Hausa States

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was this lack of unity rather than the military weakness of the Hausa states that was responsible for the Fulani victory.
A secondary factor which contributed to Fulani victory was that Usman Dan Fodio and his Fulani followers adopted the strategy of isolating the various Hausa states and conquering them one after the other.
Furthermore, the Hausa states were not converted to Islam through the jihad, as Barcia claims (p.
Adamu in his book The Hausa Factor in West African History, (Zaria: ABU Zaria Press, 1978), 20-24 indicates Hausaland to include all the seven ancient Hausa States (Hausa Bakwai), mostly in northern Nigeria.
As with Abdulkarim who, because of Umar's needs, plans another journey to the south in order to get to the Hausa States. As earlier mentioned, they take the road from Tripoli through Murzuk and probably Bilma and Kano.
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.
Commercially, while trade along the northwest route declined following the conquest of Songhai by the Moroccans in the 1590s and the ensuing anarchy in the region of the Niger bend, the trade with the Hausa states became particularly brisk.
The peoples and states to the north of these rivers as well as those of the Black and White Volta basins were, by and large, still northern-orientated and still maintained strong commercial contacts especially with the Hausa states and Bornu to the northeast.
It goes on to show that even the nineteenth-century jihad, which incorporated Katsina and the other Hausa states into the Sokoto Caliphate, and which has often been portrayed as a religious or ethnic movement, did not significantly increase the salience of ethnic identification in the area The Sokoto Caliphate was more politically fragmented than the various Hausa states which preceded it.
However well-intentioned, this corrective to the study of ethnicity in Nigeria fails adequately to investigate the relationship between ethnicity and the state in the precolonial period, and therefore neglects to analyze the considerable degree of multi-ethnicity, particularly in the Hausa states and the Sokoto Caliphate.
He asked the students about Seven Hausa states and Seven Banza states.