Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies
Maguzawa and Nigerian Citizenship: Reflecting on Identity Politics and the National Question
- Author(s): Osewe, Akubor Emmanuel
- Musa, Gerald M.
- et al.
Previous scholars have suggested varied opinions about the history of the Maguzawa people. While some have argued that the term Maguzawa (plural) is a Hausa word, others have asserted that Bamaaguje derives from the Arabic word Majus, which means a Magian adherent of Magaaism. Magaaism was a religion similar to Zoroastrianism. Among the Hausa people, some have argued that the Maguzawa form one of the ethnic groups of the Hausa Kingdom and are descendants of Maguji, one of the eleven traditional Chiefs of Kasa Hausa (Hausaland). Presently, some people use the term to refer to those who, even after the Jihad of Uthman dan Fodio in 1804 in the northern part of the country, have refused to accept the new religion and thus either have continued traditional worship or have accepted Christianity. Both Temple (1922) and Smith (1987) have characterized these people as traditional Hausa families (indigenous people) who were untouched by Islam and who escaped the authority of Sarkin Dare. Scholars have also argued that, as a way of avoiding the new religion, the Maguzawa fled to the country’s interior while the new religion was established in major cities and created a new aristocratic class...