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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Waziri and the thief: Hausa Islamic law in a Yoruba city: a case study from Ibadan, Nigeria
Author:Salamone, Frank A.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Geographic term:Nigeria
Islamic law
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/07329113.1998.10756520
Abstract:The extension of British colonial power in Nigeria enabled the Hausa to found dispersed trading centres throughout the country, such as Sabon Gari, or New Town, the official name of the Hausa section of the Yoruba city of Ibadan, referred to in everyday conversion simply as Sabo. In return for basic commercial privileges, an emir (Sarki) and vizier (Waziri) along with a commercial elite undertook responsibility for maintaining law and order. The ability of the Sarki to control those in his constituency requires him to be able to settle disputes in a manner seen to be just. His reputation is the best guarantee that he can do so. Accordingly, he and his Waziri must be approachable and involved in day-to-day affairs. They must cultivate the virtue the Hausa term 'kirki', a virtue marked by courtesy and composure at all times. The author describes a trial involving the Sarki of Sarbo which he attended on 21 March 1990. The case concerned a young Hausa accused of stealing from a Yoruba market woman and assaulting a Yoruba constable. It illustrates the way in which the Hausa typically solidify their ties to the outside community while reinforcing core values, encapsulated in the virtue of 'kirki'. The concept of 'kirki' ties the sacred and secular together without slighting either one (J. Kiernan, 1981), while the trial itself provides a ritual manifestation of a 'symbolic intercom' between cultural thought and meanings, on the one hand, and social action and event, on the other (N. Munn, 1973). Bibliogr., notes, ref.