ENGLISHKano Kingdom/Emirate


A Logo of the Kano Emirate

Royal-Title in Kano Emirate is a traditional system in which different royal titles were classified according to their holders. Each royal title in Kano has its own meaning and those designed to be the holders of the title.

Royal Titles in Kano Kingdom or Emirate are many and carried different meaning and duties. Currently, some of the titles have office, while some are conferred on the District Heads administering the outskirt District of the Emirate.

Historical Background

Since its foundationa in 999 AD as a Kingdom before it became an Emirate in 1807, Kano as the most influential Hausa Kingdoms have royal title institution. Since the time of the first King of Kano Bagauda up to the foundation of Kano as an Emirate in 1807, different royal titles were created and conferred on different personalities. Some of the first or earliest titles in Kano have a prefix of “Dan”. These earliest titles were like Dan Akasan, Dan RuwataDan Buran, Dan Darman, Dan Amar, Barde, Sarkin Yaki and others. Most of these titles were conferred on the sons of the reigning King or his important warriors.

Later, with the foundation of Kano Emirate, the royal titles were clearly defined and classified especially during the reign of Sarkin Kano Ibrahim Dabo (1819-1846). During the reign of Sarkin Kano Dabo, the Emir (Sarki) clearly became the supreme as well the administrative leader of the whole Emirate. While there are different royal title holders who helped him in carrying out his duties.

Royal-Titles in Kano Emirate Classification

Since the reign of Sarkin Kano Ibrahim Dabo, Kano Emirate divided royal titles into four :

  1. Royal Family Titles
  2. Inherited or King Makers Titles
  3. Learned Men Titles
  4. Warriors or Honorary Titles


These titles were only spared and conferred on persons who are from the Kano royal family and can ascend the throne. Some of these titles are identified or have “Dan” prefix on them. They are as follows :

  1. Galadima (the most influential and senior member of the royal family)
  2. Wambai (second most senior)
  3. Ciroma (the eldest son of the reigning Emir)
  4. Dan Iya
  5. Turaki
  6. Sarkin Dawakin Tsakar Gida
  7. Barde
  8. Tafida
  9. Dan Buram
  10. Dan Darman
  11. Dan İsa
  12. Dan Lawan
  13. Dan Maje
  14. Dan Ruwata
  15. Dan Makwayo


These titles are spared and conferred mostly on sons or descendents of the Jihad leaders that established Kano Emirate who came from the four influential Fulani clan then. Those holding the titles chose the Emir when the throne is vacant. They are as follows :

  1. Madaki (Leader of the King Makers) from the Yolawa Fulani Clan
  2. Makama from the Jobawa Fulani Clan
  3. Sarkin Dawaki Mai Tuta from the Sullubawa Fulani Clan
  4. Sarkin Bai from the Dambazawa Fulani Clan


These titles are created and conferred on people who are learned or came from the learned families. They are as follows :

  1. Waziri
  2. Wali
  3. Magajin Malam
  4. Alkali
  5. Limamin Kano


These are the titles conferred on the warriors who were important to the Emirate during war period. However, with the beginning of the colonial period when there was no war up to date, most the following titles are given to the important personalities who contributed something useful to the Kano Emirate :

  1. Barde
  2. Sarkin Yaki
  3. Barde Kerarriya
  4. Baura
  5. Makaman Gado Da Masu
  6. Jarmai or Jarma


  1. Madakin Kano District Head of Dawakin Tofa
  2. Makaman Kano District Head of Wudil
  3. Sarkin Dawaki Maituta District Head of Gabasawa
  4. Sarkin Bai District Head of Dambatta
  5. Wamban Kano District Head of Kano Municipal
  6. Ciroman Kano District Head of Nassarawa
  7. Dan Iyan Kano District Head of Dawakin Kudu
  8. Turakin Kano District Head of Dala
  9. Sarkin Dawakin Tsakar Gida District Head of Kumbotso
  10. Barden Kano District Head of Bichi
  11. Tafidan Kano District Head of Fagge
  12. Barde Kerarriya District Head of Gwarzo
  13. Dan Majen Kano District Head of Gwale
  14. Dan Isan Kano District Head of Warawa
  15. Dan Lawan Kano District Head of Takai
  16. Dan Darman Kano District Head of Kura
  17. Dan Ruwatan Kano District Head of Sumaila
  18. Dan Madamin Kano District Head of Kiru
  19. Dan Makwayon Kano District Head of Tsayawa
  20. San-Turakin Kano District Head of Kunci
  21. Sarkin Fadar Kano District Head of Tarauni
  22. Sarkin Shanun Kano District Head of Rimin Gado
  23. Matawallen Kano District Head of Minjibir
  24. Dan Amar District Head of Doguwa
  25. Magajin Rafin Kano District Head of Bagwai
  26. Dan Kadan Kano District Head of Tudun Wada
  27. Magajin Malam District of Ungogo
  28. Mai Unguwar Mundubawa District Head of Gezawa
  29. Sarkin Yakın Kano District Head of Ajingi
  30. Dokajin Kano District Head of Garko
  31. Barayan Kano District Head of Bunkure
  32. Kaigaman Kano District Head of Kibiya
  33. Uban Doman Kano District Head of Shanono
  34. Bauran Kano District Head of Rogo
  35. Dan Adalan Kano District Head of Tofa
  36. Ma’ajin Watarin Kano District Head of Kano
  37. Majidadin Kano District Head of Madobi
  38. Sa’in Kano District Head of Makoda
  39. Dan-Galadiman Kano District Head of Bebeji
  40. Sarkin Fulanin Ja’idanawa District Head of Garun Malam
  41. Katukan Kano District Head of Albasu
  42. Sarkin Rano District Head of Rano
  43. Sarkin Gaya District Head of Gaya
  44. Sarkin Karaye District Head of Karaye

Ahmad Abdullahi, BA History

My name is Ahmad Abdullahi, I was born on 10th March, 1994 in Garun-Danga Town, Gabasawa L.G., Kano State. I attended FCE Demonstration Primary School from 2002 to 2007, FCE Staff Secondary School from 2007 to 2013, and Northwest University, Kano from 2013 to 2017, where I obtained bachelor degree in History.

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