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Hausa Identity: Language, History And Religion

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter explores the central structuring themes of this book, and then moves on to an overview of the main threads emerging in the different chapters. The book explores how being Hausa has manifested itself through time, what were the cultural and material outcomes of this process, and which groups were involved. The study of Hausa history offers a stimulating platform for the investigation of notions of identity. Hausa has been described as merely a language; a factor in West African history; and a cultural formation within Sudanic civilisation. The chapter addresses religious belief and practice throughout Hausa history. Certainly Islam has been influential in all spheres of social and political life in some of the major Hausa centres since at least the fifteenth century. The contributions presented in the chapter are structured around the three themes of identity, history and religion.

Keywords: Hausa identity; Hausa language; Hausa religion; West Africa



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