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(both: hou`sə, –sä), black African ethnic group, numbering about 23 million, chiefly in N Nigeria and S Niger. The Hausa are almost exclusively Muslim and practice agriculture. Their widespread trading activities have contributed to making their language a lingua franca in much of W Africa. In earlier times the Hausa were organized in the Hausa States. Long the vassals of BornuBornu
, former Muslim state, mostly in NE Nigeria, extending S and W of Lake Chad. It began its existence as a separate state in the late 14th cent. From the 14th to the 18th cent. Bornu exported slaves, eunuchs, fabrics dyed with saffron, and other goods to N Africa.
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, the states were conquered by the Songhay in 1513 and by the Fulani in the early 19th cent. In colonial Nigeria the traditional Hausa-Fulani social and political structure was largely maintained under the British policy of indirect rule. The Hausa remain a major force in Nigerian politics.


See I. Madauci, Hausa Customs (1968); P. Hill, Rural Hausa (1972) and Population, Property and Poverty (1977); W. S. Miles, Elections in Nigeria (1988).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a people of the western Sudan. The Hausa make up a large part of the population of northern Nigeria; other countries inhabited by them include Cameroon, Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic. According to a 1975 estimate, the Hausa number approximately 15 million; their language, Hausa, is spoken throughout West Africa. The Hausa profess Islam, and in rural localities they still practice ancestor and nature worship. In the Middle Ages city-states existed on the territory now inhabited by the Hausa (see). The Hausa chiefly engage in land cultivation, growing cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, cotton, indigo, and peanuts. They also raise livestock, principally sheep, goats, and horses. Such crafts as pottery, weaving, leatherworking, basketry, and the smelting and working of copper and iron have long been well developed among the Hausa. There is a large, mainly commercial, bourgeoisie and a growing intelligentsia and industrial proletariat.


Narody Afriki. Moscow, 1954. (Bibliography, pp. 671–72.)
Ol’derogge, D. A. Zapadnyi Sudan v XV-XIX vv.: Ocherki po istorii i istorii kul’tury. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Ismagilova, R. N. Narody Nigerii. Moscow, 1963.
Sledzevskii, I. V. Khausanskie emiraty Severnoi Nigerii. Moscow, 1974.
West Africa Annual, 1966. Lagos, 1967.



(also Haussa), the language of the Hausa people. Hausa is spoken in northern Nigeria and in adjacent regions of Niger, Cameroon, Dahomey, and Ghana. It has been extensively used in the western and central Sudan as a lingua franca since the 16th century; today it serves as a means of intertribal communication in West Africa. According to a 1973 estimate, there are 25–30 million speakers of Hausa. Hausa belongs to the Chad branch of the Hamito-Semitic languages. Its principal dialects, which include Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zaria, and Hadejia, closely resemble one another. Modern literary Hausa is based on the Kano district.

Hausa has three series of consonants: unvoiced, voiced, and globalized (voiced implosives ḅ and ḍ; unvoiced ejectives ḳ and ç), in addition to a stopped or trilled r. It makes use of a system of musical tones that have grammatical and lexical meaning but are not orthographically represented. All vowels may be either short or long. Inflection and word formation are accomplished chiefly through the use of affixes (suffixes and prefixes) but also through internal inflection combined with tonal variations. Nomináis are masculine or feminine in gender and singular or plural in number; in genitive constructions they appear in a special fused state when they are part of the determined member.

A morphological distinction is made between transitive and intransitive verbs, and there is a rich system of conjugations for aspect and tense. The subject is marked for aspect, tense, mood, person, number, and gender by means of special preverbal words known as adverbal pronouns. The verb may be altered to produce participles, deverbative nouns, and special derived forms of the verb that express such categories as causation, reflexivity, and degree of intensity; the alteration is accomplished by a change in the final vowel, by suffixation, or by reduplication. Hausa distinguishes series of subject, object, and possessive personal pronouns that may be independent or adverbal.

The lexicon of Hausa consists primarily of Chad words, although it also includes loan words from Arabic, English, and the languages of adjacent peoples. Hausa has a rich system of ideo-phones. Since the 18th century Hausa has been written in an orthography based on Arabic script (Ajami); in the late 19th century it began using the Latin alphabet, with diacritics. Newspapers, periodicals, and books are published in Hausa, primarily in the Latin alphabet, but traditional Islamic literature and poetry are published in Ajami. In the northern Nigerian states Hausa, together with English, is used in the administrative system and in the educational system, particularly in elementary schools; it is also used in radio broadcasts.


Ol’derogge, D. A. lazykkhausa. Leningrad, 1954.
Shcheglov, Iu. K. Ocherk grammatiki iazyka khausa. Moscow, 1970.
Abraham, R. C. The Language of the Hausa People. London, 1959.
Abraham, R. C. Hausa Literature and the Hausa Sound System. London, 1959.
Abraham, R. C. Dictionary of the Hausa Language [2nd ed.]. London, 1962.
Bargery, G. P. A Hausa-English Dictionary. London, 1934.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



The Hausa are a predominantly Islamic people who inhabit northwestern Nigeria and adjacent areas of the Niger Republic. According to a study by R.A. Shweder and R.A. LeVine on the development of dream concepts among Hausa children, there are stages through which the children proceed in their attempts to understand their dream experiences.

Initially, Hausa children believe the events in their dreams to be real occurrences that are visible to others. They treat dream events as if they were intrasomatic stimuli potentially capable of public perception, if one could look through the eyes of the dreamer or open him as in an operation. Hausa adults find this view of dreams inadequate and tell their children that dreams are a kind of vision that gives them access to an external, objective realm of the soul. Hausa children later change their minds about the reality or the externality of these events and view dreams as either mirages or internal perceptions.

At a subsequent stage, dream events are understood to be events that can be experienced only by few people. Finally, when they are about ten years old, Hausa children come to believe the events in their dreams are unreal appearances, located inside their bodies, to which only they have potential perceptual access.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The second section offers us a parallel reading by Sarga Houssa of the Voyage en Orient as done by Lamartine and by Nerval, followed by Hisashi Mizuno's workmanlike analysis of Nerval's commentaries on Wagner's aesthetics: there is nothing particularly new in either paper.
"Palestine is already recognised as a country," claimed Tawfiq Abu Houssa, a PLO activist.
Il es interessant de preciser que la ceremonie de cloture sera marquee par la remise des prix aux laureats des differents concours, et ce dans une ambiance artistique riche et variee, animee par les artistes Daoudi, Rachid Kassmi, Ostina tono, Houssa Kabiri et le groupe Siham.