Home Region:  West Africa (Africa)

Sokoto Caliphate

G SC PT New WA  ni_sokoto_cal

Preceding:
[continuity; Hausa Kingdoms] [continuity]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

No General Descriptions provided.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
32 P  
Original Name:
Sokoto Caliphate  
Capital:
Sokoto  
Alternative Name:
Sultanate of Sokoto  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,860 CE  
Duration:
[1,804 CE ➜ 1,904 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
British Empire  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
loose  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Chadic  
Semitic  
Language:
Sokoto  
Hausa  
Arabic  
Religion
Religious Tradition:
Islam  
Religion Family:
Sunni Islam  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[100,000 to 120,000] people  
Polity Territory:
648,000 km2  
Polity Population:
10,000,000 people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
5  
Religious Level:
4  
Military Level:
4  
Administrative Level:
[6 to 12]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred absent  
Professional Priesthood:
inferred present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Merit Promotion:
inferred present  
inferred absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred present  
Law
Judge:
inferred present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Utilitarian Public Building:
present  
Knowledge Or Information Building:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred absent  
Special-purpose Sites
Trading Emporia:
inferred present  
Special Purpose Site:
present  
Burial Site:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
inferred absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Store Of Wealth:
inferred present  
Debt And Credit Structure:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Weight Measurement System:
present  
Volume Measurement System:
inferred present  
Time Measurement System:
inferred present  
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Military use of Metals
Projectiles
Handheld weapons
Animals used in warfare
Armor
Naval technology
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Sokoto Caliphate (ni_sokoto_cal) was in:
Home NGA: None

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Sokoto Caliphate

“The Sokoto caliphate originated in 1804, when the Fulbe Islamic scholar Shehu Usumanu dan Fodio declared an Islamic reformist movement, or jihad, in northern Nigeria. The state that he founded eventually spread to encompass all of northern Nigeria, the northern Republic of Benin, and southern Niger, with the Shehu as caliph, or spiritual and political leader. In 1806 the various groups of seminomadic pastoral Fulbe residing in northern Cameroon joined the jihad under the leadership of the respected Islamic scholar Modibo Adama. The region was incorporated into the larger caliphate as the emirate of Adamawa, named after its founder.” [1]

[1]: Delancey, Mark D. “The Spread of the Sooro: Symbols of Power in the Sokoto Caliphate.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 71, no. 2, 2012, pp. 168–75: 168–169. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/87XHFF23/collection


“The caliphate was organized into semiautonomous emirates that ceded religious authority to the caliph, seated in Sokoto.” [1] “SOKOTO. The capital of Sokoto State, with a population of approximately 500,000. It is historically significant for the Hausa and Fulani as the seat of the great Sokoto Caliphate between 1804 and 1903.” [1]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 331. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Alternative Name:
Sultanate of Sokoto

Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,860 CE

“At its apex in 1860, the Caliphate then as a continuous phenomenon had over 31 emirates under allegiance, with Kebbi, Kano, Zazzau (Zaria), Bauchi, Ilorin, Nupe and Muri been the prominent ones.” [1]

[1]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 81. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection


Duration:
[1,804 CE ➜ 1,904 CE]

“In 1804, Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio and his jamaa lunched an Islamic Jihad in the Western Sudan also called Bilad Sudan but now roughly Western Africa.” [1] “The Sokoto caliphate originated in 1804, when the Fulbe Islamic scholar Shehu Usumanu dan Fodio declared an Islamic reformist movement, or jihad, in northern Nigeria. The state that he founded eventually spread to encompass all of northern Nigeria, the northern Republic of Benin, and southern Niger, with the Shehu as caliph, or spiritual and political leader. In 1806 the various groups of seminomadic pastoral Fulbe residing in northern Cameroon joined the jihad under the leadership of the respected Islamic scholar Modibo Adama. The region was incorporated into the larger caliphate as the emirate of Adamawa, named after its founder.” [2] “Nevertheless, before the British began a piecemeal conquest and occupation of the part of the Caliphate which culminated in 1904, exactly a century after it was established, the Caliphate in line with the cyclical theory of Ibn Khaldun could be said to be in the state of weakness and decline.” [3]

[1]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 84. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection

[2]: Delancey, Mark D. “The Spread of the Sooro: Symbols of Power in the Sokoto Caliphate.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 71, no. 2, 2012, pp. 168–75: 168–169. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/87XHFF23/collection

[3]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 87. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection


Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
British Empire

More specifically, British Protectorate of Northern Nigeria: “In 1903 the British conquered Kano and incorporated it into the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria.” [1]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 189. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

“In 1804, Usman dan Fodio, a Fulani, led a series of jihads that subsumed the Hausa Kingdoms in the Sokoto Caliphate. During this period, the Hausa established a literary tradition of recording royal history, praising leaders through poetry, cataloging commercial activity, and celebrating Islam. In 1903, the British and French dismantled the caliphate.” [1] “The Sokoto Caliphate system was based squarely on the strength of its ideals and programmes, which the mujahhidun articulated within an Islamic religious framework. In the course of their attacks on the Hausa kingdoms, the leaders of the jihad offered an alternative set of political, economic and social principles which they called the "structures of Muslim government" as opposed to what they termed the "structures of non-Muslim government".” [2] “The course which the Jihad took is beyond the scope of this paper. It suffices to say that Birnin Kebbi, the new capital of Kebbi, was the first to fall to the Jihadists in 1805. In 1807 Katsina, Daura and Kano were all taken over by the Jihadists, while in 1808 Alkalawa, the capital of Gobir was sacked and Sarkin Gobir Yunfa slain. With this, the centuries old Hausa dynasties were destroyed and in their places new ones came into being. The various Hausa states metamorphosed into emirates paying allegiance to Sokoto, the new capital of the Sokoto Caliphate.” [3] “With the initial military action over, the various emirates were knitted together into the Sokoto Caliphate.” [4]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 148. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 100–101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[3]: Maishanu, H. M., & Maishanu, I. M. (1999). The Jihād and the Formation of the Sokoto Caliphate. Islamic Studies, 38(1), 119–131: 128. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/FS9AKXPF/collection

[4]: Maishanu, H. M., & Maishanu, I. M. (1999). The Jihād and the Formation of the Sokoto Caliphate. Islamic Studies, 38(1), 119–131: 129. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/FS9AKXPF/collection


Preceding Entity:
Hausa Kingdoms

(Relationship): “In 1804, Usman dan Fodio, a Fulani, led a series of jihads that subsumed the Hausa Kingdoms in the Sokoto Caliphate. During this period, the Hausa established a literary tradition of recording royal history, praising leaders through poetry, cataloging commercial activity, and celebrating Islam. In 1903, the British and French dismantled the caliphate.” [1] “The Sokoto Caliphate system was based squarely on the strength of its ideals and programmes, which the mujahhidun articulated within an Islamic religious framework. In the course of their attacks on the Hausa kingdoms, the leaders of the jihad offered an alternative set of political, economic and social principles which they called the "structures of Muslim government" as opposed to what they termed the "structures of non-Muslim government".” [2] “The course which the Jihad took is beyond the scope of this paper. It suffices to say that Birnin Kebbi, the new capital of Kebbi, was the first to fall to the Jihadists in 1805. In 1807 Katsina, Daura and Kano were all taken over by the Jihadists, while in 1808 Alkalawa, the capital of Gobir was sacked and Sarkin Gobir Yunfa slain. With this, the centuries old Hausa dynasties were destroyed and in their places new ones came into being. The various Hausa states metamorphosed into emirates paying allegiance to Sokoto, the new capital of the Sokoto Caliphate.” [3] “With the initial military action over, the various emirates were knitted together into the Sokoto Caliphate.” [4]
(Entity): “The Hausa Kingdoms were organized under a hereditary chief, or emir, who was advised by a council of title-holders. The kingdom, or emirate, was divided into districts, with each under a district head. The Hausa kingdom, or emirate, structure, for the most part, remained unaltered during the 19th century. These first seven kingdoms are referred to as the Hausa bakwai (“Hausa states”) or Habe kingdoms. Of these seven, the most influential were Kano and Zazzau. Hausa oral tradition also says that Bayajidda had several illegitimate children, who founded seven kingdoms: Gwari, Kebbi, Kwararafa, Nupe, Zamfara, Yoruba, and Jukun. These kingdoms are referred to as the banza bakwai (“bastard states”). Some oral sources identify these kingdoms as being not of blood relation to Bayajidda or the Hausa. Much more evidence exists for this version. Scholars may exclude Zamfara and Kwararafa and include Yauri and Borgu in the list of seven states. Historians often describe these Hausa Kingdoms as city-states. Almost all of these Hausa Kingdoms became part of the Sokoto Caliphate in the 19th century.” [5] “The victory at Tafkin Kwatto together with the impacts of the Wathiqat Ahl al-Siiddn increased support for the Shehu and convinced many not only of his sincerity but also certainty of victory. Many people who were sitting on the fence decided to take sides; admirers, students and disciples all flocked to Shehu’s standard and swelled his army; some came to receive permission and blessing to carry on with the Jihad in their own localities. Rulers of the major Hausa states in the area, acting in consonance with, and by the advice of Sarkin Gobir Yunfa stepped up pressure against Shehu’s supporters and soon the whole of Hausaland was engulfed in Jihad.” [3] “The Jihad spread into wider areas of the Northern Nigerian area. Twice, the capital of Kanem-Borno, Ngazargamu, was sacked by the Jihddists and by the time a settlement was reached, a substantial part of Borno was curved into the emirates of Hadejia, Katagum and Misau.” [4] “Downwards towards the Bauchi Plateau, Benue and Gongola rivers a whole chain of emirates; Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Muri, emerged all under the Sokoto Caliphate. In the south west, the emirate of Nufe was established. The Jihad wars led to the collapse of the old Oyo empire and the emergence of Ibadan, Ijesha and the incorporation of its northern province of Ilorin into the Sokoto Caliphate.” [4]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 148. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 100–101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[3]: Maishanu, H. M., & Maishanu, I. M. (1999). The Jihād and the Formation of the Sokoto Caliphate. Islamic Studies, 38(1), 119–131: 128. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/FS9AKXPF/collection

[4]: Maishanu, H. M., & Maishanu, I. M. (1999). The Jihād and the Formation of the Sokoto Caliphate. Islamic Studies, 38(1), 119–131: 129. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/FS9AKXPF/collection

[5]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Degree of Centralization:
loose

“The Sokoto caliphate originated in 1804, when the Fulbe Islamic scholar Shehu Usumanu dan Fodio declared an Islamic reformist movement, or jihad, in northern Nigeria. The state that he founded eventually spread to encompass all of northern Nigeria, the northern Republic of Benin, and southern Niger, with the Shehu as caliph, or spiritual and political leader. In 1806 the various groups of seminomadic pastoral Fulbe residing in northern Cameroon joined the jihad under the leadership of the respected Islamic scholar Modibo Adama. The region was incorporated into the larger caliphate as the emirate of Adamawa, named after its founder. The various Fulbe leaders of the region founded subemirates, owing allegiance to the emir, or governor, Modibo Adama and ultimately to the caliph. Throughout the history of the caliphate, however, there was tension between the centralized rule of the caliph and the autonomy of the local rulers.” [1] “The Sokoto Caliphate emerged from the amalgamation of over 30 emirates in 1812 through a series of jihads that began in 1804 and were led by a Fulani named Usman dan Fodio. The jihads were carried out by Usman and 14 flag bearers chosen by him. The caliphate was organized into semiautonomous emirates that ceded religious authority to the caliph, seated in Sokoto. The old Hausa aristocracy was replaced by a Fulani one, but with a revival of Islam and expansion of literacy.” [2] “To assess how far the ideals of the leadership were actually put into practice, one must bear in mind the political and social configuration of the Sokoto Caliphate. Direct central administration was confined to the metropolitan districts in the heartland of the Sokoto-Rima Basin, the region formerly occupied by the pre-jihad kingdoms of Kebbi, Zamfara and Gobir. The emirates which comprised the rest of the Caliphate owed the central authority a looser form of allegiance. The policy prescriptions of the central leadership were thus addressed largely to the metropolitan districts, although they were also intended to provide guidelines for the emirs as the representatives of the Caliph in the emirates. In practice, the emirates tended to evolve their own forms of government.” [3] “Though the taxation system was regularized by the Caliphate from being extortionist and overburdening as it used to be by sanctioning only those taxes which were legislated by the Shariah, the mode of assessment, collection and administration also became flawed as time went by.” [4]

[1]: Delancey, Mark D. “The Spread of the Sooro: Symbols of Power in the Sokoto Caliphate.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 71, no. 2, 2012, pp. 168–75: 168–169. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/87XHFF23/collection

[2]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 331. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[3]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 104. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[4]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 88. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection


Language
Linguistic Family:
Chadic

“Hausa is considered a Chadic language. Today, Hausa speakers are estimated to total about 40 million. The language is primarily spoken in northern Nigeria and Niger, but can also be heard in neighboring countries such as Chad, Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Several dialects are used, for example, Kano and Sokoto, across northern Nigeria. Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1] Glottolog classification for Arabic has Semitic as the linguisitic family.

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

Linguistic Family:
Semitic

“Hausa is considered a Chadic language. Today, Hausa speakers are estimated to total about 40 million. The language is primarily spoken in northern Nigeria and Niger, but can also be heard in neighboring countries such as Chad, Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Several dialects are used, for example, Kano and Sokoto, across northern Nigeria. Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1] Glottolog classification for Arabic has Semitic as the linguisitic family.

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Language:
Sokoto

“Hausa is considered a Chadic language. Today, Hausa speakers are estimated to total about 40 million. The language is primarily spoken in northern Nigeria and Niger, but can also be heard in neighboring countries such as Chad, Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Several dialects are used, for example, Kano and Sokoto, across northern Nigeria. Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1] “In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190-97) . Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection

Language:
Hausa

“Hausa is considered a Chadic language. Today, Hausa speakers are estimated to total about 40 million. The language is primarily spoken in northern Nigeria and Niger, but can also be heard in neighboring countries such as Chad, Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Several dialects are used, for example, Kano and Sokoto, across northern Nigeria. Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1] “In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190-97) . Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection

Language:
Arabic

“Hausa is considered a Chadic language. Today, Hausa speakers are estimated to total about 40 million. The language is primarily spoken in northern Nigeria and Niger, but can also be heard in neighboring countries such as Chad, Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Several dialects are used, for example, Kano and Sokoto, across northern Nigeria. Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1] “In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190-97) . Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Religion
Religious Tradition:
Islam

“Islam first appeared between the 11th and 14th centuries, while Christianity arrived in the 19th century. Initially, Islam attracted only the elite desirous of power and trade. The emergence of the Sokoto Caliphate in the 19th century spurred the spread of Islam from royalty to the common people.” [1]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: xxxiii. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Religion Family:
Sunni Islam


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[100,000 to 120,000] people

Seems that the population fluctuated throughout the nineteenth century, at least in part linked to where the caliph was residing. 1827 is an estimated date based on the timing of Clapperton and Lander’s visit to Sokoto. “Therefore a network of settlements grew up which led to the development of areas of close-settled farmland, the most important of which was that centred on the capital, Sokoto. The 19th-century explorers such as Clapperton (1966) and Lander (1967) believed that Sokoto was the largest city in the interior of Africa that they had seen: Lander estimated Sokoto’s population as 120,000 - compared with Kano’s 40,000. But by the time Barth arrived in 1853 it was thinly inhabited and greatly dilapidated. This was one of the periods in the 19th century when the caliph and his court were residing at Wurno 30 km away.” [1] “Sokoto itself was transformed from a small hamlet in 1809 into one of the largest cities in the Central Sudan, with a population of about 100,000 by the end of the century.” [2]

[1]: Swindell, K. (1986). Population and Agriculture in the Sokoto-Rima Basin of North-West Nigeria: A Study of Political Intervention, Adaptation and Change, 1800–1980 (Population et agriculture dans le bassin Sokoto-Rima (nord-ouest du Nigeria): étude de l’intervention politique, de l’adaptation et du changement, 1800-1980). Cahiers d’Études Africaines, 26(101/102), 75–111: 84. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/7XV2T4N8/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 104. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Polity Territory:
648,000 km2

in squared kilometers. Converted from: “The Caliphate covered an area of 250,000 sq miles and stretched as far as Nikki in the present day Benin Republic, Ngaundere and Tibati in the Republic of Cameroon and much of the southern part of Niger Republic. Its institutional influence also extended to Segou and Masina in the Republic of Mali, Fouta Djallon in the Republic of Guinea, Fouta Toro in the Sene-Gambia area, Northern Ghana, Chad in the Central Africa and further east into the Republic of Sudan.” [1]

[1]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 81. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection


Polity Population:
10,000,000 people

“By 1837, the population of the Sokoto Caliphate had reached 10 million people, with an estimated 1.25 million of the total population enslaved.” [1]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 331. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
5

1) Capital city; 2) Regional cities and cities in other emirates; 3) Towns; 4) Villages; 5) Homesteads (gandu, patrilineal homesteads). “One of the most striking features of the caliphal system was the emergence of new political centres, many of which also became centres of agricultural production, manufacturing and trade. Sokoto itself was transformed from a small hamlet in 1809 into one of the largest cities in the Central Sudan, with a population of about 100,000 by the end of the century. The city became noted for its heterogeneous wards and its many celebrated artisans, traders and scholars. Many other cities such as Gusau, Kaura-Namoda, Gwadabawa and Illela grew up in the metropolitan region, all with substantial populations drawn from all parts of Western and Central Sudan and Sahel. Outside the Rima Basin, several new towns were built, Bauchi, Ja-lingo and Yola to name but three, all of which grew into large cosmopolitan settlements which drew traders, artisans and peasant cultivators from all over their respective regions.” [1] “The dominant unit of production in the Caliphate was the gandu (patrilineal homestead), comprising several generations of kin, clients and slaves.” [2]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 104. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 105. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Religious Level:
4

1) Caliph (amir al-muminin, Commander of the Faithful); 2) Limamai (imams); 3) Islamic scholars; 4) Mallams (teachers of Islam). “SOKOTO. The capital of Sokoto State, with a population of approximately 500,000. It is historically significant for the Hausa and Fulani as the seat of the great Sokoto Caliphate between 1804 and 1903. Today, it is the home of the University of Sokoto, the sultan’s palace, and the Shehu Mosque. Of interest to historians are the Centre for Islamic Studies in Sokoto and the Waziri Junaidu History and Culture Bureau, which house manuscripts from Islamic scholars in Nigeria dating back to at least the 17th century.” [1] “The Caliphate was to be led by the Caliph as the amir al-muminin (Commander of the Faithful), assisted by his wazirai (advisers), alkalai (judges), a muhtasib (the officer charged upholding morals), the sa’i (in charge of the markets), the wali al-shurta (police chief), limamai, and military commanders.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 331. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Military Level:
4

1) Military commanders in Sokoto administration; 2) General (in each emirate); 3) Military commanders (in each emirate); 4) Soldiers. As noted below, the Sokoto Caliphate did not have a standing or professional army, even though military commanders were a set part of the administration. Individual emirates enjoyed considerable autonomy and appear to have raised their own armies as and when the occasion demanded. The Caliph would, in theory, have had overall control of these disparate military forces, but this does not seem to have been the case in any practical sense. It is therefore difficult to settle firmly on levels within the caliphate as a whole. “The armies of the Caliphate and its emirates were organised in a completely different fashion. There was no single army and no commander-in-chief who enjoyed respect on the basis of his seniority, experience and expertise. The armies of the emirates were also far from being neatly structured and lacked the cohesion of their enemies. Each emirate had its general and a more or less numerous corps of military commanders, but the commanders did not co-ordinate their movements and never had as much control over their troops as did their British counterparts. Lack of co-ordination and a clear chain of command was a crucial reason for the extremely poor performance of most emirate troops against the British. Differences in training were equally important.” [1] “The same could not be said for the troops of the Caliphate. The emirates had no standing armies, and the troops they raised were not professional soldiers. Although some emirates had troops armed with guns, their numbers were too small and their expertise in handling their weapons too low to have any significant effect on the outcome of the engagements in which they were used. Smaldone is quite right to point out that the firearms found in the arsenals of some emirates such as Nupe and Ilorin, which did not make much use of guns in their resistance to the British invasion, probably indicated that they did not have men trained in their use. Even when firearms were used, they were not employed to good effect. The British officers who led the assaults on Nupe, Ilorin, Kano and Sokoto all reported that the defenders were poor marksmen and lacked fire discipline. Accurate fire and the efficient use of firearms required skills which could only be acquired through regular training, and this the defenders did not have.” [1]

[1]: Ubah, Chinedu N. “The British Occupation of the Sokoto Caliphate: The Military Dimension, 1897-1906.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 81–97: 85. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SQX8BRCP/collection


Administrative Level:
[6 to 12]

There are several clearly distinct roles, but it’s unlikely the hierarchy is entirely vertical, especially given the emirate system. 1) Caliph (amir al-muminin – Commander of the Faithful); 2) wazirai (viziers/advisers); 3) alkalai (judges); 4) muhtasib (the officer charged with upholding morals); 5) sa’i (in charge of the markets); 6) wali al-shurta (police chief); 7) Limamai (imams); 8) military commanders; 9) mamluk (royal (caliphal) slaves); 10) nuwab (the Caliph’s officials in the metropolitan districts and the emirs of the various emirates); 11) Village heads; 12) Council of village elders.“Within the Sokoto Caliphate, emirs used royal slaves to expand political control over their territory. Royal slaves—numbering between 2,000 and 5,000 in Kano, for example—were prominent and were organized into slave households, which served as a system of recruitment and training. These slaves were usually war captives, with the emir retaining about half, bought using cowry shells as currency. There was a significant amount of trust between emirs and their appointed slaves. The royal slaves (those kept by the emir) in Kano had a great deal of power because they controlled the distribution of agricultural products as well as holding key positions in the government and military. For example, senior royal slaves of the caliph had influence in the appointing of emirs. They were able to obtain new rights, moving them closer to freedom. The use of royal slaves in the Sokoto Caliphate emerged out of governmental necessity, as opposed to Islamic doctrine. Most slaves in the Sokoto Caliphate worked on labor-intensive plantations.” [1] “MAMLUK. An Arabic-derived term that refers to powerful slaves and literally means “owned” (person or thing). It is part of an Islamic political system that incorporates the institution of slavery. Prior to the colonial era in northern Nigeria, the military and government were partially run by slaves. In 19th-century Kano, for example, slaves commanded armies, managed plantations, and collected taxes. Each emirate within the Sokoto Caliphate ran his mamluk system differently.” [2] “The Sokoto Caliphate system was based squarely on the strength of its ideals and programmes, which the mujahhidun articulated within an Islamic religious framework. In the course of their attacks on the Hausa kingdoms, the leaders of the jihad offered an alternative set of political, economic and social principles which they called the "structures of Muslim government" as opposed to what they termed the "structures of non-Muslim government".” [3] “The political programmes of the Sokoto Caliphate are set out in a number of works written by the Shehu, Abdullahi dan Fodio and Muhammad Bello. One of their most important features was to outline the political structures of caliphal administration. The Caliphate was to be led by the Caliph as the amir al-muminin (Commander of the Faithful), assisted by his wazirai (advisers), alkalai (judges), a muhtasib (the officer charged upholding morals), the sa’i (in charge of the markets), the wali al-shurta (police chief), limamai, and military commanders. Although the leadership of the Caliphate did not specify all the offices to be filled, it is clear that the Shehu categorically rejected the proliferation of political titles characteristic of the pre-jihad Hausa kingdoms and planned to abolish parasitic sarauta titles in favour of a more streamlined political system consonant with the Islamic theory of political administration drawn largely from the Maliki school of jurisprudence. The Shehu was also vehemently opposed to the hereditary traditions of the pre-jihad Hausa kingdoms and emphasised scholarship and unquestioned morality as the principal criteria for office.” [4] “In his policy guidelines, Muhammad Bello called on the nuwab (his officials in the metropolitan districts and the emirs of the various emirates) to: ‘... encourage the artisans and those who practise trades which are indispensable to the people: farmers and smiths, tailors and dyers, physicians and grocers, butchers and carpenters, and all sorts of trades which contribute to the proper order of this world. The ruler must allocate these tradesmen to every village and every localilty.’” [5] “A village head has long been an integral part of effective governance in Nigeria, particularly before and during the colonial period. The role of a village head in the Sokoto Caliphate during the 19th century, for example, included supplying labor and collecting annual taxes for the emirs. The Nupe also had a village head, or zitsu, for every town (and incorporated satellite villages). The zitsu’s authority may have extended to figuratively “owning” the land and possessing the community. For this reason, the zitsu of Jebba Island on the Niger River has the title gebba. The village head ruled over his community with the assistance of elders, who represented their families (broadly defined) in a council.” [6]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 328–329. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 220. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[3]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 100–101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[4]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[5]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 102. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[6]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 357. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

“The same could not be said for the troops of the Caliphate. The emirates had no standing armies, and the troops they raised were not professional soldiers. Although some emirates had troops armed with guns, their numbers were too small and their expertise in handling their weapons too low to have any significant effect on the outcome of the engagements in which they were used. Smaldone is quite right to point out that the firearms found in the arsenals of some emirates such as Nupe and Ilorin, which did not make much use of guns in their resistance to the British invasion, probably indicated that they did not have men trained in their use. Even when firearms were used, they were not employed to good effect. The British officers who led the assaults on Nupe, Ilorin, Kano and Sokoto all reported that the defenders were poor marksmen and lacked fire discipline. Accurate fire and the efficient use of firearms required skills which could only be acquired through regular training, and this the defenders did not have.” [1]

[1]: Ubah, Chinedu N. “The British Occupation of the Sokoto Caliphate: The Military Dimension, 1897-1906.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 81–97: 85. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SQX8BRCP/collection


Professional Priesthood:
present

There were religious roles in the administration of the caliphate, which must therefore have had other aspects than the purely religious. However, the state was founded through a jihad and on Islamic principles, so it seems likely from looking at other caliphates to infer the presence of professional priests. “The Caliphate was to be led by the Caliph as the amir al-muminin (Commander of the Faithful), assisted by his wazirai (advisers), alkalai (judges), a muhtasib (the officer charged upholding morals), the sa’i (in charge of the markets), the wali al-shurta (police chief), limamai, and military commanders.” [1]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Though there were military commanders, these were part of the administration of the caliphate, so their role wasn’t purely military. “The political programmes of the Sokoto Caliphate are set out in a number of works written by the Shehu, Abdullahi dan Fodio and Muhammad Bello. One of their most important features was to outline the political structures of caliphal administration. The Caliphate was to be led by the Caliph as the amir al-muminin (Commander of the Faithful), assisted by his wazirai (advisers), alkalai (judges), a muhtasib (the officer charged upholding morals), the sa’i (in charge of the markets), the wali al-shurta (police chief), limamai, and military commanders.” [1] “The Shaykh had neither a standing army nor an organized structurally based military. Every able bodied was a contingent.” [2] “The armies of the Caliphate and its emirates were organised in a completely different fashion. There was no single army and no commander-in-chief who enjoyed respect on the basis of his seniority, experience and expertise. The armies of the emirates were also far from being neatly structured and lacked the cohesion of their enemies. Each emirate had its general and a more or less numerous corps of military commanders, but the commanders did not co-ordinate their movements and never had as much control over their troops as did their British counterparts. Lack of co-ordination and a clear chain of command was a crucial reason for the extremely poor performance of most emirate troops against the British. Differences in training were equally important.” [3]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[2]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 85. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection

[3]: Ubah, Chinedu N. “The British Occupation of the Sokoto Caliphate: The Military Dimension, 1897-1906.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 81–97: 85. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SQX8BRCP/collection


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Merit Promotion:
present

“Although the leadership of the Caliphate did not specify all the offices to be filled, it is clear that the Shehu categorically rejected the proliferation of political titles characteristic of the pre-jihad Hausa kingdoms and planned to abolish parasitic sarauta titles in favour of a more streamlined political system consonant with the Islamic theory of political administration drawn largely from the Maliki school of jurisprudence. The Shehu was also vehemently opposed to the hereditary traditions of the pre-jihad Hausa kingdoms and emphasised scholarship and unquestioned morality as the principal criteria for office.” [1] “The Caliphate thus fell far short of achieving its ideals. It did transform the political map of the Central Sudan and brought hitherto antagonistic communities together within the confines of a popular ideological framework. But it continued to operate largely within the structures of the old order against which the jihad had been waged in the first place. Political office was still based on hereditary principles rather than competence and piety. Many elements of the sarauta system survived as the new aristocracy appropriated vast tracts of land which it worked with slave and unpaid peasant labour. Both agricultural and handicraft production increased, but the condition of the producers and their relationship to production remained largely unchanged. So too did the Caliphate’s class structure in general, though it was now constructed on a different ideological basis.” [2]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 105-106. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

Merit Promotion:
absent

“Although the leadership of the Caliphate did not specify all the offices to be filled, it is clear that the Shehu categorically rejected the proliferation of political titles characteristic of the pre-jihad Hausa kingdoms and planned to abolish parasitic sarauta titles in favour of a more streamlined political system consonant with the Islamic theory of political administration drawn largely from the Maliki school of jurisprudence. The Shehu was also vehemently opposed to the hereditary traditions of the pre-jihad Hausa kingdoms and emphasised scholarship and unquestioned morality as the principal criteria for office.” [1] “The Caliphate thus fell far short of achieving its ideals. It did transform the political map of the Central Sudan and brought hitherto antagonistic communities together within the confines of a popular ideological framework. But it continued to operate largely within the structures of the old order against which the jihad had been waged in the first place. Political office was still based on hereditary principles rather than competence and piety. Many elements of the sarauta system survived as the new aristocracy appropriated vast tracts of land which it worked with slave and unpaid peasant labour. Both agricultural and handicraft production increased, but the condition of the producers and their relationship to production remained largely unchanged. So too did the Caliphate’s class structure in general, though it was now constructed on a different ideological basis.” [2]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 105-106. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

“In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190–97). Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [1]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Law
Judge:
present

“Judges were learned and in order to maintain checks and balances, judgments at emirate level were appealed at the Caliphal headquarters; judgments in some cases were nullified by the Caliph at Sokoto. No one was allowed to operate above the law as the rules of law were upheld.” [1] “The Caliphate was to be led by the Caliph as the amir al-muminin (Commander of the Faithful), assisted by his wazirai (advisers), alkalai (judges), a muhtasib (the officer charged upholding morals), the sa’i (in charge of the markets), the wali al-shurta (police chief), limamai, and military commanders.” [2]

[1]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 85. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Formal Legal Code:
present

This appears to be based on the Shariah. “Though the taxation system was regularized by the Caliphate from being extortionist and overburdening as it used to be by sanctioning only those taxes which were legislated by the Shariah, the mode of assessment, collection and administration also became flawed as time went by.” [1]

[1]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 88. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

“As is clear from Bello’s instructions, the leaders of the Caliphate tried to encourage trade as well as production. Detailed commercial regulations were issued, including the introduction of standard weights and measures to be used in the sale of grain, fruit and meat. Profiteering, hoarding and the creation of artificial shortages were all declared illegal, with persistent offenders expelled from the Caliphate. In addition, the rulers of the emirates were expected to visit the markets in their territory regularly, investigate conditions and correct abuses, on the basis of the Shehu’s injunction that "the report of a thing is not the same as actual observation". More generally, the principles governing commercial transactions were to be honesty, fair dealing and mutual agreement. Third parties were required to witness sales involving personal property, such as houses.” [1] “The Caliphate was to be led by the Caliph as the amir al-muminin (Commander of the Faithful), assisted by his wazirai (advisers), alkalai (judges), a muhtasib (the officer charged upholding morals), the sa’i (in charge of the markets), the wali al-shurta (police chief), limamai, and military commanders.” [2]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 102–103. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Food Storage Site:
present

“And fires were a real hazard to grain stores and the city’s food reserves; there was no way of controlling a conflagration - no tanks of water, or pumps, or hoses - -just pottery urns in washrooms and deep wells.” [1]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 13. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Utilitarian Public Building:
present

Markets: “As is clear from Bello’s instructions, the leaders of the Caliphate tried to encourage trade as well as production. Detailed commercial regulations were issued, including the introduction of standard weights and measures to be used in the sale of grain, fruit and meat. Profiteering, hoarding and the creation of artificial shortages were all declared illegal, with persistent offenders expelled from the Caliphate. In addition, the rulers of the emirates were expected to visit the markets in their territory regularly, investigate conditions and correct abuses, on the basis of the Shehu’s injunction that "the report of a thing is not the same as actual observation". More generally, the principles governing commercial transactions were to be honesty, fair dealing and mutual agreement. Third parties were required to witness sales involving personal property, such as houses.” [1] “The Caliphate was to be led by the Caliph as the amir al-muminin (Commander of the Faithful), assisted by his wazirai (advisers), alkalai (judges), a muhtasib (the officer charged upholding morals), the sa’i (in charge of the markets), the wali al-shurta (police chief), limamai, and military commanders.” [2] Food storage sites: If food hoarding was punishable by law, it must have been possible. “As is clear from Bello’s instructions, the leaders of the Caliphate tried to encourage trade as well as production. Detailed commercial regulations were issued, including the introduction of standard weights and measures to be used in the sale of grain, fruit and meat. Profiteering, hoarding and the creation of artificial shortages were all declared illegal, with persistent offenders expelled from the Caliphate.” [1] “And fires were a real hazard to grain stores and the city’s food reserves; there was no way of controlling a conflagration - no tanks of water, or pumps, or hoses - -just pottery urns in washrooms and deep wells.” [3]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 102–103. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 101. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[3]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 13. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Knowledge Or Information Building:
absent

“There were no public baths or fountains, no fine gardens - nothing to compare with the famous edifices of the Maghreb or Andalusia: no public hospitals, libraries, schools - nothing built in stone. For Sokoto lacked sources of stone (Timbuktu’s builders could bring stone in from distant quarries).” [1]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 13. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Transport Infrastructure
Road:
absent

Not clear from this source, but it seems not to view the two-foot wide paths as meeting the definition of roads: “Practical administrative details such as communications and transport, routes, refuges, and dangerous "hot spots" have not been mapped. We know that some main "roads" were sometimes scarcely two-feet wide in places - so how did large bodies of troops or traders pass?” [1]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 2. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Special-purpose Sites
Trading Emporia:
present

“One of the most striking features of the caliphal system was the emergence of new political centres, many of which also became centres of agricultural production, manufacturing and trade. Sokoto itself was transformed from a small hamlet in 1809 into one of the largest cities in the Central Sudan, with a population of about 100,000 by the end of the century. The city became noted for its heterogeneous wards and its many celebrated artisans, traders and scholars.30 Many other cities such as Gusau, Kaura-Namoda, Gwadabawa and Illela grew up in the metropolitan region, all with substantial populations drawn from all parts of Western and Central Sudan and Sahel. Outside the Rima Basin, several new towns were built, Bauchi, Ja-lingo and Yola to name but three, all of which grew into large cosmopolitan settlements which drew traders, artisans and peasant cultivators from all over their respective regions.” [1]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 104. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Special Purpose Site:
present

Burial sites: Given the intimate connection between Islam and daily life in the Sokoto Caliphate, one would assume that the burial practices common across the Islamic world would have been followed. No source reviewed specifically mentions this in detail, but graveyards and at least one tomb are mentioned. “In this Sokoto was very different from the situation in Kano, Katsina, or Zaria where the capital city existed with well-built houses and a "palace," great long walls and political institutions. Title-holders had their large houses and areas of responsibility, Islamic courts were in place, as were great mosques, saints’ tombs, and burial sites; marketplaces were already in operation (see Moody 1969). The new jihadi authorities in the great cities thus had simply to take over the relevant offices and even move into the official residences. New clan mosques might be built locally within the city, but otherwise everything was already in place (Zahradeen 1983:57-66): only the conquered population had to be persuaded, perhaps intimidated, into accepting the new regime - and that, the shaikh in Sokoto had suggested, could if necessary be done with force or threats of force: symbolically he sent his new commander in Kano a knife (Palmer 1928:128).” [1] “The trees in a house’s graveyard may house cattle egrets whose droppings make excellent fertilizer for onions; small fire finches (known as bayin Allah , "slaves of Allah") come into rooms where students sit studying Islamic texts, and doves nest under the edges of thatch roofs.” [2] “In short, Sokoto city may have been the capital of a great polity but it was also a rural town. It lacked monuments or monumental architecture, and it was short of ceremonial space; its layout was not designed to impress or intimidate, though the streets were regularly laid out and well built - unusually so, said Clapperton (1828,ii:377). The shaikh’s tomb (hubbare) is his old, originally suburban house in which he also had a tent (laima); his mosque was nearby - low, plain, and many-pillared, so unlike the splendid mosque built in 1836 for the emir in Zaria, or the huge ancient mosque in Rano with its high, bulky minaret.” [3] Possibly trading emporia: “One of the most striking features of the caliphal system was the emergence of new political centres, many of which also became centres of agricultural production, manufacturing and trade. Sokoto itself was transformed from a small hamlet in 1809 into one of the largest cities in the Central Sudan, with a population of about 100,000 by the end of the century. The city became noted for its heterogeneous wards and its many celebrated artisans, traders and scholars.30 Many other cities such as Gusau, Kaura-Namoda, Gwadabawa and Illela grew up in the metropolitan region, all with substantial populations drawn from all parts of Western and Central Sudan and Sahel. Outside the Rima Basin, several new towns were built, Bauchi, Ja-lingo and Yola to name but three, all of which grew into large cosmopolitan settlements which drew traders, artisans and peasant cultivators from all over their respective regions.” [4]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 11–12. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 12. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection

[3]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 12–13. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection

[4]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 104. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Burial Site:
present

Given the intimate connection between Islam and daily life in the Sokoto Caliphate, one would assume that the burial practices common across the Islamic world would have been followed. No source reviewed specifically mentions this in detail, but graveyards and at least one tomb are mentioned. “In this Sokoto was very different from the situation in Kano, Katsina, or Zaria where the capital city existed with well-built houses and a "palace," great long walls and political institutions. Title-holders had their large houses and areas of responsibility, Islamic courts were in place, as were great mosques, saints’ tombs, and burial sites; marketplaces were already in operation (see Moody 1969). The new jihadi authorities in the great cities thus had simply to take over the relevant offices and even move into the official residences. New clan mosques might be built locally within the city, but otherwise everything was already in place (Zahradeen 1983:57-66): only the conquered population had to be persuaded, perhaps intimidated, into accepting the new regime - and that, the shaikh in Sokoto had suggested, could if necessary be done with force or threats of force: symbolically he sent his new commander in Kano a knife (Palmer 1928:128).” [1] “The trees in a house’s graveyard may house cattle egrets whose droppings make excellent fertilizer for onions; small fire finches (known as bayin Allah , "slaves of Allah") come into rooms where students sit studying Islamic texts, and doves nest under the edges of thatch roofs.” [2] “In short, Sokoto city may have been the capital of a great polity but it was also a rural town. It lacked monuments or monumental architecture, and it was short of ceremonial space; its layout was not designed to impress or intimidate, though the streets were regularly laid out and well built - unusually so, said Clapperton (1828,ii:377). The shaikh’s tomb (hubbare) is his old, originally suburban house in which he also had a tent (laima); his mosque was nearby - low, plain, and many-pillared, so unlike the splendid mosque built in 1836 for the emir in Zaria, or the huge ancient mosque in Rano with its high, bulky minaret.” [3]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 11–12. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 12. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection

[3]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 12–13. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

“The Sokoto Caliphate was certainly the largest, most territorially extensive and literate state in African History.” [1] “In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190-97) . Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [2]

[1]: Okene, Ahmed Adam, and Shukri B. Ahmad. “Ibn Khaldun, Cyclical Theory and the Rise and Fall of Sokoto Caliphate, Nigeria West Africa.” International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2011, pp. 80–91: 81. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/H7J2NC37/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Script:
present

“Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1] “In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190-97) . Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Arabic and Ajami. “Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1] “In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190-97) . Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

“Since the 17th century, Hausa has been written in a version of Arabic script called ajami that, like Arabic, is written and read left to right. Hausa is a tonal language, signifying that the meaning of a word depends on the high, medium, or low tone assigned to the vowels. The spellings of words, however, have not been standardized, and variations exist. Many of the written works in Hausa, especially prior to the mid-20th century, are based on Islamic themes.” [1]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 149. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present

As an Islamic state, the Qu’ran was the Holy Book. “In the Sokoto Caliphate, palace Koranic schools were attended by slaves, women, and children. The Koranic schools were the first type of formal education in Nigeria.” [1]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 199. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Religious Literature:
present

“The capital of Sokoto State, with a population of approximately 500,000. It is historically significant for the Hausa and Fulani as the seat of the great Sokoto Caliphate between 1804 and 1903. Today, it is the home of the University of Sokoto, the sultan’s palace, and the Shehu Mosque. Of interest to historians are the Centre for Islamic Studies in Sokoto and the Waziri Junaidu History and Culture Bureau, which house manuscripts from Islamic scholars in Nigeria dating back to at least the 17th century.” [1] “The shaikh’s brother, ’Abdullahi dan Fodio, had opted out earlier (ca. 1806) in disgust at what was happening and headed toward Mecca, only to be persuaded in Kano to turn back.8 Once back, he set up his own community at Gwandu, where many of the poets and Sufis joined him as he set about composing long works of scholarship and versifying them for easier memorization.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 331. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 9. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Fiction:
present

Poetry: “Nana Asma’u is a well-known Fulani poet from the Sokoto Caliphate who wrote in the 19th century.” [1] “The shaikh’s brother, ’Abdullahi dan Fodio, had opted out earlier (ca. 1806) in disgust at what was happening and headed toward Mecca, only to be persuaded in Kano to turn back.8 Once back, he set up his own community at Gwandu, where many of the poets and Sufis joined him as he set about composing long works of scholarship and versifying them for easier memorization.” [2]

[1]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 212. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection

[2]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 9. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Calendar:
present

Islamic calendar.


Information / Money
Token:
present

Cowries: “The cowrie currency of the Caliphate was admirably suited to the low-value transactions that made up most of the day-to-day market activity of that area. At a time when a British penny was worth about 125 cowries and when a person’s food supply for a whole day cost perhaps eighty cowries, buying just a single banana would have posed insuperable difficulty if other moneys were used.” [1] “Within the Sokoto Caliphate, emirs used royal slaves to expand political control over their territory. Royal slaves—numbering between 2,000 and 5,000 in Kano, for example—were prominent and were organized into slave households, which served as a system of recruitment and training. These slaves were usually war captives, with the emir retaining about half, bought using cowry shells as currency.” [2]

[1]: Stiansen, Endre, and Jane I. Guyer, editors. Credit, Currencies, and Culture: African Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999: 63. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/A9F557EW/collection

[2]: Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova. Historical Dictionary of Nigeria. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009: 328. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/SJAIVKDW/collection


Foreign Coin:
present

“Maria Theresa dollars could have served as a high denomination currency, and to some extent they did, but they were in short supply. Though they had had a presence in the Caliphate since at least the start of the nineteenth century, they were scarce, and often those that did circulate were melted down as a source of silver jewelry.” [1]

[1]: Stiansen, Endre, and Jane I. Guyer, editors. Credit, Currencies, and Culture: African Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999: 66. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/A9F557EW/collection


Article:
present

“New supplies were regularly available and reasonably controllable as part of the Caliphate’s slave acquisitions. (When there was reluctance to sell household slaves considered part of the family, such slaves would be far less liable to transfer.) Most households capable of dealing in large sums of money owned slaves, sometimes many, and there were at least a million people in bondange, perhaps as many as two-and-a-half million. So accomodating payments in slaves would not pose special difficulties or require any unusual arrangements.” [1]

[1]: Stiansen, Endre, and Jane I. Guyer, editors. Credit, Currencies, and Culture: African Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999: 68. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/A9F557EW/collection


Store Of Wealth:
present

If the accumulation of private wealth was forbidden, it must have been physically possible: “When determining the Caliphate’s fiscal policies, its leaders abolished all the exploitative taxes, levies and seizures which had characterised the pre-jihad Hausa kingdoms. Instead, state revenues were restricted to those sanctioned by the shari’a: the fifth, the tithe, poll tax, land tax, booty taken in war and unclaimed property. All the revenues constituting the Public Treasury were to be spent on promoting the common welfare of the Community. Officials were strictly forbidden to use their positions for the accumulation of private wealth, and it was illegal to offer them gifts.” [1] “The Caliphate thus fell far short of achieving its ideals. It did transform the political map of the Central Sudan and brought hitherto antagonistic communities together within the confines of a popular ideological framework. But it continued to operate largely within the structures of the old order against which the jihad had been waged in the first place. Political office was still based on hereditary principles rather than competence and piety. Many elements of the sarauta system survived as the new aristocracy appropriated vast tracts of land which it worked with slave and unpaid peasant labour. Both agricultural and handicraft production increased, but the condition of the producers and their relationship to production remained largely unchanged. So too did the Caliphate’s class structure in general, though it was now constructed on a different ideological basis.” [2]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 103. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection

[2]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 105-106. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Debt And Credit Structure:
present

“Institutions in states such as Dahomey, Sokoto, and in frontier zones, were more vulnerable to change. In his contribution to the present volume, Webb argues that practices and monies on the borderlands of major political-financial systems were considerably more ephemeral than some anthropological writing might imply. He goes so far as to suggest that new money goods (such as cowry shells, guinée cloth, and glassware) only remained in monetized circuits for a limited period before being converted to some other use. Merchant relations depended on personal trust, and credit appears to have been practiced mainly through advances of goods, due to the volatility of currency values.” [1] “By the nineteenth century, such promissory notes were evidently common in the Islamic interior of West Africa. The British explorer Clapperton, for example, was able in Kano in 1826 to settle a liability by writing a “bill of exchange” (apparently drawn on the British Consulate in Tripoli) for $500; and in Sokoto the following year his assistant Lander received in exchange for goods an “order” for 245,000 cowries drawn upon a merchant of Kano.” [2]

[1]: Stiansen, Endre, and Jane I. Guyer, editors. Credit, Currencies, and Culture: African Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999: 15-16. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/A9F557EW/collection

[2]: Stiansen, Endre, and Jane I. Guyer, editors. Credit, Currencies, and Culture: African Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999: 34-35. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/A9F557EW/collection


Information / Postal System
Courier:
present

“In the city of Sokoto there was a small bureaucracy headed by the vizier who in his own house had some scribes to receive and write short (one-page) letters in classical Arabic to those emirs he was in charge of overseeing (Last 1967:190–97). Imported paper and local ink were used, and letters from the Amir al-mu’minin had his personal stamp on them (the vizier and the emirs had no stamp of their own). The letters were never dated, but they were folded in a precise way and carried in a pouch by a messenger; it could take a week or more for a letter to reach the addressee, since fifteen miles a day was a good speed and distances were huge.” [1] “A reason for the decentralization was the sheer scale of the caliphate which, in nineteenth-century terms, required a journey of two months from north to south (say, from Agades to beyond llorín) and four months from west to east (from Dori in what is now Burkina Faso to eastern Adamawa, beyond Tibati and Rei Buba in Cameroon today).” [1]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection


Information / Measurement System
Weight Measurement System:
present

“As is clear from Bello’s instructions, the leaders of the Caliphate tried to encourage trade as well as production. Detailed commercial regulations were issued, including the introduction of standard weights and measures to be used in the sale of grain, fruit and meat.” [1]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 102-103. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Volume Measurement System:
present

“As is clear from Bello’s instructions, the leaders of the Caliphate tried to encourage trade as well as production. Detailed commercial regulations were issued, including the introduction of standard weights and measures to be used in the sale of grain, fruit and meat.” [1]

[1]: Chafe, Kabiru Sulaiman. “Challenges to the Hegemony of the Sokoto Caliphate: A Preliminary Examination.” Paideuma, vol. 40, 1994, pp. 99–109: 102-103. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/ZANHCUFH/collection


Time Measurement System:
present

“Hence the regular calls to prayer were not even given from a lofty minaret but rather from a small dais a few feet high, usually by a blind man. A sighted person could tell him the right time from the stars or the sun’s shadow.” [1]

[1]: Last, Murray. “Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy.” African Studies Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1–20: 13. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/collections/GWWIKDDM/items/5RUPN5VI/collection



Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Military use of Metals
Projectiles
Handheld weapons
Animals used in warfare
Armor
Naval technology

Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions