Saturday, October 11, 2008

The 14th good thing about Northern Nigeria: public food assistance at the Hausa museum

After our Sunday morning visit to the villages, we returned to the hotel for lunch and a mid-day rest. We then went out for some more Kano sightseeing. Our first stop was at the Kano historical museum -- the Hausa Museum.

The two main ethnic/tribal groups in Northern Nigeria are the Hausa and the Fulani. I'll blog later on our introduction to the Fulani, but Kano is a main city for the Hausa people, though they are spread throughout West Africa. We came across many of the local people here who didn't speak English, only Hausa. The tribe adopted Islam in the 11th century (says the interesting Wikepedia article in the link), and the Hausa are now known as good businesspeople. Their architecture is quite beautiful -- this museum showcased the thick textured walls (here stucco, but probably in earlier times just made of mud) and pretty decorative designs.

This is a very poor photograph of an interior room in the museum which shows the decorative painting in a traditional Hausa palace.
The museum had items showing off Hausa culture and history. Next door was the Kano Hall of Fame.
It had a very pretty interior room with paintings, trophys and photographs of notable local citizens.

When we arrived at the museum, there was a gathering of people in front. We weren't sure why they were there.

But it became clear when some vans drove up and people brought out tubs filled with plastic bags of garri.

The plastic bags full of the cassava paste were quickly distributed. Garri doesn't have a lot of nutritional value, but it is a starch that is heavily relied on here just for filling stomachs.

With bowls and plastic bags full of garri, the crowd quickly went on their way.

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