Profiles in Nigerien Artisanry: The Artists of Niamey


The Niger Artisans Project consists of 12 candid conversations with artisans working in Niamey, Niger. The artisans featured here fall into a category more closely related to the corresponding Hausa term ma’aikatan hannu, or people who work with their hands. This broader definition resulted in a group of interviewees ranging from a vendor who re-purposed old tires to a fashion designer.

The videos are intended for an advanced Hausa curriculum and are accompanied by a transcript in both the Latin and Ajami script. They allow the students to step out of the regimented classroom dialogues and into a realistic representation of a Nigerien Hausa speaking community. There are regional dialects, non-native speakers, and instances of code switching. These attributes will prepare students for the challenges of learning a language spoken in a multilingual environment.  Along with the linguistic component, these videos also provide rich cultural content that will allow students to engage in more advanced conversations. Each interview covers basic information such as the artist’s biography, and a description of his work and tools. From this point the interview takes its own direction based on the speaker’s interests. These more complex individual stories touch upon themes such as tradition and modernity, a fledgling economy, tourism, and creative expression.


The National Museum of Niger Artisans

The Wadata Market Vendors

The Freelance Artisans



Project Participants

Mustapha Kurfi (Producer) Lori De Lucia (Filming, Production, Editing, Web Design) John Hutchison (Conception and Coordination) Yazi Dogo (Ajami Transcription Coordinator) Mansour Yazi Dogo (Production Assistant) Ibro Chekaraou (Latin Transcription) Jessica Choi (Photography) Peter Quella (Project Manager)

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