State is predominantly a Fulani and Hausa state. It is populated by several
Hausa and subgroups such as the Gobirawa, the Zamfarawa, the Kabawa, the
Adarawa and the Arawa, and the two main Fulani groups which are the Fulanin
Gida or Town Fulani and the nomadic Fulani.
There are
also the Zabarmawa and the Tuaregs. The Torankawa, a subgroup of the Fulanin
Gida and clan of the famed Jihadist, Usman Dan Fodio are the aristocratic class
in Sokoto, since the establishment of the Sokoto caliphate in 1804.
Below we
take a look into the history of the tribes in Sokoto State, the population
estimate, their location, and every other thing in between.


The Fulani are a nomadic people who have been influential in regional
politics, economics and histories throughout western Africa for over a thousand
years. They played a significant role in the rise and fall of the Mossi states
in Burkina Faso, and also contributed to the migratory movements of people
southward through Niger and Nigeria into Cameroon.

The Fulani were responsible for introducing and spreading Islam throughout
much of western Africa. The height of the Fulani empire was between the early
1800s and early 1900s. This power was consolidated under Usman Dan Fodio and
was centered in Sokoto. Dan Fodio was a devout Muslim who used religious
fervour to ignite troops to undertake series of Jihads.

Following the early success of Fulani Islamic warriors, non-Islamic Fulani
joined ranks with their fellows to form an extensive and powerful empire across
much of northern Nigeria.


The Hausa are the largest ethnic group in all of West Africa. They are in northern
Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Ghana, Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

The Hausa are very influential culturally and politically in Sokoto State. The Hausa
language is the most widely-spoken language in the state, used by both natives
and non-natives in both formal and informal interactions.

Hausa subgroups in Sokoto
include the Gobirawa, the Zamfarawa, the Kabawa, the Adarawa and the Arawa.


Zabarmawa or Zarma are found in Tambuwal local government area of Sokoto State,
and in Kebbi and Zamfara States, and also in ver large numbers in Niger
Republic. The Zabarmawa are also found in Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Ivory
Coast and Ghana.
Zabarmawa people are predominantly Muslims of the Maliki-Sunni school. They are
relatively prosperous, owning cattle, sheep, goats, which they rent out to the
Fulani and the Tuareg for tending.
Zabarmawa people have had a history of slaveand caste system.
Zabarmawa people are alternatively referred to as the Zerma, Djerma, Dyerma, or


The Tuaregs
(Aulliminden) belong to a larger group of nomadic, Berber-speaking  Tuaregs who are scattered across North
Africa. The Aulliminden are one of the seven major Tuareg confederations.
Although, the Tuareg homeland lies to the north of Nigeria, in Sokoto area,
major droughts in 1972 and 1982 forced the nomads to travel southward in search
of pastures for their herds.
of Tuaregs drifted to the cities, where they set up cow-hide shelters and
shanties on the fringes of towns. Many never returned to their homeland.
In direct
contrast to Arab custom, Tuareg men wear veils called tidjelmousts. The women
on the other hand do not wear veils. The main function of the Tuareg veils
seems to be social, since the men often leave their faces uncovered while in
the family camps or on journeys. However, to show respect, they always
covertheir mouths, noses, and foreheads while in the presence of foreigners or
their in-laws.
The most
preferred veil among the Tuaregs are dyed indigo.
Though the
Tuareg are virtually all Sunni Muslim, they have a reputation among other
Muslims for being lukewarm in their faith. They practice a passive form of
Islam, infused with folk beliefs and magic. Most do not even celebrate the most
important Muslim fast of Ramadan.
There are
just about 4,000 Tuareg in Nigeria.

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