Hausa People is a book by London-based graphic designer Osheyi Adebayo. It is a unique compilation on everything Hausa – one of the continent’s most widespread yet largely homogenous tribes. Adebayo marks practically every major pillar of life of the Hausa people in this tome with chapters on their architecture, religious rituals, traditional garb and even a treatise on Hausa genetics.
The Hausa have experienced massive geographical dispersion through the years. They are primarily based in northern Nigeria and southern Niger with significant numbers also living in Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and Senegal. The majority of Hausa people live in small towns around these areas, often making a living raising crops, engaging in trade or herding livestock. They speak the Hausa language, a unique Afro-Asiatic speech.
To record the Hausa’s rich culture and their time-worn practices in a single document, designer Adebayo started work on the Hausa People book some years ago before completing it in late 2016. The book traces Hausa life from its earliest history to contemporary celebrations and social norms. It contains a wealth of photographs depicting Hausa nobility, their strict dress codes as informed by religion as well as examples of Hausa architecture which is a distinct offshoot of Sudano-Sahelian building styles.
Other chapters in the book cover Hausa literature, their food culture as well as the tribe’s symbolism and population distribution across Africa.