Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hausa Music & Fulani Music In Nigeria (Music In Islamic West Africa)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about music in the Northern region of Nigeria and showcases a very small sample of traditional and contemporary northern Nigerian music and dance.

Selected comments from some of these video's discussion threads are included in this post along with explanatory information about terms that are mentioned in the title or the summary statement of two of the showcased videos.

This is the third post in a continuing pancocojams series about music in Islamic Africa. Click the tab below for other posts in this series.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those singers, musicians, and dancers who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

From "Traditional music in northern Nigeria" Nov 11, 2015 • by In-house Nigeria By E.I Aimiuwu
...."The Hausa, Fulani and the Kanuri uses of music is well known and is not much different from the use of music in any African communities except for the restrictions that follow Muslim influences. Traditional music of the people found in the Middle Belt or North Central Nigeria are usually done to worship the gods of the lands before they were conquered by the Jihadists and later on colonialized by the British. However, some of the people of North Central Nigeria were not conquered before the British colonization, proclamation of the Northern protectorate and they were able to keep and practice some of their traditional music style that usually follows the Hausa ceremonial music styles dominated by praise singers.

According to Bode Omojola in his book ‘Nigeria Art Music’, the advent of Islam has, however, not completely eroded traditional, pre-Islamic religious practices which still survive today mainly in the north central zone of northern Nigeria. One of such musical practice which still survives and is thriving among the Islamic dominated area in the north is the Bori possession Music.

Bori music is a type of music believed to have enormous spiritual power which can help worshippers to reach a state of ecstasy through which they can communicate directly with their ancestral spirits. In the New Grove Dictionary of Music, A. King observed Hausa professional musicians belong to a distinct social class which has the character of an euedaus within the society because of its low social status, hereditary membership and dependence on patronage. Such patronage is usually provided by the emir, palace officials and chiefs who till today constitute the aristocrats, the feudal Lords in traditional Hausa northern society.

In other words, musical practice in the north is closely and seriously controlled by religious, social and political consideration. As a result of Islamic introduction to the area around the 13th century, the region’s music is influenced by Arabic and Islamic elements. Serious musical performances are frequently held in the palace to entertain the Emir, and paramount rulers or chiefs under serious unadulterated Islamic culture. During such performances the Emir’s visitors and subjects are entrained in front of the palace. In such occasions the Emir restates his religious and political authority while his subjects reaffirm their confidence in the authority of the Emir or chief and the acceptance of his leadership. For example ‘in Katsina, when an Emir is to be crowned, the Yanibari drum is struck 12 times so that the people can know that they have a new Emir’.”…

The advent of Islam and Christianity and the western government system changed all that was in traditional music performance and practice. The tradition and practices of traditional music changed drastically from that of communal to that of individual. Hence, the emergence of solo or group traditional musicians that took advantage of traditional music revival as a result of the FESTAC '77 (The Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture that held in Nigeria in 1977)—one of the greatest musical events that brought traditional African music a universal recognition....

Suffice to say that traditional music in the North Central is now the link between the old and new traditional music that gave birth to popular music. Traditional music has found solace in the establishments of states and Federal musical troupes.

The government should therefore establish more musical groups in all the local government areas throughout the federation to fill the gap created by the abolition of authority of the traditional rulers to prevent a total extinction of traditional music as we know it in pre-Islamic/Christianity and colonial rule. That will create room for youths to go into the study and practice of traditional music for economic growth and preservation of our rich musical culture."

"The cinema of Northern Nigeria informally called Kannywood. It is mainly based in Kano, Nigeria.
Like its people, the film-makers in Nigeria are divided largely along regional, and marginally ethnic and religious, lines. Thus, there are distinct film industries – each seeking to portray the concern of the particular section and ethnicity it represents. Although the films produced in the South mostly use English, the use of Pidgin-English, a creole form of English developed in the south has made southern films largely unattractive. The few ones rendered in the local language also hardly attracts much attention. Ibrahim, Muhsin. "Hausa film: Compatible or incompatible with Islam?,". Performing Islam….

By 2012, over 2000 film companies were registered with the Kano State Filmmakers Association.[3] In 2003, with the rise of the Izala and the coming to power of Ibrahim Shekarau; the then ultrareligious government of Kano initiated an iconoclastic campaign against Kannywood. Numerous movies deemed irreligious were censored and some film makers were jailed. This reversed some the gains Kannywood had made and allowed the Southern Nigerian film industry to supersede it.
In 2007, the Hiyana Affair: when the sex tape of a popular actress became public led to a severe backlash from the then Islamist government of Kano State under Ibrahim Shekarau. Shekarau went on to institute censorship with the support of the Izala Society and other Islamist organisations, Kannywood and the equally popular Hausa romantic novel industry were severely censored, actors, actresses and writers were jailed by the state government[2] and books and other media materials were burnt by the Governor himself.[2] In 2011 the replacement of the Islamist government by a much more liberal government led by the PDP led to a more favourable atmosphere for the Industry.”...

These examples are given in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube with the oldest example given first.

Example #1: Hausa-Fulani music from Nigeria

AhavaYah Uploaded on Dec 11, 2008

Nigerian music

Example #2: zazzau praise singers

aliyu suleiman Uploaded on Dec 27, 2011

praise singers during wamban dawaki's turbaning
Information about Zazzau:
"The Zazzau, also known as the Zaria Emirate is a traditional state with headquarters in the city of Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. As of September 2015 the emir was Alhaji Shehu Idris.[1]

Early Hausa kingdom
Our most important source for the early history of Zazau is a chronicle composed in the early twentieth century from oral tradition. It tells the traditional story of the foundation of the Hausa kingdoms by Bayajidda, a culture hero and gives a list of rulers, along with the length of their reigns. According to this chronology, the original Hausa or Habe kingdom is said to date from the 11th century, founded by King Gunguma.[2] This source also makes it one of the seven Hausa Bakwai states. Zazzau's most famous early ruler was Queen (or princess) Amina, who ruled either in the mid-fifteenth or mid-sixteenth centuries, and was held by Muhammed Bello, an early nineteenth century Hausa historian and the second Sultan of Sokoto, to have been the first to establish a kingdom among the Hausa.[3]"

Example #3: Hausa traditional music near Malumfashi

warren hill, Published on Apr 30, 2012
"Malumfashi (or Malum Fashi) is a Local Government Area in Katsina State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Malumfashi."

Example #4: Fulani {Ful6e} of Nigeria.

Gidado Published on Nov 7, 2012

Nigeria, is Africa's Largest nation, and about 9-10% of Nigerians, are Fulani. With a total Population of about some 16.5 Million Ful6e, Nigeria turns out to be Africa's Largest Fulani country as well. Here is a compilation of various Fulani faces, from across the country....Enjoy.

Example #5: Sarakuna.DAT

Naziru M. Ahmad Published on Jan 31, 2013

Hausa Song

Example #6: Garnakaki 2.DAT

Naziru M. Ahmad Published on Jan 31, 2013

Hausa Song

Example #7: Fulani 1 song

Morou Zouhedou. Published on Mar 14, 2013
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
Sabry omer, 2014
"Sorry this is not the Fulani language the video is dubbing Fulani people

"mack rodrigo, 2015
"+Sabry omer this is hausa..its hausa mix.. but mostly fulani people in video."

Ku_Tube, 2016
"+Sabry omer and others may not know (a thing).. this a song of a film performed in Hausa language, FULANI 1 is song of part one of the film called Fulani, that is aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall and please do not tell us this here, go to Nigeria and ask them why this happens."

Jallo101, 2015
"It's not a fulani song , they are singing in haussa. I hadn't heard any fulfulde word in this song. The title is not appropriate better call it haussa song."

Pranking Strangers, 2016
"because its a Hausa movie... they wanted to promote the tradition and culture of Fulani's bcz Hausa tradition has overshadowed it in northern region"

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