Hausa Culture Resources


Several websites and books exist that give a brief overview of different aspects of Hausa culture. These include:

  • This website gives a brief overview of Hausa culture including music, religion, and clothing.

Haour, Anne and Rossi, Benedetta. Being and Becoming Hausa: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Boston: Brill, 2010. Print.

  • This book draws from multiple disciplines to give a well-researched overview on the Hausa. It explores how Hausa identity evolved into what it is today, and looks at history to see changes through time.


Dambe is a martial art of Hausa people. While it can be very dangerous, it has also gained popularity beyond West Africa in the past decade. It involves two men fighting, each with one hand bound into a “spear”.

  • This website gives a brief background and overview of the sport as well as its basic rules.

  • This Slate photo documentary of the sport provides great imagery of fighting as well as fight preparation. The accompanying text also gives a relatively detailed description of the sport including who fights, how they prepare and the atmosphere at fights.

  • This Dambe Warriors YouTube page is dedicated to showcasing videos of Dambe fighting matches. More than 75 matches can be viewed here.


Hausa food relies heavily on locally sourced foods including groundnuts, plantains and rice. The website below contains a wealth of recipes; numerous videos can also be found on YouTube.


Nollywood is the Hollywood of Nigeria and produces over 1,500 movies each year,  making it the worlds second largest film industry after Bollywood. Kannywood, a subsector of Nollywood, produces only Hausa-language films.

  • While this website does not discuss Kannywood specifically, it gives a good overview on Nollywood including what drove its development and success. The article is an interview with the Emily Witt, the author of the book “Nollywood: The Making of a Film Empire.”

  • A YouTube channel containing hundreds of Kannywood movies.


  • This website contains a volume of 21 Hausa folklore stories that have been translated into English. The stories were all originally written by Maalam Shaihua and translated by R. Sutherland Rattray.

Tremearne, A. J. N. Hausa Superstitions and Customs. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson, LTD, 1913. Print.

  • This book contains 100 Hausa folklore tales. Beyond presenting folklore the book also gives insight into the value of folklore as well as customs and superstitions.


  • An article about Balaraba Ramat Yakubu, the first female Hausa novelist translated into English. Her book “Sin is a Puppy that Follows you Home” can be found on Amazon.



  • This website gives a brief overview of five of the most popular instruments in traditional Hausa music.


Hausa artists are too numerous to list, but the links below are samples of traditional and more modern artists.

  • Link to a song by Mamman Shata, a traditional Hausa artist who is very well known.

  • This website walks through the rise of Hausa hip-hop, using Mariusz Krasniewski’s book about Hausa hip-hop as a base. Music videos are embedded within the website to watch and listen to.


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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.