ethnic group

poptime= 4 000 000
popplace= Nigeria, southeast Niger, western Chad and northern Cameroon.
langs= Kanuri
rels= Islam
The Kanuri are an African ethnic group living in Bornu state in northeastern Nigeria, southeast Niger, western Chad and northern Cameroon.


Known as "Kanembu" in Chad and "Manga" in Niger, Kanuri speak the Kanuri language, a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family and are predominantly Sunni Muslim.

History and geography

Initially Pastoral Berber, the Kanuri were driven from North Africa by Arabs, moving to the area around Lake Chad in the late seventh century, and absorbed migrants from the Upper Nile. According to Kanuri tradition, Sef, son of Dhu Ifazan of Yemen, arrived in Kanem in the ninth century and united the population into the Sayfawa dynasty.


Kanuri became Muslims in the eleventh century, Kanem became a centre of Muslim learning and the Kanuri soon controlled all the area surrounding Lake Chad and a powerful empire called Kanem-Bornu Empire which reached its height in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when they ruled much of Central Africa.

Kanem-Bornu Empire

Following the downfall of the Kanem-Bornu Empire and the Scramble for Africa in the 19th century, the Kanuri were divided under the rule of the British, French and German African empires.

Kanuri nationalism began to emerge in 1950s, centred around Bornu, the least developed region in Nigeria. Pan-Kanowri nationalists claimed an area of 532, 460km² for the territory of Greater Kanowra, including the modern day prefectures of Lac and Kanem in Chad, Far North Province in Cameroon and the departments of Diffa and Zinder in Niger. In 1954, the Bornu Youth Movement (BYM) was founded to fight for the reunification of Greater Kanowra. The Biafran secession and civil war gave further encouragement to Kanowri nationalists and in November 1976 mass demonstrations in Bornu sought independence, including an armed insurrection by gun men attempting to establish a Kanuri government. The uprising was quashed by Nigerian troops but agitation for a Kanuri state continued, particularly by Kanembru refugees from North Chad. In 1992, protests in Maiduguri by Kanowri over Nigerian government attempts to expel Kanembu back to Chad and protests have continued for a Kanowra state.

National Identity

The Kanuri national flag is a horizontal tricolour of blue, yellow and green, representing the sky, the land and the water of Lake Chad.


*Minahan, J. (1996). "Nations Without States". Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313283540.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kanuri — (langue)  Cet article concerne la langue kanurie. Pour le peuple kanuri, voir Kanuris. Le kanuri, aussi écrit kanouri en français, est une langue de la famille des langues nilo sahariennes, parlée par plus d un million de personnes réparties …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kanuri — ou Kanouri adj. (et n. m.) Des Kanuri. || n. m. LING Langue nilo saharienne du groupe saharien parlée notam. au Nigeria, au Niger, au Tchad, au Cameroun. Kanuri ou Kanouri ethnie de la pr …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Kanuri — Kanuri,   Hausa Name Beriberi, Volk in der zentralen Sudanzone mit starkem Berbereinschlag, in Nigeria, Niger, Kamerun und Tschad, mit den Tubu und Kanembu verwandt. Die Kanuri sind seit dem 11. Jahrhundert Muslime und waren Staatsvolk des… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Kanuri — [kä noor′ē] n. 1. pl. Kanuris or Kanuri a member of a Muslim people of N Nigeria and adjacent regions 2. the Nilo Saharan language of this people …   English World dictionary

  • Kanuri — (Kanori, »Leute des Lichtes«), das Hauptvolk von Bornu (s. d.), auch in Mittelafrika ausgebreitet. Nahe Verwandte der K. sind die Bewohner von Manga, Nguru und Kanem. Die K. sind eitel und putzsüchtig, aber rührige und unternehmende Kaufleute.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kanuri — Kanūri, die Einwohner von Bornu, etwa 11/2 Mill …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kanuri — /keuh noor ee/, n., pl. Kanuris, (esp. collectively) Kanuri for 1. 1. a member of a people living in northeast Nigeria and in Niger. 2. the Nilo Saharan language of the Kanuri people. * * * People of northeastern Nigeria and southeastern Niger,… …   Universalium

  • Kanuri — Das Wort Kanuri bezeichnet eine Sprache in Afrika, siehe Kanuri (Sprache), eine afrikanische Volksgruppe, siehe Kanuri (Volk). Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kanuri — ISO 639 3 Code : kau ISO 639 2/B Code : kau ISO 639 2/T Code : kau ISO 639 1 Code : kr Scope : Macrolanguage Language Type : Living Individual languages : Identifier : kby Name: Manga Kanuri Individual languages : Identifier : knc Name: Central… …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • kanuri — Pueblo del nordeste de Nigeria y el sudeste de Níger, con poblaciones menos numerosas en Chad, Camerún y Sudán. Suman cerca de cuatro millones de personas. Hablan kanuri, una de las lenguas nilosaharianas. Los kanuri desarrollaron el poderoso… …   Enciclopedia Universal