Nigeria: Kano Durbar

by Piotr Buraczewski May. 29, 2020 1075 views

Among dozens of colourful festivals held in Nigeria, the durbars are most amazing. Marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, they take place in cities in the north of the country. Kano and Zaria in particular attract thousands of locals and a handful of foreigners, mainly residents of Nigeria.

These matrial parades date back to the times where each noble family was expected to contribute a military unit that would defend their ruler. Once in a while, each regiment would present themselves in armour and horse entourage to show readiness to war and loyalty to the emir. The British adopted this custom as "durbar" (a word that derives from Persian and means court pageant) during the rule of Queen Victoria. After Nigeria gained its independence, durbar ceremonies were again linked with pre-colonial traditions.

Durbar festivals in Kano and Zaria are fascinating events. After the morning prayer, a large procession of horsemen in their finest attire accompany the emirs to their palaces. There are numerous equestrian shows. Musicians, snake charmers and spectators join the parade which lasts until the evening.

Enjoy the celebrations and treasure the memories of friendliness and hospitality of the Hausa people for the rest of your life.

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There are 21 comments , add yours!
R Kuerbovich 1 year, 1 month ago

#6Great picture!! Thanks !

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Rachele Schneekloth 1 year, 3 months ago

Incredible. Thank you for sharing.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Rachele Schneekloth 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks, Rachele. There are so many fascinating festivals and celebrations in West Africa. I will post more.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Krystyna Knypl 1 year, 3 months ago

Piękne portrety, piękne trasy! Gratuluję! Niektóre znam (Sao Paulo przed kilkunastu laty), niektóre pozostaną w sferze marzeń - jak Atacama Desert.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Krystyna Knypl 1 year, 3 months ago

Bardzo dziękuję. Uwielbiam podróże w miejsca, o których mało pisze się w przewodnikach turystycznych. Lubię  też spacerować bez celu po miastach, (zwłaszcza w Europie, chociaż São Paulo też jest warte grzechu) i przez pola albo wzdłuż rzeki, tuż za domem. A najbardziej kocham moją Warszawę

Serdecznie Panią pozdrawiam.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F 1 year, 3 months ago

So colorful!

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 3 months ago

There is a lot of colour in West Africa. I wonder why we, the Europeans became so bland grey, black and beige...

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 1 year, 3 months ago

Don't be sad. To me (an Asian), the color in European is also beautiful in a different way, and I like that.smile

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 3 months ago

In fact, I like it too. It is just that these bold colours are hypnotic.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 1 year, 3 months ago

smile

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Abderrahim Laab 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks a lot for sharing your adventure with your beautiful shots, Africa is colorful as always.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Abderrahim Laab 1 year, 3 months ago

The colours of Africa are amazing. So are African adventures. Most important is to walk around and get to know the people, open, curious, keen to get to know you. What a pity impressionable journalists portray Africa as a no-go place...

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Jovana Lakic 1 year, 3 months ago

Absolutely amazing!!! I am still impressed how you got to an idea to go to Nigeria and explore on your own freely there. Officially, it is not considered safe, and the airport in Lagos is even is believed to be one of the most dangerous airports in the world!

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Jovana Lakic 1 year, 3 months ago

Hi Jovana,

You touched a very important point: West Africa and Nigeria in particular are considered unsafe. I was strongly advised not to go there. Thankfully, I did not listen to never-been-there-but-know-someone-who-has experts. My mother was one of the few that said I should go to Nigeria as it had always been my dream to live and work in Africa. 

Nigeria is challenging and certain aspects of life seem difficult at first. Once you get out of your expatriate bubble though, you start noticing that it is (how typical European) prejudice and lack of knowledge that contribute to the creation of this untrue and distorted image of West Africa.

When it comes to safety, one cannot compare Nigeria to, say, Poland, Slovenia or Finland, one of the most secure locations in Europe. However, we would be ill-advised to walk in certain parts of Marseilles, Paris or Barcelona. Not to mention a stroll along the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Honestly, I felt more secure in Ibadan in the south of Nigeria that Dayton, Ohio, where I witnessed shooting in the street. 

True, things happen in West Africa and you have to take precautions. Travelling around is demanding and expensive but, once you show interest and respect to the people, the reward of being able to be part of their life is unmatched to any other African experience.

When it comes to Lagos Airport, the only scary thing may be traffic jams in front of it. When it comes to security, it is as safe as any other airport in the world. 

I will be happy to post more pictures from West Africa. It is one of the most fascinating parts of the world. 

Cheers, Piotr.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Jovana Lakic Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 1 year, 3 months ago

You are absolutely right! Thank you for sharing your inside knowledge & experience, I felt very comfortable exploring places that had bad publicity, it is all about learning beforehand about the people and norms, keeping an open mind & getting local insights from kind people you meet on the way. Looking forward to more photos from Nigeria and West Africa!

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 3 months ago

Amazing set full of culture, tradition and colours.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks, Antonio. Truly, West Africa amazes me. The openness of the people is next to none.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Norman Lynch 1 year, 3 months ago

Those shots are fantastic Horizon's thank you for showing them.+1

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Norman Lynch 1 year, 3 months ago

Hi Norman,

Thank you very much. The array of colours and patterns in Nigeria in mind blowing. So are the festivities. I do look forward to my next trip to West Africa.

Cheers, Piotr.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Benny Law 1 year, 3 months ago

Wow, quite a feast for the eyes! Fabulous captures.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Benny Law 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks, Benny. True, West Africa is one of the most colourful corners of the world.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
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