The research is an attempt made, to survey the styles and functions of Kano ancient city wall and gates. The research is carried out to document the remains of the wall and gates, thus the problem of the study, putting into consideration the aims and objectives of the study. The aim of the study is to survey the styles and functions of the ancient city wall and gates of Kano city, while the objectives are; to articulate the extent of the wall and identify the gates; examine the forms and styles of the ancient wall and gates; to enumerate and discuss the functions of the wall and gates in the ancient and traditional periods. The significant of the study is to aid the immediate society, local and state government to realize the worth of the ancient wall and gates for tourism, thus boosting their patronage towards the preservation of the wall and gates. From the findings, it was discovered that, customarily there were fifteen ancient gates, two of them being referred to as new gates (Kofar Famfo and Sabuwar Kofar). During the fieldwork, eight ancient gates were identified. They are Kofar Kansakali, Kofar Kabuga, Kofar Gadon Kaya, Kofar Duka Waya, Kofar Ruwa, Kofar Waika, while the remaining two gates were identified through pictorial representation retrieved from the museum. They are Kofar Na‟isa and Kofar Nasarawa. In the examination of the forms and styles, several features of the ancient wall and gates were revealed. The mud brick (Tubali) used in building the wall is reflected in the surface texture of the wall. In places where erosion has not eaten up the created surface texture, Makuba designs are observed on the wall not only adding beauty it, but also the ancient wall and gates now have other functions such as: Monumental function, Tourism, Symbolization, Commercial/Industrial functions, Identification and Documentation, apart from the primary functions in the ancient period. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations are made on how the government can preserve the ancient wall and gates.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents – – – – – – – – – – page
Declaration – – – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – – – v
Abstract – – – – – – – – – – vi
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – – vii
List of Table – – – – – – – – – – x
List of Figures – – – – – – – – – – xi
List of Plates – – – – – – – – – – xii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study – – – – – – – 1
Statement of the Problem – – – – – – – 4
Aim and Objectives of the Study – – – – – – 5
Research Questions – – – – – – – – 5
Justification of the Study – – – – – – – 5
Significance of the Study – – – – – – – 5
Scope of the Study – – – – – – – – 6
Limitation – – – – – – – – – 6
Definition of Operational Terms – – – – – – 6
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Introduction – – – – – – – – – 7
A General History of City Walls and Gates – – – – – 7
Functions of City Walls and Gates – – – – – – 12
The Functions of City Walls and Gates from the View Point of Holy
Books – – – – – – – – – 17
Functions of Wall as Mentioned in the Bible – – – – – 22
History of Ancient Kano City Wall and Gates – – – – 22
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research Design – – – – – – – – 26
Sources of Data – – – – – – – – 27
Data Collection – – – – – – – – 27
Population of the Study – – – – – – – 29
Research Instruments and Tools – – – – – – 29
Method of Data Analysis – – – – – – – 30
CHAPTER FOUR: DISCUSSION AND DOCUMENTATION OF THE KANO ANCIENT CITY WALL AND GATES
Introduction – – – – – – – – – 31
Analysis of Kano Ancient City Wall – – – – – – 31
Identification of the Ancient Kano City Gates – – – – 36
Styles and Form of the Ancient Wall and Gates of Kano City – – 45
Styles and Form of the Ancient Wall of Kano City – – – – 46
Styles and Form of the Ancient Gates of Kano City – – – – 53
Identification and Analysis of the Ancient Gate Doors – – – 69
Padlocks – – – – – – – – – 77
Functions of Ancient Kano City Wall in the Ancient PeriodFunctions of Ancient Kano City Wall in the Ancient Period — — — 7979
Functions of the Ancient Wall at Present – – – – – 84
Functions of Ancient Kano City Gates in the Ancient PeriodFunctions of Ancient Kano City Gates in the Ancient Period — — 8585
Functions of the ancient gates in the modern period – – – – 89
Findings Based on Specific Objectives – – – – – 92
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Introduction – – – – – – – – – 93
Summary – – – – – – – – – 93
Conclusion – – – – – – – – – 96
Recommendations – – – – – – – – 96
References – – – – – – – – – 100
Appendix I: Interview Questions – – – – – – 102
Appendix II: Pictures of the Researcher and the Sarkin Kofar during the
Fieldwork – – – – – – – 104
Appendix III: Other Pictures taken during the field work – – – 110
Background of the Study
Walls and gates are part of architectural structure that are use to protect and adorn our environment right from the ancient to modern day. Banister (1996) refers to city wall as “a defensive wall, which he defines as a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. From ancient to modern times, they were, and still enclose settlements; generally, these are referred to as city walls or town walls”. Within the context of this study, city wall is regarded as an architecture which is built around a city or town so as to demarcate its boundary, protect and regulate all activities that take place in the town or city. City gate on the other hand, is regarded as an entrance through which a walled city can be accessed.
The walls and gates can be made from materials like mud, bricks, and logs of woods, metals, raffia, and so on. The materials are usually those that can withstand long siege. In some cases, thorn grasses are deliberately allowed to grow around some sections of the walls, so as to prevent invaders scaling through them. Similarly, ditches are dug around some walls, the ditches store up water during the raining season, the ditches and pool of stored water are measures to prevent intruders into the walled city. The walls and gates perform other functions among which are security, economic, tourism and religious. Beyond their defensive utility, many walls also have important symbolic functions like representing the status and independence of the communities where they are situated. An example is the London Derry wall below (Fig.1).
Fig. 1: London Derry Wall. Source: Alastair (2005)
According to Alan in Alastair (2005), “The walls are surrounded by buildings of historical and cultural importance and now play a central role in welcoming visitors to the city”. He further states that, “As a unique tourism asset, the walled city of Derry Signature Project has the potential to create world class excellence for Northern Ireland”.
Many countries from different cultures around the world have historical records of walls and gates being built around their cities as means of protection. For instance, there were walls and gates in China as it appears in (Fig. 2). According to Touropia (2015), the Great Wall of China built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from the attacks of nomadic tribes from the north. The author also made it clear as regard China wall that, “Several walls have been built that were referred to as the Great Wall. The most famous wall is built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang but little of that wall remains. The majority of the existing walls were built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD)”. The entire wall with all of its branches stretches for 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500.3 miles).
Fig. 2: China Walls. Source: Aluka Digital Library (2015)
Zimbabwe walls (Fig. 3) which appears unique in its form was regarded according to Touropia (2015) as, “The Great Zimbabwe is a complex of stone ruins spread out over a large area in modern-day Zimbabwe, which itself is named after the ruins. The word “Great” distinguishes the site from the many hundred small ruins, known as Zimbabwes, spread across the country, built by indigenous Bantu people”. The author also made mention that, “the construction started in the 11th century and continued for over 300 years. At its peak, estimates are that Great Zimbabwe had as many as 18,000 inhabitants. Its most formidable edifice, commonly referred to as the Great Enclosure, has walls as high as 11 meters (36 ft) extending approximately 250 meter (820 ft)”.
Fig. 3: Zimbabwe Wall. Source: Aluka Digital Library (2015)
Nigeria, as one of the countries in West Africa, has on record that there were walls and gates in Daura Katsina, Kano and Zaria cities for the same purpose. Evidence on a tablet in the National Museum Gidan Makama Kano (NMGMK) (n.d) states that, “The foundation of the construction of Kano city walls and gates was established 900 years ago by Sarki Gijimasu son of Warisi (1059-1134 AD). The City Walls developed in phases until it reached its present extent measuring approximately 24KmSq in circumference”. Report of (NMGMK) (n.d) also shows that, “the gates which served as passage to the ancient walls spread around the city and are still evident”. It is in view of this, therefore that this study seeks to survey the styles and functions of the ancient Kano city wall and gates.
Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study is that, the structural development and the technological advancement in the modern society are speedily putting into extinction the traditional ancient city wall and gates. This led to the building of modern gates by the state government. Also people living close to the wall are fond of tempering with the wall, by way of moulding local
bricks in building houses. This has become a threat to the age long cultural heritage of Kano, this research is therefore carried out to document the remains of the wall and gates.
Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to survey the styles and functions of the ancient city wall and gates of Kano city, while the objectives are to:
i. articulate the extent of the wall, and identify the gates,
ii. examine the forms and styles of the ancient wall and gates,
iii. enumerate and discuss the functions of the wall and gates in the ancient and modern periods
i. What is the size of the wall and how many ancient gates?
ii. What is the form and style of the ancient Kano city wall and gates?
iii. What were the functions of the ancient wall and gates in ancient and modern period?
Justification of the Study
The ancient wall and gates of Kano city have been in existence over time as monumental piece with strong cultural values and importance attached to them. As a result of this, the city wall and gates are gradually losing their original forms, styles, and functions due to natural factors such weathering and developmental projects. It is in view of this, that the researcher considers it worthwhile to undertake the study on the ancient Kano city wall and gates and examine their styles and functions.
Significance of the Study
This study will aid the immediate society, local and state government to realize the worth of the ancient wall and gates for tourism, thus boosting their patronage towards the preservation of the wall and gates. The study will also educate and inform people on the indispensable role that the ancient wall and gates play in the traditional and modern periods.
The study will be an additional literature on Nigerian art history, and will serve as reference material for future researchers.
Scope of the Study
Kano has a long standing tradition of wall and gates. Some of them are found in Rano, Dawakin Tofa, Tudun Wada, Gaya and Tofa to mention but few. The scope of this study is the ancient wall and gates found in the metropolis, within three local government‟s area, they are Gwale, Dala and Municipal.
Language barrier was a challenge, most especially during the interview with Sarkin kofa. The National Museum Gidan Makama Kano (NMGMKNMGMK) produced pilot guide (Aminu Aminu Muhammad KabMuhammad Kabir Chief Antiquities Assistantir Chief Antiquities Assistant NMGMKNMGMK) for the researcher during the fieldwork to interpret from Hausa to English language where necessary.
Definition of Operational Terms
1. Kofa: Hausa word for Gates
2. Sarkin Kofa: King of Gate
3. Azara: Spilt trunks and stems of date palm from the desert
4. Tubali: Conically shaped ancient bricks used for building in the ancient period.
5. NMGMK: National Museum Gida Makama Kano
6. Makuba: Makuba is the mixture of mud, water and straws of locust bean fruit and water
7. Balangu: Roasted meat
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