Hausa States

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 ?
Furthermore, the Hausa states were not converted to Islam through the jihad, as Barcia claims (p.
The northern part of Nigeria is symbolic to the history of Islam in Africa south of the Sahara and Nigeria in particular, as it penetrated the area through the Kanem-Borno Empire in the 11th century before spreading to other Hausa states.
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.
After the conquest of Timbuktu by Moroccan soldiers in 1591, the trans-Saharan routes slowly moved east towards the Hausa states.
This information suggests that after his fall as a ruler of Kanem-Borno and his death in 1900, remnants of his army moved westwards towards the Hausa States in search of their fortune.
In 1810 the Fulani, another Islamic African ethnic group that spanned across West Africa, invaded the Hausa states.
During the first decade of the nineteenth century, 'dan Fodio and his followers launched jihad against the king of Gobir and then the rulers of other states in the region, including all major Hausa states.
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.
16 Paul Staudinger, In the Heart of the Hausa States, tr.