Monday, October 13, 2008

The 21st good thing about Northern Nigeria: A peek at the Emir's palace in Katsina

After the Durbar, we walked down from the viewing stand...

through a watching crowd...
and walked through the crowd along the street towards the Emir's palace.
In the courtyard outside one of the entrances to a palace building were some men in colorful dress.

They decided the first room we were going into would not hold the crowd of visitors, so they ushered us to another receiving room.

It had a very pretty doorway.

The first room they brought us to had bright blue walls, three throne chairs and some couches. It also had air conditioning!

But that room also was not large enough for all the special guests, so they brought us out to the trophy room which, alas, did not have air conditioning. We were given an interesting talk about the history of Katsina and the Durbar. But it was VERY HOT.

Katsina has a long history as a force in polo. They had many polo trophies on display. The emir and his late father, the previous emir, are (and were) especially accomplished polo players. The present emir was chosen to succeed his father 5 days after his father's death in March of this year, by the kingmakers -- a kind of a ruling council. There is no rule of succession like in a royal family, although this family has had kind of a dynasty of leadership in Katsina. The link leads to an interesting article about how the present emir was chosen.

We were given a little peek at some of the historic parts of the old palace.

Paulette said that usually the Emir himself comes to greet his special foreign guests but we were excused without having an audience with him. Too bad!

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