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KATSENA, an ancient state of the western Sudan, now included in the province of Kano in the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria. Katsena was amongst the oldest of the Hausa states. There exist manuscripts which carry back its history for about 1000 years and tradition ascribes the origin of the Hausa population, which is known also by the name of Habe or Habeche, to the union of Bajibda of Bagdad with a prehistoric queen of Daura. The conquest of the Habe of Katsena by the Fula about the beginning of the 19th century made little difference to the country. The more cultivated Habe were already Mahommedan and the new rulers adopted the existing customs and system of government. These were in many respects highly developed and included elaborate systems of taxation and justice.

The capital of the administrative district is a town of the same name, in 13 N., 7 41' E., being 160 m. E. by S. of the city of Sokoto, and 84 m. N.W. of Kano. The walls of Katsena have a circuit of between 13 and 14 miles, but only a small part of the enclosed space is inhabited. In the 17th and 18th centuries it appears to have been the largest town in the Hausa countries, and its inhabitants at that time numbered some 100,000. The date of the foundation of the present town must be comparatively modern, for it is believed to have been moved from its ancient site and at the time of Leo Africanus (c. 1513) there was no place of any considerable size in the province of Katsena. Before that period Katsena boasted of being the chief seat of learning throughout the Hausa states and this reputation was maintained to the time of the Fula conquest. In the beginning of the 19th century the town fell into the hands of the Fula, but only after a protracted and heroic defence. In March 1903 Sir F. Lugard visited Katsena on his way from Sokoto and the emir and chiefs accepted British suzerainty without fighting. The Katsena district has since formed an administrative district in the double province of Kano and Katagum. The emir was unfaithful to his oath of allegiance to the British crown, and was deposed in 1904. His successor was installed and took the oath of allegiance in December of the same year. Katsena is a rich and populous district.

See the Travels of Heinrich Earth (new ed., London, 1890, chs. xxiii. and xxiv.). Consult also the Annual Reports on Northern Nigeria issued by the Colonial Office, London, particularly the Report for 1902.

KATSENA is also the name of a town in the district of KatsenaAllah, in the province of Muri, Northern Nigeria. This district is watered by a river of the same name which takes its rise in the mountains of the German colony of Cameroon, and flows into the Benue at a point above Abinsi.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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