IJCH 2016 Vol.2(1): 50-53 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2016.2.1.036

Contributions of Women to the Development of Hausa Literature as an Effective Means of Public Enlightenment: The Case of a 19th C. Female Scholar, Maryam Bint Uthman Ibn Foduye

Balbasatu Ibrahim
Abstract—In the 19th century Hausa land an Islamic revolution known as the Sokoto Jihad took place which led to the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate in 1808 under the leadership of the famous Sheik Uthman Bn Fodiye. Prior to the Jihad women in Hausa land (now Northern Nigeria) were left in ignorance and were being used and dumped like old kitchen utensils. The sheik and his followers did their best in the fight for women’s right to education by using their female family members as role models who were highly educated and renowned scholars. After the Jihad with establishment of Islamic state, the women scholars initiated different strategies to educate the women on religious ground in the region. The most effective strategy was the ‘Yantaru Movement. Which was founded by Nana Asma’u the daughter of Sheik Uthman Danfodiye in collaboration with her sisters around 1840. The ‘Yantaru movement is a women’s educational movement aimed at enlightening women in rural and urban areas. The movement helped in massive mobilization for women’s education. In addition to town pupils, women from villages and other nook and corners were coming to Sokoto and Wurno for knowledge, thus the birth of the ‘Yantaru system of women’s education. The ‘Yantaru operates three tier system at Ward, Village and centrally Hubbare in Sokoto. ‘Yantaru functions include: Imparting knowledge to elderly women and young girls. Step down enlightenment program on return home. The most effective medium of communication in the ‘Yantaru movement was through poetry where scholars composed poems which were memorized by the ‘Yantaru for reciting to fellow women when they go back home. Through this system many women were educated to extent that there was a teacher (Modibbo) in each and every hamlet or village by the time the British concard Sokoto.

Index Terms—Jihad, Sokoto Caliphate, Hausa land, female scholars, Yantaru Mvement-associates.

Balbasatu Ibrahim is with the Department of Hausa / Translation of the Polytechnic of Sokoto State, Nigeria (e-mail: balbasatibrahim@yahoo.com)

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Cite: Balbasatu Ibrahim, "Contributions of Women to the Development of Hausa Literature as an Effective Means of Public Enlightenment: The Case of a 19th C. Female Scholar, Maryam Bint Uthman Ibn Foduye," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 50-53, 2016.

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