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TRAVEL GUIDE: History Of The Ancient City Of Kano

Dec 16 2018

Kano State is located in North-Western Nigeria and created on May 27, 1967, from the old Northern Region. It is bordered to the north-west by Katsina State and to the north-east by Jigawa State, then to the south-east by Bauchi State and the south-west by Kaduna State. Jigawa State was carved out of Kano State in 1991.

Kano had about 10 million people according to the 2006 census figures, and 44 local government areas.
Kano City is the capital of Kano State. The capital comprises six local government areas: Municipal, Dala, Nassarawa, Gwale, Fagge and Tarauni.

Centre of Commerce is the slogan or epithet of the state. It is true, because the state was the most enterprising in pre-colonial times, and presently only second to Lagos.

According to Bayajidda legend, the Hausa kingdom began as seven states founded by the six sons of Bawo and himself, the unique son of the hero and the queen Magajiya Daurama in addition to the hero’s son, Biram or Ibrahim of an earlier Marriage. The States include only kingdoms inhabited by Hausa speakers
– Daura
– Kano
– Katsina
– Zaria (Zazzau)
– Gobir
– Rano
– Biram (Hadejia)

Kingship system in the Kano Kingdom started in the year 999AD with the overthrow of a powerful priest Barbushe who was in control of a shrine at Dala hill called Tsumburbura.

Barbushe was a descendant of Dala, a man of great stature and might. He was a great Hunter who built his house on top of Dalahill, this is the reason why the hill was named after him. He had seven children, four boys and three girls. The eldest among them was Garageje. Barbushe succeeded his forefathers because he was skilled in the various pagan rites.

Before 999AD the ancient Kano people settled in groups on top of hills, these hills include: Goron Dutse hill under the control of Gunzago, Tsumburo lived with people at Jigirya, Jan Damisa at Magwan hill, Hambaro heads Tangar hill and Gambarjo heads Fanisau hill. The heads of various hills were next to barbushe in rank.

Dala hill became attractive to immigrants from different parts of Hausa land. Bagauda and his group among the earliest immigrants to Dala hill. Bagauda was the son of Bawo, a very powerful warlord. On their arrival, they conquered the people at Dala hill and its surroundings.

Before their arrival, there was no centralised system of administration in the area. Having realized this, Bagauda established a royal system. His palace was located at Sheme. That was the beginning of the kingship system in Kano Kingdom.


The monarchical system in Kano is divided into two: Habe dynasty and the Fulani dynasty. Under the Habe Dynasty, we have Gidan Bagauda which ruled for four hundred and sixty-four years (464) AD 999 – 146.
Gidan Rumfa ruled for one hundred and sixty years (160) 1463 – 1623 and Gidan Kutumbi, one hundred and Eighty-four years (184) 1623 – 1807.

Fulani dynasty, on the other hand, ruled for Two hundred and eleven years (211) 1807 – 2018, bringing up to one thousand and nineteen (1019) years of monarchical rule in Kano.

Rulers under Habe dynasty are called Kings while that of Fulani are known as Emirs.

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