Some Thoughts on Traditional Hausa Aesthetics and Arabic Infl uence on Yorùbá and Hausa Written Traditions in Nigeria
It will be exciting to briefl y discuss how some Hausa writers explore traditional Hausa oral aesthetics in their written poetry. Rubutaciyar waka is the Hausa name for written poetry. The book Wakokin Hikima (Yahaya 1979) is a very interesting collection of 20 Hausa poems. With the exception of Adamu Jingau and Alhaji Kabir Inuwa Magoga, born in Sakkwato and Benue-Plateau areas respectively, all of the other poets who contributed to this book are indigenes of Kano, an ancient Muslim city in Nigeria. The writers are all Muslims and are writing both from their perspectives as Muslims and from their backgrounds in communities where traditional oral performances take active place in cultural and educational expressions. From the book’s title, meaning “Songs of Wisdom,” the poets assume the name of “wisdom poets,” discussing what they consider their own and their community’s ethics with their readers and performers. It is often the folktales that teach moral lessons, and within the folktales, songs and drama performances reinforce community expectations for good behavior. These Hausa poets have explored the oral literary aesthetics in their written poems for their people.