Kano, a city of central Africa, capital of a province of the same name in Iloussa, situated on a fertile plain in lat. 12° 0' 19" N. and Ion. 8° 40' E.; pop. about 40,000, nearly half of whom are slaves. In busy times the influx of foreigners and merchants swells the population to upward of 60,000. The city is surrounded by a well built clay wall 30 ft. high, having 14 gates defended by guard houses, and making a circuit of more than 15 miles; but not more than a third of the space enclosed by the walls is occupied by houses, the remainder being appropriated to gardens and cultivated fields. It has large markets well supplied with all the necessaries of life. The principal article of commerce is the cotton cloth woven and dyed here of various colors, and which is exported to many parts of central and northern Africa. The fine cotton fabrics in such extensive demand in Timbuctoo, and which have been supposed to be produced there, are derived chiefly from Kano. Tanning and the manufacture of leathern jars and sandals are also carried on to a considerable extent. Among other articles of export are hides, dyed sheepskins, the kola nut, ivory, etc.
The slave trade is an important branch of native commerce, and about 5,000 slaves are annually exported, besides many sold for domestic use. The principal European goods imported are printed muslins and calicoes from Manchester, silks, beads, sugar, needles, razors, sword blades, and various other kinds of hardware. - The province of Kano comprises a large and fertile district, with a population of more than 500,000, of whom about one half are slaves.