Title ID 10050Collection ID1124
TitleNorthern Province Nigeria
Date31 January - 2 March 1955
CollectionGordon Family
Genre/TypeAmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionTravel
ThemeFamily Life Rural Life Urban Life
KeywordsAircraft Buildings Children Ceremonies Domestic Gardens Ethnic Groups Everyday Life Family Food Handicrafts Houses Royalty Labour Lakes Landscape Law Enforcement Local Government Religious Buildings Street Trading
LocalKano Kaduna
NationalNigeria Africa
ProductionPhilip Leslie Gordon
CameraPhilip Leslie Gordon
ParticipantsPremier and Sardauna of Sokoto - Sir Ahmadu Bello KBE; Emir of Kano - Muhammadu Sanusi
Format16mm Black & White Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This film shows a family trip to visit relatives in Nigeria. They visit the Northern regions of Kano and Kaduna, touring several markets and rural villages. The film includes the Emir of Kano and Sardauna of Sokoto inspecting a parade of Native Authority Policemen, the gate of the Gidan Rumfa and the House of Assembly in Kaduna.


"Northern Province Nigeria. 31. January to 2. March 1955"

Black and white shots of an BAOC 'Canopus' plane on a runway with the house of Windsor Royal standard flying above the cockpit (possibly for HM The Queen and the Royal families tour of the Commonwealth in 1955?) The shot cuts to a hand drawn and coloured illustration of a map of Europe and Africa, with Nigeria highlighted in a different colour and marked with major cities. The shot cuts to colour shots of an aircraft taking off from a runway and flying over land and a river to complete the sequence.

Intertitle: 'Kano' A sequence of street scenes shows people standing outside several traditional and ornately decorated buildings. In the rural countryside a family group raise water from a well using a traditional method of a weighted tree over a frame, drawing water into a basket. The film cuts to a bustling market scene, where traders sell their wares, a tailor uses a manual Singer sewing machine, a man sits distributing coins from a tent in the currency exchange courtyard and boy walks around balancing a shallow basket of Specie (coins - known as Maria Teresa Dollars) on his head. Several shots of the mixed spice market follow, with baskets of coloured spices on the ground. A barber sits opposite a customer having his hair groomed. There are wide shots of the Great Mosque of Kano with views from the top across the city, followed by several shots of people working the indigo cloth dye pits. Several men stand beneath pyramids of bagged groundnuts awaiting transport to Apapa (Lagos) and a man sells baskets to members of the family. Finally mixed shots show flowering plants and a close up of a butterfly and locust on a bush.

The next section shows the family standing under a Baobab tree with seed pods; a close up of a branch with flowers; playing with a group of children and several close-ups of weaver bird nests woven into the branches of a tree. The final scene shows two men weaving cotton on a loom in the shade of some trees.

Intertitle: 'Native Authority Police inspected by The Emir of Kano and the Sudana (sic) of Sokoto, Primminister (sic) of the Northern Province' opens a sequence of shots of a NAP marching band and the Emir and Sardauna inspecting a parade of Native Authority Policemen. A brief shot of the gate of the Gidan Rumfa (Emir's Palace) is followed by a single shot of several mounted Native Authority Policemen with spears.

Intertitle: 'House of Assembly Kaduna' is followed by mixed exterior shots of the building and gardens.

The next section shows a series of street scenes that includes a train of camels, a wooden barrel beehive in a tree, a woman carrying several large calabash containers on her head, mixed portrait shots of several groups of local people and workers, a close up of a (West African Rainbow?) lizard drinking spilt milk, cutting to mixed shots of several buildings and traditional Jos huts on a cliff side. The film closes with shots of the family in a garden in Kano and views of the Alps from a plane on their return.


Northern Province Nigeria (1955)

Contextual information

Muhammadu Sanusi was Emir of Kano from 1954-1963. Sardauna of Sokoto - Sir Ahmadu Bello KBE was in office from 1954-1966.