Kano kä´nō [key], city (1991 est. pop. 595,000), N Nigeria. It is the trade and shipping center for an agricultural region where cotton, cattle, and about half of Nigeria's peanuts are raised. Kano is the major industrial center of N Nigeria; peanut flour and oil, cotton textiles, steel furniture, processed meat, concrete blocks, shoes, and soap are the chief manufactures. The city has long been known for its leatherwork; its tanned goatskins were sent (from about 15th cent.) to N Africa and were known in Europe as Morocco leather.

One of the seven Hausa city-states, Kano's written history dates back to AD 999, when the city was already several hundred years old. It was a cultural, handicraft, and commercial center, with wide trade contacts in W and N Africa. In the early 16th cent. Kano accepted Islam. Kano reached the height of its power in the 17th and 18th cent. In 1809 it was conquered by the Fulani , but it soon regained its leading commercial position. In 1903 a British force captured the city. The emir of Kano, the Muslim ruler of the former Kano city-state, remains an influential Islamic figure in Nigeria. In Kano are Abdullahi Bayero College (1960; part of Ahmadu Bello Univ., Zaria); Gidan Makama Museum, with examples of local art; and the palace of the emir.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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