This particular article is all about the history of Hausa people in Nigeria.
The Hausa people are one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria numbering over 20 million, they are in fact the biggest and largest ethnic group in the west Africa. These particularly ethnic groups are widely distributed geographically and have intermingled with many different peoples in different places in Nigeria.
According to history, Islam religion arrived in the country as at the 14th century. However, record has it, that the Benin Kingdom was long in existence before Hausa empire. Then, as at 15th century, there were already a number of independent Hausa city-states in Nigeria. They competed within themselves for control of trade across the Sahara Desert, slaves, and natural resources.
In the19th century according to history, the region was unified by a jihad (what Islam call holy-war) and became known as Hausa-land. When our colonial masters Britain arrived and colonized the area about 1900. So many Hausa traditions were preserved until late in the 20th century.
Hausa people in Nigeria

Location of Hausa people in Nigeria

The Hausa people are concentrated mainly in northwestern Nigeria and in adjoining southern Niger. This area is mostly filled with Grass-land or savanna, dotted with cities surrounded by farming communities. Major cities of the Hausa people includes: Kano, Sokoto, Zari, and Katsina. This particular ethnic group of people are usually over populated i.e. They are also found living in all the states in Nigeria and other countries of west Africa like Cameroon, Togo, Chad, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Ghana respectively.

Language of Hausa people in Nigeria

Hausa language is not only spoken in Nigeria but it is a spoken language in West Africa. It is spoken among or by an estimated 22 million people. Another 17 million people speak Hausa as a second language. Hausa is written in Arabic characters, and about one-fourth of Hausa words come from Arabic, that is why you find out that Hausa people can read and write Arabic properly.

Folklore of Hausa people in Nigeria

According to the hausa tradition , Bayajidda, the great ancestor of the Hausa, migrated from Baghdad in the ninth or tenth century AD . After stopping at the kingdom of Bornu, he fled west and helped the king of Daura slay a dangerous snake. As a reward, he was given the Queen of Daura in marriage. Bayajidda’s son, Bawo, founded the city of Biram as they believe. He had six sons who became the rulers of other Hausa city-states.

Religion of Hausa people in Nigeria

Mostly, All Hausa are devout Muslims who believe in Allah and in Muhammad as his prophet to the core. Their prayer times are five times each day, their Holy scripture is called Koran, they usually fast during their month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and aspire to make the pilgrimage (hajj) to the Muslim holy land in Mecca. Islam affects nearly all aspects of Hausa behavior, including dress, art, housing, rites of passage, and laws. Other Hausa who are not Muslim are called Maguzawa, This is because they worship nature spirits known as bori or iskoki.

Major Holiday’s of Hausa people in Nigeria

Hausa people usually observe the holy days of the Islamic calendar called Eid (Muslim feast days) which is usually celebrated at the end of Ramadan (month of fasting), follow a hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), and celebrate the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. On Eid al-Adha, Hausa Muslims use to sacrifice an animal to reenact the time Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son to God. Every Family also slaughters an animal in their own homes. This may be a male sheep or cow. People then celebrate with their relatives and friends and give each other gifts and share them with their love ones.

Rites of passage of Hausa people in Nigeria

According to the Islam tradition, whenever it is about a week after a child is born, it is given a name during an Islamic naming ceremony. Their males or Boys are usually circumcised at around the age of seven, but there is no special rite associated to this circumcision.
Every of their mid-to late teens, young men and women may become engaged or even married. The marriage ceremony may take as long as several days but the celebrations begin among the bride and her family and friends as she is prepared for marriage. Male representatives of the bride’s and the groom’s families sign the marriage contract according to Islamic law, which is usually taken place at the mosque. Before the couples are brought together.
According to Islamic burial principles, the deceased is washed, wrapped in a shroud, and buried facing eastward—toward the holy land of Mecca as they believe. They also recite their prayers and pays condolence visit to the family while the wives mourn their deceased husbands for about three months and.

Relationships of Hausa people in Nigeria

The Hausa seem to be quiet and reserved; this is because whenever they interact with outsiders, they generally do not show emotion of feelings of love. Due to their various customs that governs them and interaction with their relatives. For instance, it is considered a sign of respect not to say the name of one’s spouse or parents. By contrast, relaxed, playful relations are the norm with certain relatives, for example younger siblings, cousins and grand fathers.  And right from an early age, their children develop friendships with their neighbors that may last a lifetime. In some towns and villages, young Hausa people may form associations whose members socialize and interact together before they may get married to each other.

The Living Conditions of Hausa people in Nigeria

When it comes to their living condition in rural villages, Hausa people usually live in large households (which they call gidaje) that include a man, his wives, his sons, and their wives and children. While in large cities, such as Kano or Katsina, Hausa people live either in the old sections of town or in newer quarters built for civil servants. Hausa housing ranges from traditional family compounds in rural areas to modern, single-family houses in new sections of various cities.

Family Life of Hausa people in Nigeria

When it comes to Hausa’s family life, their relatives co-operate in activities such as farming and trade in rural areas, and business activities in urban developing areas. Hausa Relatives hope to live close to each other to socialize and support each other. Hausa Families arrange marriages for their young ones, and they end up marring their cousins and relatives due to their Islamic laws and beliefs.
Following Islamic custom, most married Hausa women live in seclusion. They stay in the home and only go out for ceremonies or to seek medical treatment whenever they fall sick. They only wear veils and are often escorted by their children whenever they are leaving the house to anywhere.

Clothing of Hausa people in Nigeria

The Hausa people especially their men are recognizable by their elaborate dress. Somany of them usually wear large, flowing gowns (which they call gare, babban gida) with elaborate embroidery around their necks. They also wear colorful embroidered caps (huluna).  While their woman usually wears a wrap-around robe made of colorful cloth with a matching blouse, Shaw and head tie.

Food of Hausa people in Nigeria

Hausa people usually love staple foods like grains (ssuch as orghum, millet, or rice) and maize, which are ground into flour for a variety of foods. Their breakfast often consists of porridge. Sometimes it includes cakes made of fried beans (which they call kosai) or wheat flour (which they call funkaso). Their lunch and dinner meals usually include a heavy porridge (tuwo). It is served with a soup or stew (miya). Most of their soups are made with ground or chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers. To this are added spices and other vegetables such as spinach, pumpkin, and okra. Small amounts of meat are eaten. Beans, peanuts, and milk also add protein to Hausa people’s food regularly.

Education Life of Hausa people in Nigeria

We all know that in Hausa land, from about the age of six, every child attend Koranic schools (schools where teaching is based on the Islamic holy scripture, the Koranas believed). They do go there to learn how to recite the scriptures and learn about the practices, teachings, and morals of Islamic religion. So that whenever they reach adulthood, many achieve high levels of Islamic scholarship.
From the time Nigeria received its independence in 1960, the government has built many schools and universities but majority of Hausa children, especially in urban areas, are now able to attend school, at least not above the primary level because they do not believe in western education.

Cultural Heritage Life of Hausa people in Nigeria

Music and art play are important in everyday life. From a young age in Hausa land, all children participate in dances, which are held in meeting places such as the market. Their work songs often accompany activities in the rural areas and in the markets. Praise-singers sing about community histories, leaders, and other prominent individuals. Storytelling, local dramas, and musical performances are also common forms of traditional entertainment in the Hausa land.

Employment of Hausa people in Nigeria

The Hausa society has a strong division of labor according to age and sex, The main activity in the towns is trade; in rural areas, it is agriculture. So many Hausa males or men have more than one occupation. In the towns and cities, they may have formal jobs, such as teaching or government work, and engage in trade on the side. In local rural areas, they farm and also engage in trade or crafts. Some Hausa are full-time traders with shops or market stalls while some are full-time Islamic scholars. The Hausa women get money by processing, cooking, and selling food including selling of cloth scraps, pots, medicines, vegetable oils, and other small items. This is because women are generally secluded according to Islamic law, their children or servants go to other houses or the market on their behalf.

Sports of Hausa people in Nigeria

The Hausa people practice both wrestling (koko) and boxing are popular traditional sports among the Hausa people in Nigeria. Their various matches usually takes place in arenas or markets, often on religious holidays. Music, particularly drumming, accompanies the competition. Opponents wrestle until one is thrown to the ground. Boxers fight until one is either brought to his knees or falls flat on the ground.

Recreation of Hausa people in Nigeria

The Hausa Musicians usually perform at weddings, naming ceremonies, and parties, as well as during their Islamic holidays. Nowadays, Western forms of entertainment are popular. Some Hausa listen to Western music, including rap and reggae, and view American and British television programs..

Crafts and Hobbies of Hausa people in Nigeria

The Hausa people are well known for their craftsmanship, this is because they are the leather tanners and leather-workers, weavers, carvers and sculptors, ironworkers and blacksmiths, silver workers, potters, dyers, tailors, and embroiderers.

Social Problems of Hausa people in Nigeria

Their main problem and challenge is poverty, This Poverty life results in poor nutrition and diet, illness and inadequate health care, and lack of educational opportunities. Most of the region where the Hausa live is prone to drought {Lack of water}. The Hausa people suffer during harsh weather conditions. Some of them have been unable to earn a living in rural areas, and have moved to the cities in search of job opportunities for themselves.

Little Biography of Hausa people in Nigeria

Here are some little history of the Hausa ethnic group in Nigeria:
Coles, Catherine, and Beverly Mack. Hausa Women in the Twentieth Century . Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991.
Koslow, Philip. Hausaland: The Fortress Kingdoms. Kingdoms of Africa. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995.
Smith, Mary. Baba of Karo: A Woman of the Muslim Hausa. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1981.


The Hausa people are one of the major ethnic group you can find in Nigeria and 80% of Hausa’s practice the same religion which is called Islam.

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