Civilizations in Africa

The Hausa Kingdoms

   Hausaland is in the center of northwestern Africa immediately south of the Sahara desert. Until the 1100's, Hausaland was made up of a number of decentralized agricultural and pastoral villages. However, beginning in the late twelfth century, these villages combined into several kingdoms ruled by partly divine kings. The first of these centralized kingdoms was Daura.

   These kingdoms were in close contact with one another since they all shared a common language, Hausa. In the late 1300's, Islam began to filter into Hausaland, but only very slowly and only by means of commercial activities. However, in the 1450's, a group of people from the Senegal River, the Fulani, began immigrating in large numbers into Hausaland. The Fulani immigration was driven by the desertification of north and western Africa; a pastoral people, the Fulani were in search of a land that could support them and their herds. The Fulani were also fervent Muslims, so they not only brough Islam and its books, they also began to set up Islamic schools and learning centers all throughout Hausaland.

   The Hausa kingdoms, particularly after the influx of Islam, were closely allied with Kanem-Bornu to the east. Because of the military presence of Kanem-Bornu, the Hausa kingdoms were stable and peaceful.
Contents






























Civilizations in Africa

Egypt: A Learning Module

Kush

Axum

The Iron Age South of the Sahara

Ghana

The Islamic Invasions

The Almoravids

Mali

Songhay

The Hausa Kingdoms

Kanem-Bornu

The Forest Kingdoms

The Swahili Kingdoms

Great Zimbabwe / The Mwenemutapa Empire

Internet Resources on Africa

About "Civilizations in Africa"

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1996, Richard Hooker
Updated 11-15-96