A region and former Muslim kingdom of western Africa occupying a vast plain in present-day northeast Nigeria. Founded in the 14th century, the kingdom reached the height of its power in the late 16th century. The region became part of Nigeria in 1902.
By Bornu, which is partly in the British protectorate of Nigeria and partly in the German protectorate of Cameroon.
One of the ancient trade routes across the Sahara - that from Tripoli to Kuka in Bornu - strikes the lake at its northwest corner, but this has lost much of its former importance.
Besides Hausa, who represent the indigenous population, there are large colonies of Kanuri (from Bornu) and Nupians in Kano.
Captives were brought thence to the slave market of Kuka in Bornu, where, after being bought by dealers, they were, to the number of about 10,000 annually, marched across the Sahara to Murzuk in Fezzan, from which place they were distributed to the northern and eastern Mediterranean coasts.
The Ghadamsi merchants have been known for centuries as keen and adventurous traders, and their agents are to be found in the more important places of the western and central Sudan, such as Kano, Katsena, Kanem, Bornu, Timbuktu, as well as at Ghat and Tripoli.