Houssa, Or Haussa, a country of central Africa, bounded N. by the Sahara, E. by Bor-noo, S. by Nufi, and W. by the Quorra. The people are negroes, and the Foolahs or Fella-tabs are the ruling race. Barth found the country divided into 10 provinces. Kano, in the province of the same name, is the principal city in point of commerce, and has about 30,-000 inhabitants; it is in lat. 12° 0' 19" N. and Ion. 8° 40' E. Katagum, E. by N. of Kano, has from 7,000 to 8,000 inhabitants. Sackatoo, in the N. W. part of the country, has upward of 20,000 inhabitants, and has one of the best supplied markets in central Africa. Wurno, 15 m. N. E. of Sackatoo, on the river Rima, is a new town founded in 1831; its population is about 12,000. Zaria, the capital of the province of Zegzeg, is in lat. 10° 59' N. and Ion. 8° E.; it is surrounded by a beautiful and highly cultivated country, and its population is estimated at 50,000. Houssa is well watered, being traversed by the rivers Sackatoo, Mariadi, Zirmie, Bugga, Zoma, and other tributaries of the Niger. It is considerably elevated above the sea, and its climate is consequently cooler and more healthy than that of the other countries of central Africa. The land is well cultivated, the principal crop being Indian corn, of which two harvests are annually produced.
Cotton is largely raised, and Kano is famous throughout central Africa for its dyed cloths. Tobacco, indigo, rice, and various kinds of grain and fruits are diligently cultivated. At Sackatoo there are extensive manufactures of leather, iron, and cotton cloths; and an active commerce is carried on in all the cities by means of open markets, which are frequented by traders from the neighboring countries and from remote parts of the continent. The people of Houssa are mostly Mohammedans. They have attained to some degree of civilization, have a written language, and have historical records reaching back to the 13th century of our era. They were converted to Mohammedanism in the 16th century, and were conquered by the Foolahs in 1807, when Kat-sena, then their principal city, surrendered after a desperate defence of seven years.