wives is encourage, men that marry one wife is seen as being too poor in the Hausa society.

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