Hausa States

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Hausa States


feudal states in the western Sudan, in what is now northern Nigeria and the southern part of the Republic of Niger. Formed by the Hausa people not later than the eighth to tenth centuries, the Hausa states included Kano, Gobir. Biram, Katsina, Zaria (Zazzau), Daura, Kebbi, and Zamfara.

By the 15th and 16th centuries the Hausa states had developed a society based on the exploitation of serfs and of slave labor provided by prisoners of war and their descendants. Land cultivation and handicrafts were highly developed. The Hausa states took part in trans-Saharan trade and had large cities. In the 14th century the nobility and the commercial elite adopted Islam, but the rural population remained faithful to the traditional cults.

The Hausa states were generally independent of one another. Between the 16th and 18th centuries they were dominated first by Songhai and then by Bornu (seeKANEM-BORNU EMPIRE). In the early 19th century Usman dan Fodio led an uprising of the Fulani that brought about a transfer of power in most of the Hausa states to the hereditary Fulani nobility. The conquered Hausa states became part of the Sokoto sultanate. After British troops captured Sokoto in 1903, the Hausa states were incorporated into the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria.


Ol’derogge, D. A. Zapadnyi Sudan v XV–XIX vv: Ocherki po istorii i i storiikul’tury. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Sledzevskii, I. V. Khausanskie emiraty Severnoi Nigerii. Moscow, 1974.
Smith, M. Government in Zazzau, 1800–1950. London, 1960.
Hogben, S. J., and A. H. M. Kirk-Greene. The Emirates of Northern Nigeria. London, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
Everything north of the Kabbah Line where Usman Dan Fodio's jihad and conquest of the Hausa kingdoms had been stopped by the British in 1840 became Northern Nigeria, occupying three-fifths of the land area of all Nigeria and having over 50% of the population.