The Hausa (autonyms for singular: Bahaushe (m), Bahaushiya (f); plural: Hausawa and general: Hausa; exonyms: Ausa) are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. The Hausa are a diverse but culturally homogeneous people based primarily in the Sahelian and Sudanian Daura area of northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger, with significant numbers also living in parts of Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Togo, Ghana, Sudan, Gabon and Senegal.
Hausa ethnic flag
Regions with significant populations
Hausa (native language), Arabic (Sudanese Arabic, Chadian Arabic), English, French (colonial languages)
Islam (Sunni) (99%), Christianity (1%)
Related ethnic groups
Maguzawa, Azna, Mawri, Gwandara, Ngezzim, Bole, Fula, Baggara.
The largest population of Hausa are concentrated in Nigeria and Niger. Predominantly Hausa-speaking communities are scattered throughout West Africa and on the traditional Hajj route north and east traversing the Sahara, with an especially large population in and around the town of Agadez. Other Hausa have also moved to large coastal cities in the region such as Lagos, Accra, Abidjan, Banjul and Cotonou as well as to parts of North Africa such as Libya over the course of the last 5,000 years. Most Hausa, however, live in small villages or towns in Africa, where they grow crops, raise livestock including cattle and engage in trade. They speak the Hausa language, an Afro-Asiatic language of the Chadic group. The Hausa aristocracy had historically developed an equestrian based culture. Still a status symbol of the traditional nobility in Hausa society, the horse still features in the Eid day celebrations, known as Ranar Sallah (in English: the Day of the Prayer). Daura city is the cultural centre of the Hausa people. The town predates all the other major Hausa towns in tradition and culture.
Daura, in northern Nigeria, is the oldest city of Hausaland. The Hausa of Sokoto, also in northern Nigeria, speak the oldest surviving classical vernacular of the language. Historically Sokoto was the centre of Hausa Islamic scholarship.
The Hausa language has more first-language speakers than any other Languages of Africa. It has an estimated 25 million first-language speakers, and close to 50 million second-language speakers.
The main Hausa-speaking area is northern Nigeria and Niger. Hausa is also widely spoken in northern Ghana, Cameroon, Chad, Sudanese Hausa in Sudan and the Ivory Coast among Fulani, Tuareg, Kanuri, Gur, Shuwa Arab and other Afro-Asiatic speaking groups.
There are also large Hausa communities in every major African city in neighbourhoods called zangos or zongos, meaning “camel-caravan camp” in Hausa (denoting the trading post origins of these communities). Most Hausa speakers, regardless of ethnic affiliation, are Muslims; Hausa often serves as a lingua franca among Muslims in non-Hausa areas.