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 La religione Bori e il popolo Hausa - Bori religion and Hausa people

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MessaggioOggetto: La religione Bori e il popolo Hausa - Bori religion and Hausa people   Gio 10 Nov 2011 - 12:44

La religione Bori è sostanzialmente la tradizionale religione animista del popolo Hausa, in questi articoli di wikipedia di cui riporto solo qualche stralcio, perciò ne consiglio la visione anche alle fonti originali, ne conosceremo alcune caratteristiche e le danze rituali, buona lettura.


Bori religion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bori is a traditional animistic religion of the Hausa people of West Africa which involves spiritual possession.


Bòòríí is a Hausa noun, meaning the spiritual force which resides in physical things, and is related to the word for local distilled alcohol (borassa) as well the practice of medicine (boka).[1] The Bori religion is both an institution to control these forces, and the performance of an "adoricism" (as opposed to exorcism) ritual, dance and music by which these spirits are controlled and by which illness is healed.[2]

Pre-Muslim Hausaland

An aspect of the traditional Maguzawa Hausa religious traditions, Bori became a state religion led by ruling class priestesses amongst some of the late pre-colonial Hausa States. Islam, present in Hausaland since the 14th century, was largely restricted to the region's rulers and their courts at the beginning of the 19th century. Rural areas generally retained their animist beliefs and their urban leaders thus drew on both Islamic and African traditions to legitimise their rule: the Bori spirit possession priestesses were one such mechanism. Priestesses communed with spirits through ecstatic dance ritual, hoping to guide and maintain the state's ruling houses. A corps of Bori priestesses and their helpers was led by royal priestess, titled the "Inna", or "Mother of us all".[3] The Inna oversaw this network, which was not only responsible for protecting society from malevolent forces through possession dances, but which provided healing and divination throughout the kingdom.

Post-Islamic and contemporary practice

Muslim scholars of the early nineteenth century disapproved of the hybrid religion practised in royal courts, and a desire for reform was a major motive behind the formation of the Sokoto Caliphate.[4] With the birth of the Caliphate, Bori practices were suppressed, and later outlawed by the British. Bori possession rituals survived in the Hausa refugee states such as Konni and Dogondutchi (in what is today southern Niger) and in some rural areas of Nigerian Hausaland. The powerful advisory roles of women, exemplified in the Bori priestesses, either disappeared or were transferred to Muslim women in scholarly, educational, and community leadership roles. British and French colonialism, though, offered little space for women in the official hierarchies of indirect rule, and the formal roles, like the Bori, for women in governance largely disappeared by the mid 20th century.[5]

In modern Muslim Hausaland, Bori ritual survives in some places assimilated into syncretic practices. The pre-Muslim "babbaku" spirits of the Maguzaci have been added to over time with “Muslim” spirits ("farfaru"), and spirits of (or representing) other ethnic groups, even those of the European colonialists. The healing and "luck" aspects of Bori members performances, almost entirely women, give new social roles for their rituals and practitioners.[6] Bori ritual societies, separated from governing structures, provide a powerful corporate identity for the women who belong to them through the practice of traditional healing, as well as through the performance of Bori festival like the girka initiation ritual.[7]


^ H. R. Palmer. "Bori" Among the Hausas. Man, Vol. 14, 1914 (1914), pp. 113-117
^ Lewis, Al-Safi, Hurreiz (1991)
^ Variations included Iya, Magaram, and Magajiya. See Bergstrom (2002).
^ Robinson, David, Muslim Societies in African History (Cambridge, 2004), p141
^ See Bergstrom (2002)'s discussion of this, particularly under the Zinder caliphate in Niger.
^ Umar Habila Dadem Danfulani. Factors Contributing to the Survival of the Bori Cult in Northern Nigeria.
^ Masquelier, Review (1992)


Adeline Masquelier. Prayer Has Spoiled Everything: Possession, Power, and Identity in an Islamic Town of Niger. Duke University Press (2001) ISBN 9780822326397
Adeline Masquelier (review): Girkaa: Une ceremonie d'initiation au culte de possession boorii des Hausa de la region de Maradi by Veti Erlmann, Habou Magagi. Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 22, Fasc. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 277-279.
Adeline Masquelier. Lightning, Death and the Avenging Spirits: "Bori" Values in a Muslim World. Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 24, Fasc. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 2-51
Kari Bergstrom Legacies of Colonialism and Islam for Hausa Women: An Historical Analysis, 1804-1960. Michigan State University Graduate Student Papers in Women and International Development Working Paper #276 (2002).
Jacqueline Cogdell Djedje. Song Type and Performance Style in Hausa and Dagomba Possession (Bori) Music. The Black Perspective in Music, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Autumn, 1984), pp. 166-182.
I. M. Lewis, S. al-Safi Hurreiz (eds). Women's Medicine, the Zar-Bori Cult in Africa and beyond. Edinburgh University Press (1991) ISBN 0748602615
Fremont E. Besmer. Initiation into the "Bori" Cult: A Case Study in Ningi Town. Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Vol. 47, No. 1 (1977), pp. 1-13
Frank Salamone. Religion as Play: Bori, a Friendly "Witchdoctor". Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 7, Fasc. 3 (1975), pp. 201-211.
Umar Habila Dadem Danfulani. Factors Contributing to the Survival of the Bori Cult in Northern Nigeria. Numen, Vol. 46, No. 4 (1999), pp. 412-447
A.J.N. Tremearne. The Ban of the Bori: Demons and Demon-Dancing in West and North Africa. London: Heath Cranton (1919).
A.J.N. Tremearne. Bori Beliefs and Ceremonies. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 45, Jan. - Jun., 1915 (Jan. - Jun., 1915), pp. 23-68
Ross S. Kraemer. The Conversion of Women to Ascetic Forms of Christianity. Signs, Vol. 6, No. 2, Studies in Change (Winter, 1980), pp. 298-307
I. M. Lewis. Spirit Possession and Deprivation Cults. Man, New Series, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Sep., 1966), pp. 307-329



Hausa people
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hausa are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. They are a Sahelian people chiefly located in northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger, but having significant numbers living in regions of Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Chad and Sudan. Predominantly Hausa communities are scattered throughout West Africa and on the traditional Hajj route across the Sahara Desert, especially around the town of Agadez. A few Hausa have moved to large coastal cities in the region such as Lagos, Accra, Kumasi and Cotonou, as well as to countries such as Libya. However, most Hausa remain in small villages and towns, where they grow crops and raise livestock, including cattle. They speak the Hausa language, an Afro-Asiatic language of the Chadic group.

History and culture

Kano, north Nigeria is considered the center of Hausa trade and culture. In terms of cultural relations to other peoples of West Africa, the Hausa are culturally and historically close to the Fulani, Songhai and Tuareg as well as other Afro-Asiatic and Nilo-Saharan groups further East in Chad and Sudan. Islamic Shari’a law is loosely the law of the land and is understood by any full time practitioner of Islam, known in Hausa as a Mallam (see Maulana).

Between 500 CE and 700 CE Hausa people, who had been slowly moving west from Nubia and mixing in with the local Northern and Central Nigerian population, established a number of strong states in what is now Northern and Central Nigeria and Eastern Niger. With the decline of the Nok culture and Sokoto, who had previously controlled Central and Northern Nigeria between 800 BCE and 200 CE, the Hausa were able to emerge as the new power in the region. Closely linked with the Kanuri people of Kanem-Bornu (Lake Chad), the Hausa aristocracy adopted Islam in the 11th century CE.

By the 12th century CE the Hausa were becoming one of Africa's major powers. The architecture of the Hausa is perhaps one of the least known but most beautiful of the medieval age. Many of their early mosques and palaces are bright and colourful and often include intricate engraving or elaborate symbols designed into the facade. By 1500 CE the Hausa utilized a modified Arabic script known as ajami to record their own language; the Hausa compiled several written histories, the most popular being the Kano Chronicle.

In 1810 the Fulani, another Islamic African ethnic group that spanned across West Africa, invaded the Hausa states. Their cultural similarities however allowed for significant integration between the two groups, who in modern times are often demarcated as "Hausa-Fulani" rather than as individuated groups, and many Fulani in the region do not distinguish themselves from the Hausa.

The Hausa remain preeminent in Niger and Northern Nigeria. Their impact in Nigeria is paramount, as the Hausa-Fulani amalgamation has controlled Nigerian politics for much of its independent history. They remain one of the largest and most historically grounded civilizations in West Africa.

The language of Hausa has more native speakers than any other language in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 22 million native speakers, plus an additional 17 million second language speakers. The main Hausa speaking area is northern Nigeria and Niger, but Hausa is also widely spoken in northern Ghana and northern Cameroon, and there are large Hausa communities in every major West African city.

Most Hausa speakers are Muslims, and Hausa is often a lingua franca among Muslims in non-Hausa areas.

There is a large and growing printed literature in Hausa, which includes novels, poetry, plays, instruction in Islamic practice, books on development issues, newspapers, news magazines, and even technical academic works. Radio and television broadcasting in Hausa is ubiquitous in northern Nigeria and Niger, and radio stations in Ghana and Cameroon have regular Hausa broadcasts, as do international broadcasters such as the BBC, VOA, Deutsche Welle, Radio Moscow, Radio Beijing, and others. Hausa is used as the language of instruction at the elementary level in schools in northern Nigeria, and Hausa is available as course of study in northern Nigerian universities.

In terms of sheer numbers, Hausa thus ranks as one of the world's major languages, and it has widespread use in a number of countries of West Africa. Hausa's rich poetic, prose, and musical literature, more and more of which is now available in print and in audio and video recordings, makes it a rewarding area of study for those who reach an advanced level.

Aside from the inherent interest of Hausa language and its literature, the study of Hausa provides perhaps the most informative entree into the world of Islamic West Africa. Throughout West Africa, there is a strong connection between Hausa and Islam. The influence of Hausa language on the languages of many non-Hausa Islamic people in West African is readily apparent. Likewise, many Hausa cultural practices, including such overt features as dress and food, are shared by other Islamic communities. Because of the dominant position which Hausa language and culture have long held, the study of Hausa provides crucial background for other areas such as West African history, politics (particularly in Nigeria and Niger), gender studies, commerce, and the arts.


Hausa have an ancient culture that had an extensive coverage area, and have long ties to the Tuareg Berbers and Arabs and other Islamized peoples in West Africa, such as the Mandé, Fulani and even the Wolof of Senegambia, through extended long distance trade. Islam has been present in Hausaland since the 14th century, but it was largely restricted to the region's rulers and their courts until 18th and 19th century jihads led by Uthman Dan Fodio and others led to the forced conversion, enslavement or killing of traditional believers. [The Legacy of Arab Islam in Africa (Oneworld Publications, John A. Azumah, 2001)] Rural areas generally retained their animist beliefs and their urban leaders thus drew on both Islamic and African traditions to legitimise their rule. Muslim scholars of the early 19th century disapproved of the hybrid religion practised in royal courts, and a desire for reform was a major motive behind the formation of the Sokoto Caliphate.[1] It was after the formation of this state that Islam became firmly entrenched in rural areas. The Hausa people have been an important factor for the spread of Islam in West Africa.

Maguzawa, the animist religion, was practiced extensively before Islam. In the more remote areas of Hausaland Maguzawa has remained fully intact, but as one gets closer to more urban areas it almost totally disappears. It often includes the sacrifice of animals for personal ends, it is thought of as illegitimate to practice Maguzawa magic for harm. What remains in more populous areas is a “cult of spirit possession” known as Bori which still holds the old religion's elements of animism and magic.[2]


Hausa music
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hausa are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, Niger, Sudan, and in many West and Central African countries. Their folk music has played an important part in the development of Nigerian music, contributing such elements as the goje, a one-stringed fiddle. There are two broad categories of traditional Hausa music: rural folk music and urban court music.

Ceremonial music (rokon fada) is performed[1] as a status symbol, and musicians are generally chosen for political reasons as opposed to musical ones. Ceremonial music can be heard at the weekly sara, a statement of authority by the emir which takes place every Thursday evening.

Courtly praise-singers[2] like the renowned Narambad, are devoted to singing the virtues of a patron, such as a sultan or emir. Praise songs are accompanied by kettledrums and kalangu talking drums, along with the kakaki, a kind of long trumpet derived from that used by the Songhai cavalry.

Rural folk music includes styles that accompany the young girls' asauwara dance and the bòòríí or Bori religion both well-known for their music.[3] It has been brought as far north as Tripoli, Libya by trans-Saharan trade. The bòòríí cult features trance music, played by calabash, lute or fiddle. During ceremonies, women and other marginalized groups fall into trances and perform odd behaviors, such as mimicking a pig or sexual behavior. These persons are said to be possessed by a character, each with its own litany (kírààrì). There are similar trance cults (the so-called "mermaid cults") found in the Niger Delta region.

Popular Hausa music includes Muhamman Shata, who sings accompanied by drummers, Dan Maraya, who plays a one-stringed lute called a kontigi, Audo Yaron Goje, who plays the goje, and Ibrahim Na Habu, who plays a small fiddle called a kukkuma.][4]


Musica hausa
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.

La musica hausa rappresenta una delle principali tradizioni della musica folk nigeriana. Gli Hausa (diffusi nel nord del paese) sono infatti uno dei principali gruppi etnici della Nigeria, e la loro musica ha influenzato in modo significativo la musica dell'Africa Occidentale in generale. A sua volta, la musica hausa fonde elementi provenienti dalla tradizione islamica del Maghreb (per esempio l'improvvisazione ritmica libera e la scala melodica araba) e altri tipici dell'Africa occidentale come la poliritmia e il dialogo "chiamata-e-risposta" fra il cantante solista e il coro.


Si possono distinguere due sottogeneri di musica hausa: la musica cerimoniale, detta rokon fada, e la musica delle aree rurali.

Musica cerimoniale

La musica cerimoniale hausa, o rokon fada, ha una lunga tradizione incentrata sul canto di glorificazione di persone di potere come sultani ed emiri; viene suonata nelle sara, le cerimonie settimanali in onore degli emiri, ma anche in altri contesti ritualizzati come matrimoni, funerali e riti della circoncisione. I canti vengono accompagnati da timpani, tamburi parlanti e kakaki, una lunga tromba originariamente in uso presso la cavalleria dell'Impero Songhai e tradizionalmente associata con il tema della forza militare. La kakaki può arrivare fino a due metri di lunghezza, e, per trasportarla è necessario smontarla in tre parti.

La tradizione della musica cerimoniale hausa è tramandata di padre in figlio in famiglie di cantori; fra i più noti interpreti contemporanei si può citare Narambad.

Musica rurale

La musica folk delle zone rurali serve ad accompagnare danze tradizionali come la asauwara (riservata alle ragazze) e il bòòríí. Fra gli strumenti impiegati nella musica rurale hausa ci sono il kontigi (un liuto a una corda), il goje (un fiddle a una corda), e il kukkuma (un altro tipo di fiddle). Musicisti rinomati di questo genere sono il cantante Muhamman Shata, il suonatore di kontigi Dan Maraya, il suonatore di goje Audo Yaron Goje, e il suonatore di kukkuma Ibrahim Na Habu.

Il bòòríí

Il bòòríí è una forma di danza religiosa originaria della cultura hausa e in seguito diffusasi attraverso le vie di comunicazione trans-sahariane anche in alcune aree del Nordafrica (per esempio in Libia). I danzatori, accompagnati da una musica ossessiva e ipnotica, cadono in uno stato di trance e si esibiscono in comportamenti insoliti o osceni, come l'imitazione di animali o di atti sessuali. La musica e il canto si sviluppano attorno a un insieme di litanie dette kírààrì; gli strumenti musicali più utilizzati sono il calabash, e cordofoni simili al liuto e al violino. Una forma simile di danza religiosa, detta mami wata, si trova presso il delta del Niger.


David W. Ames. Glossary of Hausa Music and Its Social Contexts, Northwestern University Press, 1971. ISBN 0810103613
Ziky Kofoworola. Hausa Performing Arts and Music, 1987. ISBN 9781730412
Beverly B. Mack. Muslim Women Sing: Hausa Popular Song, Indiana University Press, 2004. ISBN 0253217296

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