In a book that we will never get to hold – as it is purely a design concept – London-based graphic designer Osheyi Adebayo has captured the essence of the history and culture of the Hausa People through strong visuals. The Hausa people – one of Africa’s most widespread yet largely homogeneous ethnic groups – are the colourful and elegant subject of Adebayo’s graphic offering Hausa People. The concept took some time from initiation to completion, with Adebayo covering practically every pillar of Hausa life, from religious rituals and traditional clothing to architecture and even genetics.
Hausa People was finished late last year and traces the ethnic group’s path from its earliest history all the way to modern living, including almost every aspect of its society. Through his studies, Adebayo delves into the community’s rich culture, and most pages of his book are saturated with vibrant photographs that highlight Hausa nobility, its strict (but beautiful) dress codes and interesting examples of its Sudano-Sahelian architecture.
As unique as their Afro-Asiatic language, their elegant clothing is what inspired Adebayo’s strong use of bold hues. The men are easily recognisable by their elaborate dress, which typically consists of a large, flowing gown with embroidery around the neck (babban riga), and a robe (jalabiya and juanni), while the women tend to wear colourful wrappers (zani) that are accompanied by a matching blouse, head tie and shawl. Adebayo also covers Hausa literature and food as well as the tribe’s symbolism and population distribution in his beautiful and comprehensive offering.
Visit Osheyi Adebayo on Behance for more of his work.