Maguzawa in Nigeria

Joshua Project has identified the Maguzawa only in Nigeria





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Maguzawas are a Hausa tribe located in northern Nigeria, primarily in Kano and Katsina states and particularly in the rural areas surrounding the capital cities which bear the same names as those states.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They are predominantly farmers. When not engaged in farming during the dry season, they subsidize their income in other ways. The women often trade for necessary items. There exists a strong distinction between them and their Hausa counterparts in the city who are better educated and who strongly follow Islam.

The community is ruled by "sarki", or leaders who are over several important areas of their lives: the head of farming, the head of the pagans and the head of the bush.

The Maguzawa are often mistreated by those who are better educated and are heavily influenced by Muslim outsiders and the government. Though they do not accept strangers readily, they are a peaceable people.

Men marry multiple wives and girls may marry at a young age, as young as 13. Many of these marriages are forced and lead to a very high divorce rate. There is also pressure from Muslims for the women to marry Muslim men.

An alcoholic beverage known as "burukutu" is consumed heavily and used in all their ceremonies. The rate of alcoholism is very high. In fact, the "head of the pagans" is usually the best burukutu drinker of the community.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Though heavily influenced by Islam, they hold to their pre-Islamic practices. They believe in thousands of spirits or "iskoki." There are about 3,000 in their pantheon of spirits. They pour wine and animal blood over stone altars, invoking these spirits and the spirits of their ancestors to protect them and to prosper their harvests.

What Are Their Needs?

The missionaries working among the Maguzawa struggle to have a place in which to worship, especially since the Muslim authorities often prevent or destroy their meeting places.

Prayer Points

* Pray for a place for the Maguzawa believers to worship in.
* Pray for their medical needs and for the missionaries to have the supplies needed to treat them.
* Pray for discipleship that helps the believers make a break with those traditions that are empty following of useless spirits.

Jerome H. Barkow. "Muslims and Maguzawa in North Central State, Nigeria: An Ethnographic Comparison." Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines VII, no. 1 (1973): 59

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-02-12
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-02-24
People Name General Maguzawa
People Name in Country Maguzawa
Population in Nigeria 175,000
World Population 175,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Hausa
People Name General Maguzawa
Ethnic Code NAB60a
People ID 18835
Country Nigeria
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Gombe states. Spoken as L2 in north.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hausa (175,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hausa 175,000

For Main Lanugage: Hausa

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1857-1988)
New Testament Yes   (1880-1965)
Complete Bible Yes   (1932-2004)
Audio Bible Online
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hausa
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video Walk with Jesus (Africa, JFP)
General Bible Visuals
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Hausa Bible
Text / Printed Matter Fathers Love Letter
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.30 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
70.00 %
0.00 %
28.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
15.0 %
40.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
30.0 %
Roman Catholic
15.0 %
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Joshua Project  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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