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The ‘Song of Bagauda’: a Hausa king list and homily in verse–I

  • M. Hiskett

Extract

The ‘Song of Bagauda’ (WB) is apparently known to Joseph Greenberg, for he quotes two hemistichs from it in his article on Hausa prosody. He refers to the work briefly, among a list of unpublished Hausa poems as a ‘qaṣīda History of Kano’, but gives no further details of subject-matter or provenance.

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1 Hausa verse prosody’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, LXIX, 3, 1949, 125–35.

2 The use of the term ‘Kufic’ in connexion with the Bornu hand anticipates the publication of a paper by Dr. A. D. H. Bivar on the history of the Nigerian scribal hands. In this paper Dr. Bivar has shown that the Bornu hand is distantly connected with the Kufic. The hand of the Kano scribes, which is quite distinct from that of the Fulani scribes of Sokoto, is in turn derived from the Bornu hand.

3 After some deliberation, and since the main purpose of this article is to present the WB in a form readily accessible for study as source material for Nigerian history and religion, I have decided not to adopt the system of transliteration employed by British Arabists, although there is no doubt that this is a more exact method of reproducing the metrical quantities of the ajami. Its disadvantage is that it is unfamiliar to most Hausaists, and unpleasing to the eye in so long a text. In the footnotes, and where discussion of the metre is crucial to my argument, I have given the Gaskiya orthography and the ajami side by side. If the reader finds this troublesome at times, I trust he will give me credit for not having wished to add yet another orthography to the several in which Hausa is already written!

4 This unusual form is said to be a Sokoto equivalent of ba zai yi ba.

5 B kamarsa.

6 H omits this line.

7 H omits.

8 Read Musulumci.

9 H omits.

10 Read fid da.

11 B tufasarwa.

12 B ciyaswa.

13 B abinku.

14 A does not scan; B koyi da Annabi, which scans.

15 B has ke azurta kowa, thus correcting A's faulty scansion.

16 B omits.

17 A dialectal form of nan.

18 H Ka ke cire kai kana kuma ciccikawa.

19 B alkawari.

20 B hali.

21 B duba.

22 B ga baya.

23 B ya riƙa shisshigetwa, thus correcting the scansion of A.

24 B . The use of to represent the glottal 6 is idiosyncratic. The is normally equivalent to ɗ, whereas 6 is normally represented by .

25 B nan.

26 H Yana Gaya can gida nasa shi Bagauda.

27 This line is corrupt in both MSS, unless we read cī rāni.

28 H Maharba 'yanuwansa suna tafowa.

29 / [sic] .

30 H Fa sai aike iyali na tafova.

31 A Da yai kallo(n)… … ; I have preferred H.

32 Read shininsa.

33 H Kutumbawa Kanau ne kakaninsu

Labari gare su da ko nutsawa

Ga Malam Nuhu ni na ji ba shi yanke

A labarinsa babu na ƙaryatawa

Gare shi na ji na ďoras babu za'ida.

34 H ƙaryatawa.

35 H ka bayyanawa, a reading which scans, although there is still an intrusive short syllable in the first foot.

36 H omits these six hemistichs, but inserts them after A4/10.

37 / / [sic].

38 B omits the whole passage from A3/3 to A4/14. This appears to correspond to two missing folios. H includes the whole passage.

39 B Ya ce daga Lambu sara ne ya kama.

40 B ya zaga.

41 B omits, thus corrupting the metre.

42 B ba sarki fa.

43 B da su da Washa.

44 B has which should probably be read as . The line is in any case corrupt.

45 H Magawata; B Magawata shekara shi at-talatin. The line is corrupt in both MSS.

46 Common abbreviation of sarkin.

47 B omits this and the preceding hemistich. H has:

Ku san Gaza shi ma san Kano ne

Ya shekara arba'in da hani da sawa.

48 B mai raka6ewa.

49 B shi bai haya ba. H reads Bagaji shekara uku bai haya ba.

50 B Ya ɗora bakwai a kai sai mai zarewa. This agrees with H.

51 B ya tseras. The verse is, however, corrupt in both MSS unless we read Ūmrū, in which case B becomes correct.

52 B Alfin uku malaman su ke rabawa.

53 B Fa Van Maganarku ya yi laso a daula.

54 H Dauda da yai ishirin ya ɗora kai.

55 [sic].

56 B musawa. H has Ya ɗora bakwai akai sai mai zarewa.

57 B da ya yi talatin.

58 B Akai anoba.

59 B omits these two hemistichs.

60 B fagen.

61 B Zaman dunyar ga ba ya tabbacewa, which corrects the metre.

62 B shekara tas.

63 B A kai Sharifa sai gaba ta tashi.

64 / / [sic].

65 / / [sic].

66 H omits these eight hemistichs.

67 B A sa ishirin da biyar ta Babban Zaki.

68 H inserts:

Ya yi shekara uku bai haya ba

Izan ajali ya zo ba ƙetarawa.

69 B Da Alwali shekara ishirin sarauta.

70 B places these two hemistiehs after A7/16.

71 B Ana.

72 H inserts after this hemistich the following:

Cikin zamaninsa sai ƙoshi da yalwa

Mutum ne shi karimi ba hanawa.

73 B :

Fa kowa ya yi ƙwace abin wadata

Ganin Kurmin Kano mai manugarewa [sic; mangarewa ?].

74 B tas.

75 H Sai mutuiva ta kai shi wajen Arewa.

76 H Da yai tara kuma yana mulkin Kanawa.

77 B Abashe ya gadas yai sarauta.

78 B zuciyarsa.

79 There is considerable variation in the three recensions at this point. B omits A8/13 and 14 and reads:

Da sai Uthmanu yanzu kan sarauta

Takwas da wata takwas ya yi ba daɗawa

Ku san Uthmanu da yai sarauta

Adala tausayi ga sauƙaƙawa.

H reads:

Abashe sha bakwai yai mulkin mai adala

Da tausayi zuciyarsa da sauƙaƙawa

Mu roƙi Ubangiji ya ji kan Abashe

Ya sauRaRe kwanciya a cikin kushewa.

80 / / [sic].

81 H reads:

Uthmanu bakwai ya yi nasa mulki

Ya je shi gidan da ba zance da kowa

Saraki masu mulki su na zana

Waɗannan duk suna ramin kushewa.

82 H inserts after this hemistich:

Bayero Abdu ne a gadon sarauta

Ta'ala shi ya san adadin tikewa

Mu roƙi Ubangiji ya tsawaita ran

Abdu Bayaro zamaninsa da yalwatawa.

83 H has Ba ka sami mai zancen banza i dunya.

84 Here and passim B has kadan.

85 B Ka kan rasa arzikinka da girmamawa.

86 B Da farko in ta sa maka saifacewa.

87 B ɗimauta(?).

88 B Masoyin.

89 B Waɗanda su ke zuba maka Allaraina.

90 B Su nai ma dariya.

91 B hauka, presumably to correct the scansion.

92 B Ta sa ƙin-jalla imani ya sulɗe.

93 B kadan.

94 B Yana kwabo sisin kioabo.

95 A reads ; B reads ƙi, which is clearly the better reading.

96 B bayu.

97 B Yawan tsukunu.

98 B Zaman gun kirki shi a ke so.

99 A has kamar ka yi gadonka; B has kamar ka hau gadonka; H agrees with A. One is tempted to read A as gādo, since the idiom ya yi gado ‘he came into a fortune’ would fit the context well. However, the metre and the ajami spelling () both require gadō. A's substitution of yi for hau is curious.

100 B fuhuru. The word, which is not in the dictionaries, is thought to be synonymous with hum hanci, but is not known with certainty to my Hausa informants.

101 B sai ɗabarewa/tsabarewa(?).

102 A omits these two hemistitchs, which are, however, clearly required by the sense.

103 B , ɗarawo/6arawo(?).

104 B shikawa.

105 B sun.

106 A ya aūrě ta; B ya aūrē ta. In both cases the metre is corrupt.

107 B , ba tasa ko rikavoa.

108 B amarya bai kulawa.

109 B kai.

110 B here inserts the following hemistichs:

:

Ku san ba Dan Kasawa babu Rauda

Da Dammari da Ramtse na kushewa.

111 B gare ka.

112 B omits these two hemistichs. H inserts:

Izan ka je wurin jiyyar marili

lm ba ka sanin abin da ka aikatawa.

113 B omits, but has jānnābā, and I hai, in contrast to jānābā, and haila of A. B's reading scans.

114 B sannu sannu.

115 B kan.

116 B ya kan ta a kwance.

117 A natsewa. I have adopted B since it is less ambiguous than A.

118 B A kan yi ta.

119 B omits these hemistichs.

120 B shar6ar.

121 B Izan kallasa [sic] yai bisa kyautatatva.

122 / / [sic].

123 , Arabic (sing. ), ‘a she-camel’; , Arabic ’a cry’. ‘To cry like ashe-camel’ is a common simile in Arabic verse.

124 B inserts after this hemistich:

:

Suna suri (sururi ?) wurin ɗinkin lifafa

Abin son zuciya suka aikatawa.

Hhas:

Suna sururi agun ɗinkin lifafa

Abin son zuciya suka aikatawa.

125 B and H omit these hemistichs, but insert them after A12/32.

126 Abin da ya kashe su kar dai ka mania. Both A and B are corrupt.

127 / / [sic].

128 B Abin ƙ i sai fa aske kai ga gawa.

129 B Abin ƙi ne a yanke mai farauta.

130 / / [sic].

131 Both A and B are obscure at this point. A has Izan kuma anbiri yazodarayi; Bhas Izan kuma'anɓari ya zo darayi. If we may assume the inserting of yi, we read an yi ɓari, and the sense of this is supported by H which has Izan kuma jinjiri ya zo da rayi. Another possibility is that anbiri and 'anɓari are archaic or dialectal forms of jinjiri, but I think this unlikely.

132 A 'ingirewa(?); B gangarewa; H kyangarewa. I have adopted B.

133 This word is not given in the dictionaries. It was explained to me by my Hausa informants as follows: Malam Isa—Jirbe ga gawa shi ne abin da ya wanice abubuwan da a kan yi wa musulmi; Malam Havatu—Jirbe shi ne a tattaru gaioawaki a binne ban da wanka ban da salla.

134 B omits these eight hemistichs.

135 B Faɗar nassi ina wani mai musaiva.

136

Ana ɗin lifafa da alharini

Da mai najasa da shuɗi mai dafewa

Izan kowane fari ya kasa samo

Ku san ƙoƙi da kore sai rufewa.

H has kifilin fari. For kifilin read kufulin, but this is odd coupled with fari. All three readings are corrupt.

137 H da kan ɗeba ta yamma.

138 H Ku san sabo da ɗako sai jimawa.

139 B zacewa. Thus also H.

140 B now inserts the following:

Da ba salla da wanka ba bushewa

Da sai jirbe a kan wa kafirawa

Da bid'i basinni ba shi salla las

Faɗar nassi ana mai karyatwa

Fadan nassi mu ke kuma bayyanaioa

Da wanda kaba'iri shika bayyanawa

Da ba wanka da salla gun shahidai

Da su da tufasu ba a darwayewa

Izan dai an kashe su fagen jihadi

Ta'ala ya hana kufadar macewa.

141 B changes the order of the succeeding hemistichs as follows:

Kadan ka je jana'iza ya imami.

Ka bar sa zuciyarka abin rabawa

Izan ban gaskiyarka ga Allah

Da Ahmadu Annabimmu da ya fi kowa

Gidan mutuwa kadan ka je ka liman

Ta'ala Jalla shi zai ba ka baiwa.

H has a slightly different order again.

142 B Da Ahmadu Annabimmu da ya fi kowa. B inserts this and the preceding hemistich after A15/18. A is deficient of one syllable in the last foot.

143 B Da lada za baba [sic] ka ya misli al-Uhdu. Neither A nor B scan.

144 B mai ƙaryatawa.

145 B ragewa.

146 A damin; B ; H a don.

147 B da kurɗdinsa.

148 H wurin.

149 B ya cinye.

150 H inserts after this hemistich: Garin neman kadan da yawa ta kauce.

151 B ina son.

152 B Ibada kishiyatta a ke taɗewa.

153 B Rashin tararta kome sai ta kimsa.

154 B zalbe; H zarɓɓe. A is apparently a scribal error ().

155 Arabic ‘piety’. The word is not given in the dictionaries, and is not an established loan-word. It is spelt war'i in A, thus giving a first foot /, and wara'i in B, giving /. In each case, however, it has been pointed with final kasra—Hausa noun suffix i.

156 B ya kuɓshe (kuɓce ?, kuɓuce ?).

157 B A ɗan gaya da tsugen na maiwa.

158 B Abin nan shi sa lada ke ragewa.

159 B ba na ɗoras da (z 1)ancen….

160 B ayyukan nan.

161 B Da kyau ne ko yana rasa kyautatawa.

162 B inserts after this hemistich:

I(n) je i(n) yi ko i(n) ƙyale sui abinsu

Ya ce mani kar ku kwaikwayi budi'awa.

H also includes these hemistichs.

163 This hemistich is irregular in both recensions by reason of an extra long syllable in the second foot.

164 B Huɗuncin gaskiya su ke hayawa.

165 B Da farko akai farilla; la biyu sunna. Both A and B are corrupt.

166 B inserts:

:

Izan dai an tafalilu an yi zulma

Makoma zalumi vnita ba fitowa.

167 H has Gidan sadaka ana surfe na gumba.

168 A has shari'i. I have adopted B since A appears to make little sense.

169 B Na jahilcinsu ba su da tanbayawa. H omits this and the preceding hemistich; see p. 562, n. 174.

170 B omits.

171 Both A and B have the curious form Ba yan ji ba. This, however, still leaves an extra short syllable in the first foot, but I take this to be a permissible variant (see section ‘Form and prosody’ in Pt. III of this article).

172 Both A and B have -lilatattafinsu, which enables the poet to make his line scan, but which is a quite unknown form which I have not felt justified in adopting.

173 H inserts after this hemistich:

Ku bar son zuciya ku bi malamanku

Na sunna kar ta kai kufagen ɓacewa.

174 B malamin nan. H inserts here:

Miyaqun ayyukansu na karkacewa

Ka jahilcinsu ba na tambayawa.

175 B fadCa.

176 H now inserts:

Maci suhutu kusan azzalumi ne

Gidansa wuta da manyan kafirawa.

177 H has these four hemistichs following A17/32.

178 See above, n. 176.

179 H inserts after this hemistich:

Kowa ya ci rashawa ya yi taiɓa

Kibar rashawa wuta ke babbakewa.

180 B kadan.

181 B A kai ka wutar Jahannama ba fitowa.

182 B Naje na yi Kim.

183 B Na taso gunsa dajiki yai kasala. Like A, this is corrupt in the second foot.

184 B ta salia.

185 B omits.

186 B Ba yan ki tsira ba har laima ya shuɗe [sic].

187 B bidi'a.

188 B Da gafakassu kyankyaso ke shekarewa. Both A and B are corrupt.

189 B Su sa hula a dara sun hau da huni.

190 A Makafo ya tafo b.ny.ga [sic] majayi. I have adopted B.

191 A and B are both obscure. A has Cikin zaben(?) ƙasa don fandarewa. B has… Cikin zancen(?) ƙasa.… I have adopted the reading of H, which appears the more acceptable.

192 B Da mai dubi da wanda ya gaskala shi.

193 A reads gogam maras shiriyya; B reads oogari shirya; H boka(r) shiriyya. A is completely corrupt in metre; B scans but I can make no sense of it. H scans, and is acceptable in the context, and I have therefore adopted it. I have considered the possibility of a derivative of goga = ‘to rub’, and shiriya (shirinya) = the parasite fig (rubbings of the bark ?), but have abandoned this. The meaning of this hemistich in both the MSS remains an enigma.

194 B inserts after this hemistich:

Ku nan kaza maƙera da shazumami

Ku kai sadaƙassu iska ke tsarewa.

H also has these hemistichs inserted after A19/26, where they are better suited to the context.

195 The word gezar is not given in the dictionaries. It is said to mean ‘to spread out’ (cf. geza ‘mane’, Abraham, s.v. 1).

196 A and B have ku sau ta; H has ku san ta. I have adopted H.

197 / / [sic].

198 Arabic ‘middle finger’.

199 A has a kan riƙe ɗan farawa; B has ya kan riƙe danfarawa; H has yana kuma danfarawa. I have adopted the reading of B.

200 B biginsa.

201 H omits these hemistichs and inserts them after A19/35.

202 B Na tsafi ne musulmi bar matsewawa [sic].

203 B Yana wa'azi gare su su nanmakare.

204 Na masu zuwa da gaske ku bar matsewa.

205 B Kai nesa da kai kudi kabarin waliyyi.

206 A Ag.th.ni [sic] Rabbi bin zance(n) waɗannan; B Allahumma a gazini [sic] Rabbi zancen waɗannan; H A'uzuni Rabbi bin zancen wadannan. I have adopted the reading of H.

207 H omits this hemistich and inserts: Jiya zancensu ba shi da kyauttawa.

208 B Daban Va ke yi ta ba ya gangamawa.

209 Both MSS have . I have read sāɗō, although sābō is possible.

210 B inserts the following:

Ku bar hamza (a)da lamzu (b) 'yan musulmi

Ku tuba da hamzari in kun ji tawa

Izan ba ku tuba ba, kun ja ma kanku

A ‘dhāb al-ākhir mai dawwamewa

(a) Arabic ‘to backbite’.

(b) Arabic ‘to speak ill of’.

211 B Da wanda ya ɗau ɗabi'a cin mutunci.

212 B omits these two hemistichs.

213 B concludes as follows:

Musulmi kan yana kamna ya gana

Da mai cetammu sarkin Annabawa

Ya bar sata da sane ya daina zaniba

Da Reta kada ta kai shi fagen macetva

Da coca da shan giya da dara da hasada

Ya bar zina tun fa bat je gun gazawa

Ya tuba da cin mutuncin 'yan Musulmi

Ya bar reni ya bi su da girmamawa

Musulmi in yana son tsira Riyama

Ya tuba da gardama da musu da kowa

Dabi'a ce muganya inji Shshu

Ta kan yi hani na shan Alkawacarawa (Alkausarawa ?)

Ina yin dariyar mai ibada

Ya je taro mutane yana fasawa

Yawan nafilfili da tadawwa'inka

Da yin sadakarka nesa da bayyanawa

Ku san dai tankiya na ɓata aiki

Yawan kaudinka lada ke ragewa

Ina roƙon Ta'ala wagga waƙa

Da wanda ya ji ya so ta da juyatawa

Da bihamdtdlahi wakata ta ƙare

Da Annabi Ahmadu ɗan Hashimawa.

214 / / [sic].

215 sadakaku, [sic], read sadakarku. The poet uses qāf, following the Arabic spelling. In modern Hausa, however, the word is not usually spelt with glottal ƙ.

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