Bashir Abdullahi's Blog

Hausa traditional boxing

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My last post was about the name of this blog ‘Danmakaranta’ and where it was derived from, i.e Hausa language. In the next couple of posts, I intend to tell you more about the ‘traditional’ Hausa ‘man/woman’. I said traditional, because some of the cultures you may see in the up coming posts might not still be in existence in the Hausa land or they may have been modernized.

I will start with the Hausa traditional boxing called ‘Dambe‘.

Dambe, also known as Kokawa according to Wikipedia is a form of boxing associated with the Hausa people of West Africa.

Historically, Dambe included a wrestling component, known as Kokawa, but today it is essentially a striking art.

The tradition is dominated by Hausa butcher caste groups, and over the last century evolved from clans of butchers traveling to farm villages at harvest time, integrating a fighting challenge by the outsiders into local harvest festival entertainment.

It was also traditionally practised as a way for men to get ready for war, and many of the techniques and terminology allude to warfare. Today, companies of boxers travel, performing outdoor matches accompanied by ceremony and drumming, throughout the traditional Hausa homelands of northern Nigeria, southern Niger and southwestern Chad.

CNN’s Christian Purefoy witnessed a Dambe competiton in the northern city of Sokoto and here is a report he filled sourced from Youtube.

Written by danmakaranta

October 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm

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