Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello

Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto; (12 June 1910 – 15 January 1966) Premier of Northern Region of Nigeria, Sokoto, Nigeria.
"By the early nineteenth century, in northern Nigeria turbans and embroidered tailored robes (called riga in Hausa) were being worn regularly by an Islamic aristocracy which owed political allegiance to the powerful Sokoto Caliphate. Until the mid-twentieth century commoners normally did not wear hats and caps.
The wearing of turbans among the aristocracy, court officials, and retainers associated a man with Islam and, when worn with the riga giwa (a Hausa term meaning 'elephant robe'), marked him as a member of the administration division of the Caliphate. Turbans and riga giwa were worn by the elite regardless of their ethnic affiliation, and they were indicators of high status and prestige. [Arnoldi M., 1995: Wrapping the Head, Crowning Achievements, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History]. The title of 'Sardauna' is peculiar to Sokoto and its original meaning was probably 'captain of the Bodyguard'. Its insignia are an ancient sword and baldric.
Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto was assassinated on January 15, 1966. His most senior wife Hafsatu, was also killed alongside. He was 55 years old
This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.

TopBack to Top