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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Daura and Gender in the Creation of a Hausa National Epic
Author:Bivins, Mary W.
Periodical:African Languages and Cultures
Geographic terms:Niger
legends (form)
Women's Issues
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
Abstract:From the 19th century into the first decades of the colonial era, European visitors to central West Africa collected variations of a legend which claimed to describe the origins of the Hausa people. Many of the narratives included a Hausa queen, Daura, and stated that the city, now in northern Nigeria, which shares her name, was the oldest of the Hausa kingdoms. In a succession of historical writings since the early 19th century, the Daura legend has been used by Islamic reformers, colonial administrators and Western-trained historians to represent the internal configuration of the earliest Hausa State system. More recently, the legend of Daura has been used to enhance a modern ethnic identity within the matrix of Nigerian politics and to legitimize special ethnic ties between Hausa communities in Niger and Nigeria. It now enjoys popular acceptance as the Hausa national epic. To examine the history of the process of Daura's transformation from legend to epic the author follows the narrative from its 19th-century manifestations in the Sokoto Caliphate through its history in the colonial culture of British Nigeria and concludes with the influence of print literacy on Daura's modern identity as national epic. Bibliogr., notes, ref.