Photos A cavalier with his decorated mount arrives at the Sallah ceremony celebrating Eid-el-Fitr. The Hausa say, “When people see a horse and rider, they will turn and look at him. They will see him and remember.”On the first morning of the Sallah ceremony, the tenth Fulani Emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Kabir Usman, shaded by a pink umbrella, leaves his palace to greet the Hausa and Fulani populace of Katsina. The royal entourage moves through the town heralded by large tamboura drums borne on camels. Supreme head of the ruling dynasty, the Emir holds the highest position of traditional power for both the Hausa and Fulani communities of the Katsina Emirate.The Emir’s horse serves as a moving throne, elevating him above the heads of his subjects. Surrounding the ruler are his sons and royal bodyguards clad in scarlet uniforms. The Emir follows the route from the mosque’s communal prayer ground to the secular space of the palace reflecting his duel role as the religious and politcal leader of the emirate.Among the Emir’s retinue are two riders wearing red British-style uniforms – they are among the ruler’s many sons. As the Emir enters the palace, one son raises his arm with a closed fist in the traditional show of appreciation.Court musicians play long brass Kakaki horns announcing the in Eid-el-Fitr Sallah celebration.Clad in richly embroidered fabrics denoting the power and wealth of his master, a royal bodyguard sits at the Emir’s side watching the procession pass by. The vibrant scarlet hue of his turban is traditionally associated by the Hausa with strength, vigor, and severity in action. The robes he wears are called ‘babbar riga’ and are often presented by the aristocracy to their servants as tokens of appreciation for years of devotion and faithful service.The turbans, called Turkudi, worn by members of the Emir’s cavalry are fashioned from yards of strip-woven cotton, dyed with indigo powder to produce a high sheen. Their chain mail tunics, over which thick silken lanyards are draped are reminiscent of the royal attire of the Kanem-Bornu Empire.The lustrous fabric of the Turkudi turbans worn by the Emir’s cavalry is adorned with silver talismans intended to guard the wearers against injury in battle.Both Hausa and Fulani horse guards arrive at the Eid-el-Fitr ceremony to participate in the morning procession from the mosque to the palace, reflecting the Emir’s duel role of religious and political leader of the Emirate.A royal cavalier and his horse stand guard outside the palace. His regalia is reminiscent of earlier forms of protective covering worn for battle by his warrior ancestors.At the Sallah Ceremony, the dress of both man and horse expresses status. Layering the gowns by wearing several at a time adds further prestige.Rows of silver tassles adorn the mount of a royal guard. The leather pendants suspended from the reins are reminiscent of magical amulets known as Laya, used to protect warriors against sword wounds.Outside the palace, a royal cavalier with his horse stands guard. The ceremonial adornment of both the cavalier and his horse are reminiscent of the protective covering of his warrior ancestors.At festivals such as the Sallah the main form of male clothing is the Big Gown Ensemble, consisting of a gown (riga), a distinctive turban (rawani),and a hooded cloak (alkyaba). The different qualities of cloth, tailoring and embroidery and the number of gowns worn indicate the wearer’s status.A Hausa elder, riding his highly decorated mount, races to join the horse display of cavaliers charging towards the Emir.Thundering past the cheering crowds, hundreds of horse men race towards the Emir, participating in a display known as Hawan Daushe, which simulates the traditional military manoeuvre of charging the enemy, and demonstrates their allegiance to the Emir.Wearing billowing pantaloons, and covered with leather talismans, dancers called Gardi from Kankia town whirl along the processional route of the Sallah ceremony to clear a path for the Emir. As they perform, their voluminous pants fill with air and puff out like balloons. Resembling a small hurricane, the dancer leaps and spins, gathering speed as he careers past the crowds.A snake charmer entertains the Emir’s subjects with death defying antics.An exhibition of equestrian skill and prowess, the Hawan Daushe horse charge is a reminder of the former brilliance of the Katsina cavalry.Dressed in ceremonial finery, horses and riders parade majestically, projecting an image of heroic leadership. The finery of mount and rider reflect their social importance at the Sallah ceremony.