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in Rediscovering Zaria: The Untold Story of Princess Amina’s Sister

by InxSANIxTy Apr 13, 2024

In a remarkable discovery that’s captivating art historians and enthusiasts alike, a new portrait of Zaria, the lesser-known sister of the famed warrior Princess Amina, has surfaced, shedding light on her influential role in the history of the 16th-century Hausa city-state of Zazzau, present-day northern Nigeria.

This stunning portrait of Zaria, which stands as the featured image of this story, reveals a figure as commanding and dignified as her renowned sibling. Adorned in the regalia befitting her royal status, her gaze is both enigmatic and assertive, with a poise that suggests a quiet strength and intellect.

Recent scholarly research suggests that Zaria may have been a formidable figure in her own right, with a profound influence on the political and social spheres of her time. This painting, attributed to an unknown but incredibly talented artist of the period, is a captivating depiction that conveys her regal bearing and the intricate beauty of her traditional attire, complete with a vibrant headpiece and an elaborate necklace that signifies her noble status.

The revelation of this portrait coincides with the city of Zaria, named after the princess, embracing its rich cultural heritage. The city has announced the inauguration of the Zaria Arts Festival, an event set to revive the traditional arts and crafts of the region while showcasing contemporary artistic expressions that draw inspiration from its historical past.

The festival aims to honor the legacy of the two sisters, with a special exhibition dedicated to the newly discovered portrait of Zaria, alongside artifacts and storytelling that illustrate her life and times. Art connoisseurs and history buffs are eagerly anticipating this event, which promises to be a confluence of culture, history, and art.

As the art community celebrates this historical unveiling, the portrait of Princess Zaria invites onlookers to delve deeper into the narratives of women in history, often overshadowed by their male counterparts. This striking image serves as a testament to the power and presence of the women of the past, reminding us that there is still much to uncover in the rich tapestry of our global heritage.

The Zaria Arts Festival is set to open its doors next month, with thousands expected to attend virtually and in person. This festival, along with the unveiling of Princess Zaria’s portrait, is not merely an event; it’s a renaissance of cultural pride, a recognition of female leadership, and a celebration of African history’s enduring legacy



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