The Hausa are a people of northern Nigeria and south-eastern Niger. They speak the Hausa language.
Kano is the center of Hausa trade and culture.
Hausa are an ancient culture that had an extensive coverage area, and long ties to the Arabs. The Hausa have been Muslim since the 14th century, and have converted many other Nigerian tribes to the Muslim faith by contact, trade, and jihads.
From the sixteenth to start of the nineteenth century the Hausa federation, a loose union of city states were an important regional power. They were defeated in 1810 by Usman dan Fodio and incorporated into the Fulani Empire.
Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 24 million people, and as a second language by about 15 million more.
Native speakers of Hausa are mostly to be found in the African country of Niger and in the north of Nigeria, but the language is widely used as a lingua franca(similar to Wolof in Senegal) in a much larger swathe of West Africa, particularly amongst Muslims.
Hausa has had a written form for more than 200 years, at first with an Arabic script, but this has largely been superseded by a Latin script which was introduced at the beginning of the 20th century.
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