1 I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to Mrs Marion Johnson, Professor J. D. Fage, Dr H. J. Fisher, Dr R. C. C. Law and Mr Paulo F. de Moraes Farias who all commented upon earlier versions of this article. Needless to say, none of these scholars is in any way responsible for the hypotheses and conclusions put forward in this paper. Thanks are also due to Professor Elizabeth Ingram (of the University of Trondheim), Mrs Mary Kenefick and Mrs Dorothy Shannon (respectively graduate student and secretary in the Department of History, University of California, Berkeley), who—together with Drs Law and Fisher—were helpful with the English text.
2 Smith, Abdullahi, ‘The early states of the Central Sudan’, in Ade Ajayi, J. F. and Crowder, Michael (eds.), History of West Africa, I (second edition, London, 1976), 152–95.
3 J. O. Hunwick, ‘Songhay, Bornu and Hausaland in the sixteenth century’, ibid. 264–301.
4 Fisher, H. J., ‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, in Oliver, Roland (ed.), The Cambridge History of Africa, III (London, 1977), 241–330.
5 I have used the more neutral ‘polity’ in preference to the term ‘state’, the latter having yet to be adequately defined in relation to African history. Also, it is not my intention to try to determine when the Hausa ‘polities’ became ‘states’, but simply to study the evolution of their institutional structure.
6 Fisher, , ‘The Eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 294.
7 The most recent, and—in my view—the most erroneous example is to be found in Flint, J. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Africa, V (London, 1976), 127.
8 They experienced only indirect and temporary Fulani rule at the most. I have tried to substantiate this point in the first chapter of my Ph.D. thesis, ‘An Introduction to the History of Niger in the Colonial Period, c. 1897 to 1957’, (University of Birmingham, 1977). See also Thom, Derrick J., ‘The Niger—Nigeria borderlands: A politico—geographical analysis of boundary influence upon the Hausa’ (Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State University, 1970).
9 Echard, Nicole, L'Expérience du passé: Histoire de la société paysanne Hausa de l'Ader (Niamey, 1975); id., ‘Note sur les forgerons de l'Ader (Pays Hausa, République du Niger)’, J. Soc. Africanistes, XXXV, 2 (1965), 353–72; Hamani, Djibo, Contribution à l'étude de l'histoire des États hausa: L'Ader précolonial (République du Niger) (Niamey, 1975); Nicolas, Francis, Tamesna: Les Ioullemmeden de l'est ou Touareg Kel Dinnik (Paris, 1950), 42–52; de Rivières, Edmond Séré, Histoire du Niger (Paris, 1965), 161–2; Bonte, Pierre and Echard, Nicole, ‘Histoire et histoires: Conception du passé chez les Hausa et les Twareg Kel Gress de l'Ader (République du Niger)’, Cah. d'Et. Afr., XVI, 1–2 (1976), 237–96. There is also material of interest on the pre-colonial history of Adar and adjacent regions in Bonte, Pierre, ‘Production et échanges chez les Touareg Kel Gress du Niger’, (thesis Institut d'Ethnologie, Paris, 1971).
10 On the ‘mystique’ involving the first settler(s)/ancestor(s) and his/their relations with the local spirits, cf. inter al. Holas, B., Les Senoufo (y compris les Minianka) (Paris, 1957), 106; Rouch, Jean, Contribution à l'histoire des Songhay (Dakar, 1953), 157; Meillassoux, Claude, Anthropologie èconomique des Gouro de Côte d'Ivoire (Paris/Haag, 1964), 247–8; Lebeuf, Annie M. D., Les Principautés Kotoko: Essai sur le caractère sacré de l'autorité (Paris, 1969), 74; Paques, Viviana, Les Bambara, (Paris, 1954), 54.
11 For similar cases elsewhere, cf. inter al. Quinn, Charlotte A., Mandingo Kingdoms of the Senegambia (London, 1972), 13–40; Bourgoignie, G. E., Les hommes de l'eau: Ethno-écologie du Dahomey lacustre (Paris, 1972), 121; Sarbah, J. M., Fanti National Constitution (London, 1906; reprinted 1968), 3–8.
12 Paques, , Les Bambara, 53–4, 61.
13 Levtzion, Nehemia, Ancient Ghana and Mali (London, 1973), 105–6.
14 Izard, Michel, Introduction à l'histoire des Royaumes Mossi (Paris/Wagadugu, 1970), 116.
15 Quinn, , Mandingo Kingdoms, 13.
16 Rouch, , Contribution, 157; and id., ‘Les Sorkawa: Pêcheurs itinérants du Moyen Niger’, Africa, XX, 1 (1950), 5–25.
17 Meillassoux, , Les Gouro, 247–8.
18 Sarbah, , Fanti, 3–9; Rattray, R. S., Ashanti Law and Constitution (Kumasi/London, 1929, reprinted 1956), 81–4, 88.
19 Curtin, P., ‘The lure of Bambuk gold’, J. Afr. Hist. XIV, 4 (1973), 623–32 (629).
20 Le Herissé, A., L'Ancien Royaume du Dahomey: Moeurs, religion, histoire (Paris, 1911), 276–84.
21 Mason, Michael, ‘The Nupe Kingdom in the Nineteenth Century: A Political History’, Ph.D. thesis (University of Birmingham, 1970), 8–10, 28.
22 Fulton, R. M., ‘The Kpelle traditional political system’, Liberian Stud. Journ., I, 1 (1968), 1–19.
23 Alagoa, E. J., A History of the Niger Delta (Ibadan, 1972), 17–19.
24 Rattray, R. S., Tribes of the Ashanti hinterland, I (Oxford, 1932), xi–xiv.
25 Landeroin, Captain, ‘Du Tchad au Niger’, in Ministère des Colonies: Documents scientifiques de la Mission Tilho (1906–1909), II (Paris, 1911), 309–537 (esp. 493–532).
26 Piault, Marc-Henri, Histoire Mawri: Introduction à l'étude des processus constitutifs d'un État (Paris, 1970).
27 Studies of polities characterized by this ‘dual’ institutional structure include Izard, Introd…Mossi, 115–18; Lebeuf, , Les Principautés Kotoko, 58–182; Rattray, , Tribes, 1, esp. xv–xvii; Lombard, J., ‘La vie politique dans une ancienne société de type féudal: les Bariba du Dahomey’, Cah. d'Etud. Afr., III (1960), 5–45; Boston, J. S., The Igala Kingdom (Ibadan/London, 1968), 13–21, 82–101; Fortes, Meyer, ‘The Political System of the Tallensi of the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast’, in Fortes, M. and Evans-Pritchard, E. E. (eds.), African Political Systems (London, 1940), 238–71; Bradbury, R. E., Benin studies (London, 1973), 11–13, 44, 58; Gayibor, T. N., ‘Migrations-société-civilisation: les Ewe du sud-Togo’, thesis (Univ. of Paris, I, 1975), esp. 66–7; Mercier, P., ‘Note sur les Pila-Pila et les Taneka’, Etudes Dahoméennes, III (1950), 39–71 (esp. 50–2); Meek, C. K., Tribal studies in Northern Nigeria, II (London, 1931), III. One interesting variant of the ‘dual’ institutional structure is represented by certain Yoruba kingdoms, where the ‘priest-chiefs’ of the autochthonous population had grouped together in a secret society which exercised much the same prerogatives as the ‘priest-chiefs’/council of electors in other polities: cf. Morton-Williams, P., ‘The Yoruba Ogboni cult in Ọyọ’, Africa, XXX, 4 (1960), 362–74; Smith, R. S., Kingdoms of the Yoruba (London, 1976), 134–5. If B. A. Agiri is correct in arguing, first, that the Ogboni secret society did not exist in Old Ọyọ, and, second, that the basorun is the descendant of an earlier (pre-alafin) ‘dynasty’, then the Ọyọ empire too can be considered to have been characterized by a ‘dual’ institutional structure: cf. Agiri, B. A., ‘Early Ọyọ history reconsidered’, History in Africa, II (1975), 1–16; id., ‘The Ogboni among the Oyo-Yoruba’, Lagos Notes & Records, III, 2 (1972), 50–9(I am indebted to Dr R. C. C. Law for this reference); Law, R. C. C., The Ọyọ Empire c. 1600-c. 1836: a West African imperialism in the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Oxford, 1977), chapter 5.
28 For the king or ‘political head’ also had religious functions to perform. He was, for instance, often the priest of the cult in honour of the founding (deified) ancestor of his group (cf. in particular Boston, , The Igala Kingdom, 172).
29 Alexandre, Pierre, ‘Le problème des chefferies en Afrique noire française’, Notes et Études Documentaires (La Documentation française), no. 2508, 10/2–1959, 4.
30 Zahan, Dominique, ‘The Mossi Kingdoms’, in Forde, D. and Kaberry, P. (eds.), West African Kingdoms in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1967), 152–78 (166).
31 In his introduction to the book edited by him, , Succession to High Office (London, 1966), 5.
32 This is one way of interpreting the struggle between the alafin and the basorun in eighteenth-century Ọyọ. On this struggle cf. Law, R. C. C., ‘The Constitutional Troubles of Ọyọ in the Eighteenth Century’, J. Afr. Hist., XII, I (1971), 25–44.
33 Cf. inter al. Boston, , The Igala Kingdom, 13–18; Lebeuf, , Les Principautés Kotoko ‥; Landeroin, ‘Du Tchad au Niger’, 494.
34 Based on Le Herissé, Dahomey; Fage, J. D., Ghana: A Historical Interpretation (Madison, 1959), 25; Herskovits, Melville J., Dahomey: An Ancient West African Kingdom, 2 vols. (New York, 1938); Terray, Emmanuel, ‘Classes and Class consciousness in the Abron Kingdom of Gyaman’, in Bloch, Maurice (ed.), Marxist Analyses and Social Anthropology (London, 1975), 85–132.(Because Gyaman is an atypical polity, no general conclusions can in my view be drawn from the theories developed in this important paper.) I have discussed the Dahomean case at some length in an article called ‘Quelques réflexions sur l'histoire et les institutions de l'ancien Royaume du Dahomey et de ses voisins’, Bull. I.F.A.N. (in press).
35 This ‘way out’ was tried in my opinion by the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century rulers of Kongo and by the seventeenth-and early eighteenth-century rulers of Whydah and Allada. On Kongo, cf. Vansina, Jan, Kingdoms of the Savanna (Madison, 1966), 38–46; Randles, W. G. L., L'Ancien royaume du Congo des origines à la fin du XIXe siècle (Paris/Haag, 1968), esp. 42. As for Whydah and Allada, I have tried to substantiate this point in ‘Quelques reflexions …’, cited above.
36 Landeroin, , ‘Du Tchad au Niger’, 503.
37 Ibid. 496–7; Piault, , Histoire Mawri, 116–19.
38 Landeroin, , ‘Du Tchad au Niger’, 458; Barth, Heinrich, Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa, I (New York, 1857, reprinted 1965), 336; Palmer, H. R., ‘History of Katsina’, J. Afr. Soc., XXVI (1927), 216–36 (217); F. de F. Daniel, ‘The Regalia of Katsina, Northern Provinces, Nigeria’, ibid, xxxi (1932), 80–3.
39 Hunwick, , ‘Hausaland’, 274; Smith, A., ‘Central Sudan’, 192. Fisher, (‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 294) states that Korau ‘was apparently the founder of a new dynasty’ (my italics).
40 Nicolas, Guy, Dynamique sociale et apprehension du monde au sein d'une société hausa (Paris, 1975), 381.
41 Smith, A., ‘Central Sudan’, 192.
42 Gowers, W. F. (ed.), Gazetteer of Kano Province (London, 1921, reprinted 1972), 16.
43 And reproduced in Notes on the Tribes, Provinces, Emirates and States of the Northern Provinces of Nigeria, from the Official Reports of O. Temple, ed. by Temple, C. L. (second edition, Lagos, 1922; reprinted London, 1965), 472.
44 Nicolas, , Dynamique, 57, 159. Earlier studies referring to the position of the durbi in Maradi, include Landeroin, , ‘Du Tchad au Niger’, 467; Leroux, H., ‘Animisme et Islam dans la subdivision de Maradi (Niger)’, Bull. I.F.A.N., X (1948), 595–696.
45 Notes on the Tribes, Provinces, 472; Landeroin, ‘Du Tchad au Niger’, 458. According to other traditions however, there were two Koraus, the first being the founder of the new ‘dynasty’, the second being the first Muslim ruler of Katsina: cf. inter al. Palmer, , ‘Hist. Katsina’, 220.(But Palmer argues that both Koraus were Wangarawa.) For a discussion of this and related problems, cf. in particular Fisher, , ‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 294–8; cf. also Smith, A., ‘Central Sudan’, 190–1, 196–8; Hunwick, , ‘Hausaland’, 274; Hogben, S. J. and Kirk-Greene, A. H. M., The Emirates of Northern Nigeria. A Preliminary Survey of their Historical Traditions (London, 1966), 157–9.
46 Fisher, , ‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 294; Hiskett, M., ‘The Historical Background to the naturalization of Arabic loan-words in Hausa’, African Language Studies, VI (1965), 18–26 (esp. 21 and 26). For a more detailed analysis of the term ‘Wangara’, cf. Lovejoy, Paul E., ‘The role of the Wangara in the Economic Transformation of the Central Sudan in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries’, J. Afr. Hist., XIX, 2 (1978), 173–93.
47 ‘The Kano Chronicle’, in Palmer, H. R. (ed.), Sudanese Memoirs: Being mainly Translations of a Number of Arabic Manuscripts Relating to the Central and Western Sudan, III (Lagos, 1928; reprinted London 1967), 97–131.
48 In an attempt to refute the viewpoint advanced in Sanneh, Lamin, ‘The Origins of Clericalism in West African Islam’, J. Afr. Hist., XVII, 1 (1976), 49–72.
49 Lovejoy, , ‘The role of the Wangara’, 174.
50 Although of course this ‘new’ community was also often organized along kinship principles. Cf. Levtzion, Nehemia, ‘Patterns of Islamization in West Africa’, in McCall, D. F. and Bennett, N. R. (eds.), Aspects of West African Islam (Boston University Papers on Africa, Boston, 1971), 31–9; Cohen, Abner, ‘Cultural strategies in the organization of trading diasporas’, in Meillassoux, Claude (ed.), The Development of Indigenous Trade and Markets in West Africa (London, 1971), 266–78; Sanneh, ‘Clericalism’.
51 l'Africain, Jean-Léon (Leo Africanus), Description de l'Afrique (trans. and ed. by Epaulard, A. [Paris, 1956]), 478–9.
52 If so, one would have to explain away the fact that Leo refers to both Guangara/Vangara and Katsina. However, what Leo has to say about Katsina—where ‘tous les lieux habités … sont des hameaux composés de paillots tous de vilain aspect’ (477)—does not make very much sense. My personal guess is that Leo heard descriptions of Katsina before and after the advent of the Wangarawa/Katsina-Laka, but that he was led to believe that these descriptions referred to two different towns. This hypothesis is at odds with the one advanced by Lovejoy, Paul (‘The role of the Wangara’, 183), according to which Guangara/Vangara can be equated with Kebbi.
53 I would like to add here that this was not the first time the Wangarawa embarked on such a course. Indeed, in Jenne the animistic ancestors of the Wangarawa had—some centuries earlier—established their overlordship over the autochthonous population, the Bozo, while recognizing the pre-eminence of the latter in the religious sphere: cf. Monteil, Charles, Une cité soudanaise: Djenné, métropole du delta central du Niger (Paris, 1932; reprinted 1971), 30–5. It should also be noted that Muslim clerics and traders often have a tendency to encroach upon the authority of the local animistic ruler, if that authority is relatively weak: examples of this are provided by Mercier, , ‘Les Pila-Pila’, 56; Trimingham, J. Spencer, A History of Islam in West Africa (London, 1962; reprinted 1963), 186–9; Arhin, Kwame, ‘Strangers and Hosts: A Study in the Political Organization and History of Atebubu Town’, Trans. Hist. Soc. Ghana, XII (1971), 63–82 (esp. 71–80). See also Boutillier, Jean-Louis, ‘La cité marchande de Bouna dans l'ensemble économique Ouest-Africain pré-colonial’, in Meillassoux, C., The Development, 240–50.
54 This is the essence of the theory developed by Palmer in ‘Hist. Katsina’.
55 Ibid. 224; Fisher, , ‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 294.
57 Lovejoy, , ‘The role of the Wangara,’ 176–84.
59 Oliver, R. and Fagan, B. M., Africa in the Iron Age, c. 500 B.C. to A.D. 1400 (London, 1975), 178.
60 M. Hiskett, one of the leading authorities on the sources for Hausa history, has argued that this chronicle ‘represents a very old tradition … which can be shown by external evidence to be remarkably truthful’. Cf. his ‘The historical background,’ 18.
61 ‘Kano Chronicle’, 109.
63 Oliver, and Fagan, , Africa in the Iron Age, 178.
64 I have relied upon the French translation of Ibn Battuta's travels by Defrémery, C. and Sanguinetti, R. (first published in 1854 and reprinted in 1968), 441.
65 Henri Lhote has argued that salt, not copper, was exported from Takedda: cf. his ‘Recherches sur Takedda, ville décrite par le voyageur arabe Ibn Battouta et située en Aïr’, Bull. I.F.A.N., xxiv, 3 (1972), 429–70. Merrick Posnansky and Roderick McIntosh on the other hand, have suggested that the artisans of Takedda ‘worked imported metal’: cf. their ‘New Radiocarbon dates from Northern and Western Africa’, J. Afr. Hist., xvii, 2 (1976), 161–95 (183).
66 Bernus, Suzanne and Gouletquer, Pierre, ‘Du Cuivre au Sel: Recherches ethno—archéologiques sur la région d'Azelik (campagnes 1973–1975)’, J. Soc. Africanistes, XLVI, 1–2 (1976), 7–68 (esp. 10–13, 62–5).
67 Fisher, , ‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 296.
68 al-Hajj, Muhammad A., ‘A Seventeenth Century Chronicle on the Origins and Missionary activities of the Wangarawa’, Kano studies, I, 4 (1968), 7–42 (10).
69 Krieger, Kurt, Geschichte von Zamfara (Berlin, 1959), 25–9.
70 After all, the trading route between these two regions was already well established in Ibn Battuta's time. Furthermore, the evidence available concerning the history of the kingdom of Takedda can be interpreted as indicating that these relations had indeed been established at a rather early date: cf. Bernus and Gouletquer, ‘Du Cuivre au sel’; Lhote, H., ‘Recherches sur Takedda’; Bernus, Suzanne, ‘Recherches sur les centres urbains d'Agadèz et d'In Gall’, Revue de l'Occident Musulman et de la Méditerranée, II (1972), 51–6; Edmond, and Bernus, Suzanne, Du sel et des dattes: Introduction à l'étude de la communauté d'In Gall et de Tegidda-n-tesemt (Niamey, 1974); Norris, H. T., The Tuaregs (Warminster, 1975), 35–40. Possibly the process of ‘state-formation’ among the Songhay of the Middle Niger River valley was set in motion as a consequence of trade with Takedda.
71 This is, at least, not contradicted by the linguistic evidence presented by Neil Skinner, which indicates clearly that relations between the Mande and the Hausa must have been of considerable antiquity: cf. his paper ‘Lexical evidence on Manding—Hausa connections’, presented to the Conference on Manding Studies, S.O.A.S., London, 1972.
72 Africanus, Leo, Description de l'Afrique, 473.
73 On the destruction of Takedda and the rise of the sultanate of Aïr, cf. S. Bernus and P. Gouletquer, ‘Du Cuivre au Sel’; Bernus, Suzanne, ‘Stratégie matrimoniale et conservation du pouvoir dans l'Aïr et chez les Iullemmeden’, Revue de l'Occident Musulman et de la Méditerranée, XVIII (1976), 101–10.
74 According to Smith, A., ‘Central Sudan’, 190–2.
75 Harris, P. G., ‘Notes on Yauri (Sokoto Province), Nigeria’, J. Royal Anthrop. Instit. Great Britain and Ireland, LX (1930), 283–335 (287).
76 Palmer, , ‘Hist. Katsina’, 219; Smith, A., ‘Central Sudan’, 193.
77 Smith, M. G., Government in Zazzau, 1800–1950, (London, 1960), 34–72.
78 ‘Kano Chronicle’, 10–17.
80 I am thus in agreement with M. G. Smith when he argues that ‘Barbushe exercized ritual jurisdiction and leadership in concert with other lineage heads’: cf. his ‘The beginnings of Hausa history, A.D. 1000–1500’, in Vansina, J., Mauny, R. and Thomas, L. V. (eds.), The Historian in Tropical Africa (London, 1964), 339–57 (342).
81 ‘Kano Chronicle’, 99–100.
83 Hiskett, M., ‘The Song of Bagauda: A Hausa king list and homily in verse’, Pt. 2, Bull. S.O.A.S., XXVIII, 1 (1965), 112–35 (113–14).
84 ‘Kano Chronicle’, 103–4.
88 Sanneh, , ‘Clericalism’, 68–71; Fisher, , ‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 294–6; Hiskett, , ‘The Historical background’, 19; Es-Sa'di, , Tarikh Es-Soudan (1665; trans. into French by Houdas, O., Paris, 1900), 61–4, 138.
89 al-Hajj, , ‘The Wangarawa’, 12; Hunwick, , ‘Hausaland’, 277.
90 If Lovejoy, Paul (‘The role of the Wangara’, 176) is correct in believing that the Wangara in Songhay were strong supporters of Muhammad's, Askiacoup d'état in 1493, then one can perhaps argue that the history of the Songhay empire in this period parallels closely that of Kano.
91 ‘Kano Chronicle’, 110–13.
93 Hiskett, , ‘Song of Bagauda’, 369–70.
94 ‘Kano Chronicle’, 120–1.
96 Nicolas, Guy, ‘Fondements magico-religieux du pouvoir au sein de la Principauté Hausa du Gobir’, J. Soc. Africanistes, XXXIX, 2 (1969), 199–231 (224).
98 Hiskett, M. (ed.), ‘Kitāb Al-Farq: A work on the Habe kingdoms attributed to ‘Uthman dan Fodio’, Bull. S.O.A.S., XXIII, 3 (1960), 558–79 (569–70); Hamet, Ismaïl, ‘Nour-el-Eulbab (lumière des coeurs), de Cheîkh Otmane ben Mohammed ben Otmane, dit Ibn-Foudiou’, 1, Revue Africaine, no. 227 (1897), 297–317 (316).
99 Fisher, , ‘The eastern Maghrib and the Central Sudan’, 293; Palmer, H. R. (trans.), ‘Western Sudan History: The Raudthât' ul Afkâri by Muhammad Bello’, J. Afr. Society, XV (1915–16), 261–73 (266).
100 Barth, H., Travels, i, 336.
101 Landeroin, , ‘Du Tchad au Niger’, 470–1.
102 ‘Kano Chronicle’, 111.
103 Nicolas, , ‘Fondements …’, 209.
104 See footnote 73, above.
105 Nicolas, , ‘Fondements’, 209.
107 Nicolas, , Dynamique 57.
108 Hogben, and Kirk-Greene, , The Emirates, 368–9.
109 Africanus, Leo, Description de l'Afrique, 473.
110 No mention has been made in this article of the sixteenth-century Songhay conquest of Hausaland. This is because I believe—following Dr H. J. Fisher who proposes to substantiate the point in a forthcoming article—that this conquest never took place. One may also wonder how the Bayajida legend, also referred to as the legend of the Queen of Daura, fits into the hypotheses advanced above: in my opinion the answer is that this legend refers to an earlier (i.e. pre-thirteenth-century) stage in the evolution of Hausa society. (I hope to be able to develop this point further at some future occasion.)