The indigo-vegetable dyeing pits of Kano are one of the most fascinating aspects of the old city. Various designs are folded into the material before dyeing and the fabric is often beaten to achieve its unique iridescent appearance. Although the methods used to create them are ancient, these works of art remain extremely popular.
The Gidan Rumfa (Emir’s Palace)
The Gidan Rumfa (Emir’s Palace) is the oldest and largest traditional palace in Nigeria. It is also the oldest continuous seat of authority in Nigeria. It was established by Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Rumfa (1463 – 1499) and it has been in continuous use since that time. Although the Sarki’s authority has been transformed into community leadership, his influence is still profound and every day, common people seek his intervention in some of their predicaments.
Kano’s great mosque was first built for Muhammad Rumfa in the fifteenth century. It was moved to a new site by Muhammad Zaki in 1582 and rebuilt in the mid-nineteenth century by Abdullahi dan Dabo. After its destruction in the 1950s, the British government sponsored its rebuilding in gratitude for Nigeria’s role in WWII.
National Museum, Kano
The museum was opened in 1985 at Gidan Makama, which served as the temporary palace of Kano before the current palace was constructed in the fifteenth century. It houses collections of arts, crafts and items of historic interest related to the Kano area dating back to the Stone Age.
Habe Mosque at Bebeji
Declared a national monument in December 1964, the mosque is said to have been constructed around 1770 and to built in three stages.
City Walls, Kano
The ancient city walls of Kano were built in order to provide security to its growing population. The foundation of the walls was laid by Sakri Gijimasu between 1095 and 1134 and was completed in the middle of the fourteenth century during the reign of Zamnagawa. The walls were further extended to their present position in the sixteenth century. They were declared a national monument in December 1964. The city walls are currently on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Culture Tentative List along with the Dala Hills, Kurmi Market and Emir's Palace.
The Kano State Durbar is a royal parade of thousands of men on horses adorned with rich garments and regalia. It is a colourful display of culture full of pomp and pageantry.