29 Kasım 2011 Salı

Friday Mosque at Zaria, Zaria, Nigeria

Bakan gizoor Hausa vault of one of the side bays 

 Friday Mosque at Zaria, Nigeria
The mosque at Zaria is one of the few remaining examples of the historic Hausa religious building tradition, though its exterior underwent a complete redesign in the 1970s.
The other two outstanding examples, the great Mosque of Kano and the mosque at Katsina, have either been demolished or completely redone.
Though part of the original Zaria mosque has been demolished, the remainder is encased in a new cement shell, within which the arch and vault construction unique to Hausaland has been preserved. This element, the Hausa vault or the bakan gizo represents one of the most important features in the structural evolution in mud architecture in West Africa.

Zaria's Masallaci Juma'a, or Friday Mosque, was built in the later 1830s or early 1840s, much later than either the Great Mosque at Kano or the Katsina mosque.
However, this period is often considered the high point of Hausa architecture, likely due to the physical manifestation of the concurrent religious revival that followed the period of Fulani (or Fulbe) jihad in Hausaland.

Two sets of embedded piers surrounding a doorway in the north wall. 
Note the decorated soffits on the twin bakuna.
The mosque was built under Sarkin (Emir) Abdulkarim (1835-1847) the third Fulani king of Zaria. The building was advised by Muhammed Bello, the Sultan of Sokoto, who helped to fund the project and who brought in the chief builder, or mallam mikhaila, of Sokoto as its architect.
Mallam Mikhaila Babban Gwani was relocated to Zaria and was given one hundred slaves as laborers.
These slaves were settled in an area south of the mosque in a ward that has come to be known as unguwa bayan.

The original mosque complex includes a main worship hall and a Shari'a court; both enclosed in a surrounding wall into which are embedded entry vestibules which double as ablution chambers.
The pairing of Fulbe client and Hausa builder leads to a confluence of style throughout the complex.

The mosque complex wall encloses the haraba, the narrow courtyard that surrounds the mosque. Within the wall are three main gate, or kofar, on the north, south, and west walls.
These entrance gates or zauruka (singular: zaure) are inspired by the Fulbe style in that they must be passed through in a circular manner so as not to allow a direct view into the haraba from the outside.
The vestibule spaces created by these indirect entries also serve as ablution chambers and each contains large water jugs for the purpose of ritual cleansing before entering into the sahn complex.
Also, because women were traditionally barred from the sahn, they used these zaure vestibules for prayer.
These zaure are roofed with a flat, corniced terrace.
The zaure roofs are accessible by matakala steps specifically for the call to prayer.

The three zaure gatehouses are assisted by four simple entry gaps, or kofar taimoko, in the perimeter wall.
One pair borders the north zaure, and the other two balance the western and southern gates by their placement on the opposite side of the wall from the staircases.

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