/kah"noh/, n.
a city in N Nigeria. 300,000.

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City (pop., 1991: 2,166,554), northern Nigeria.

Its traditional founder was Kano, a blacksmith of the Gaya people who in ancient times came to Dalla Hill in search of iron. It became the capital of the Hausa state of Kano in the early 12th century. It was the capital of an emirate in the 19th century before being captured by the British in 1903. Modern Kano is a major commercial and industrial centre. The old city is enclosed by a massive city wall dating from the 15th century; the central mosque there is Nigeria's largest.

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also called  Kano City 
 city and capital of Kano state, northern Nigeria, on the Jakara River. It was traditionally founded by Kano, a blacksmith of the Gaya tribe who in ancient times came to Dalla Hill in the locality in search of iron. The discovery of stone tools indicates prehistoric settlement of the site, which was selected for the capital of the Hausa state of Kano in the reign (1095–1134) of King Gajemasu. The present city wall, replacing a 12th-century structure, probably dates from the 15th century; it has 14 gates, is 12 1/4 miles (20 km) long, 40 feet (12 m) wide at the base, and 30 to 50 feet high.

      Inside the old walled area along the Jakara River is the central Kurmi Market, a main caravan terminus. After the Fulani jihad (holy war, 1804–07), Kano was chosen to be the capital of an emirate centred on the city. Its market became the chief emporium of the western Sudan savanna and desert area extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Nile River. Cowrie shells were used as the chief medium of exchange. In return for Hausa leatherwork, cloth, and metalwares, Kano received kola nuts from Ghana; salt from the Sahara; slaves from the Bauchi and Adamawa emirates; natron from Lake Chad; and sword blades, weaponry, silk, spices, perfumes, and books brought from Europe by the trans-Saharan camel caravans. The city's capture by the British in 1903 and the opening of the railway from Lagos (715 miles southeast) in 1912 changed the direction of trade south to the Gulf of Guinea.

      Modern Kano is a major commercial and industrial centre. Peanuts (groundnuts), a local subsistence crop and now the prime commodity, are bagged and stored in huge pyramids before being sent to Lagos for export. The second most important traditional export is that of hides and skins. There is a considerable livestock trade. Pigs, raised on local farms managed by non-Muslims, are shipped to Lagos. Eggs also are supplied to other parts of Nigeria. Traditional industries include leather tanning and decoration, mat making, metalworking, tailoring, and pottery manufacture. Local dye pits for cloth and leather have been used for centuries.

      Much of the city's industry is centred in the industrial estate at Bompai. The city's food products include baked goods and pasta, processed meat, crushed bone, canned food, peanuts, peanut and vegetable oils, soft drinks, and beer. Light manufactures include textiles, knit fabrics, tents, bedding, foam rubber products, clothing, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soap, candles, polishes, plastics, leather goods, metal and wood furniture, hospital and office equipment, containers and packing cases, wire products, tiles, and enamelware. The heavy industries manufacture asbestos, cement, concrete blocks, metal structural products, bicycles, automobiles, trucks, and chemicals. There is also a steel-rolling mill and a printing plant.

      Dalla Hill (1,753 feet [534 m]) and Goron Dutse Hill (1,697 feet [517 m]) dominate the old city, which has lowland pools and borrow pits, source of the mud for building its square, flat-roofed houses. The population is mostly Hausa, mainly Kano (Kanawa), but also includes the Abagagyawa, who claim descent from Kano's original inhabitants, and Fulani. The city is subdivided into about 100 unguwa (“hamlets”), each with a mosque and usually a market. The oldest building is the 15th-century Gidan Rumfa (now the emir's palace), next to which is the central mosque (1951), Nigeria's largest. Also facing Emir's Square is the Makama's House, among Kano's oldest structures and since 1959 housing a museum of Hausa and Fulani artifacts.

      Besides the old walled area (recognized as Kano city in 1961) and Bompai, Kano has four other districts: the Fagge, inhabited by “stranger” Hausa people; the Sabon Gari, housing migrants from the south and east; the Syrian Quarters and adjoining Commercial Township (1912); and the Nassarawa, site of modern government buildings and exclusive European and African residences.

      Kano is the seat of Bayero University (1977), Kano State Institute for Higher Education, an Arabic law school (1934), several teacher-training institutes, a state polytechnic college, a commercial school, and an agricultural (peanut) research institute. The British Council Library and Kano State Library are located in the city. Kano is served by the railway network between Nguru and Lagos and Port Harcourt; it is also a crossroads for highways traversing Kano state. There is an international airport in the city. Pop. (2005 est.) 2,993,000.

▪ historical kingdom, Nigeria
      historic kingdom and traditional emirate in northern Nigeria. According to the Kano Chronicle (1890s), the best-known native history of the Hausa people, the Kano kingdom was founded as one of the Hausa Bakwai (“Seven True Hausa States”) in 999 by Bagauda, a grandson of Bayajida (Abuyazidu), the legendary progenitor of the Hausa people. Its capital was moved from Sheme (to the north) to the present site of Kano city in King Gajemasu's reign (1095–1134). Malinke scholars from the Mali empire introduced Islām into the region in the 1340s, and Yaji (reigned 1349–85) was probably Kano's first Muslim Hausa king. Islām was blamed for Kano's defeat by Zaria about 1400, and King Kanajeji renounced the faith; but in the 1450s new Malian teachers arrived, and Islām regained its influence.

      In King Dauda's reign (1421–38), Kano became a tributary state of the Bornu kingdom (to the east), and under Abdullahi Burja (1438–52) trade relations with Bornu were established. Camel caravans brought prosperity under Mohamman Rumfa (1463–99), the greatest of Kano's Hausa kings, who established the Kurmi Market, built the Juma'at Mosque (restored) and a palace (now used by the Fulani emirs), and fought the first of a series of wars with Katsina (92 miles [148 km] northwest), Kano's principal rival in the trans-Saharan trade. Under Rumfa, Arabic writing was reintroduced and the administration codified under Islāmic law.

      Kano became a tributary state of Songhai after its capture about 1513 by Muḥammad I Askia of the Songhai empire. Later in the century, the state paid tribute to Zazzau, a Hausa kingdom to the south. After defeats in 1653 and 1671 by the Jukun (Kwararafa) people from the southeast, Kano was eclipsed by Katsina as a commercial centre. By 1734 it once again paid tribute to Bornu.

      In 1804 the Fulani jihad (holy war) leader, Usman dan Fodio, led a revolt against the Hausa overlords and, in 1807, Kano city was taken. One of dan Fodio's pupils, Sulaimanu (Sulemanu), became Kano's first emir; his successor, Emir Ibrahim Dabo (1819–46) of the Sullibawa clan, founded the present dynasty.

      By the 1820s Kano had become the greatest commercial power in West Africa. Its leather and cotton goods were widely transported northward by caravan across the Sahara to Tripoli, Tunis, and Fès, and hence to Europe, where its red goatskin products were known as morocco leather. By the 1880s, however, trade diminished because of changing political conditions along the routes, the end of the slave trade, and the arrival of Europeans on the West African coast.

      When Abdurrahman (Abdu), the Fulani sultan at Sokoto (233 miles west-northwest), chose Mohamman Tukur as Kano's emir in 1893, war broke out among the Kano Fulani. Aliyu Babba, the victor in 1894, pledged allegiance to Muhammadu Attahiru I, the new sultan; but the British captured Kano city in 1903 and named Muhammadu Abbas Abdullahi emir of Kano. Kano emirate was the largest and most populous of the emirates in Kano province, created by the British in 1903.

      state, northern Nigeria. It was formed in 1968 from Kano province, and in 1991 its northeastern portion was split off to form Jigawa state. It is bordered by the states of Jigawa to the north and east, Bauchi to the southeast, Kaduna to the southwest, and Katsina to the northwest. Kano consists of wooded savanna in the south and scrub vegetation in the north and is drained by the Kano-Chalawa-Hadejia river system. The state's light sandy soils are excellent for growing peanuts (groundnuts), a major export. Other crops include cotton, onions, indigo, tobacco, wheat, and gum arabic; millet, sorghum, beans, cowpeas, and corn (maize) are subsistence crops. Cattle, horses, goats, and sheep are grazed, and hides and skins are exported. Tin and columbite are mined.

      Kano city, the state capital, is a manufacturing centre producing processed foods, textiles, furniture, cement, rolled steel, and light trucks. Most of the state's inhabitants are Hausa or Fulani, but there are also Nigerians from other parts of the country, Arab traders, and Europeans. Kano city, Rano, and Wudil are its chief market centres. The state is crossed by the main (Lagos-Nguru) railway and by highways that link it to Kaduna and Bauchi states. Kano city has an international airport. Pop. (2006) 9,383,682.

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Universalium. 2010.

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