Beautiful Hausa bride from Kano in Northern Nigeria with her veil covering her hair and henna hands during a traditional Hausa marriage (Fatiha) ceremony. Besides her are her family members and a kola nut close to her. The Hausa (also known as Hausawa, Haoussa, Ausa, Habe, Mgbakpa) are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa and the largest ethnic group in Africa. They are a chiefly located in the Sahelian areas of northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger, with significant numbers also living in parts of Cameroon, Ghana, Côte 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 also moved to large coastal cities in the region such as Lagos, Accra, Kumasi and Cotonou, as well as to parts of North Africa like Libya. Most Hausa, however, are concentrated in small villages or towns in West Africa, where they grow crops or raise livestock, including cattle. They speak the Hausa language, an Afro-Asiatic language of the Chadic group.
The engagement and marriage ceremony in Northern Nigeria is both a blend of Islamic ritual and traditional practices. For Muslims, marriage (Fatiha) is a requirement in order to have sexual relationships and reproduce. It is also highly celebrated according to the means of the hosts. The marriage ceremony usually last a week ending on a Sunday.
However, preparations begin when the marriage proposal reaches the bride's parents. As soon as the bride's parents accept the marriage proposal, a number of beauty and household products called Kayan Zance such as beauty cream, scents, shoes and blouses is purchased by the grooms side and taken to the bride's house.
Thereafter, a group of men also are then sent to the bride's house with money termed Kudin Gaisuwa and after the delivery, a date is set for the engagement. In the engagement ceremony, the reception is held at the representative's of the bride and the husband to be is asked to bring some kola nuts and sweets for the event. The event usually takes place in the evening.
Prior to the marriage ceremony some customs are observed This includes, Kamun Ango which takes place on a Thursday and Zaman Ajo which takes place on a Friday.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah