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Dogondoutchi is located in Niger
Location of Dogondoutchi
Coordinates: 13°38′46″N 4°01′44″E / 13.64611°N 4.02889°E / 13.64611; 4.02889
Country Niger
Region Dosso Department
Department Dogondoutchi Department
Commune Dogondoutchi
Elevation 227 m (758 ft)

Dogondoutchi (nicknamed "Doutchi"[1]) is a city located in the east of the Dosso Region of Niger. With a population of 29,244 (2001 census), Dogondoutchi is the largest city in and administrative center of the Dogondoutchi department, the easternmost section of Dosso Region.


Sitting just north of the Niger/Nigeria border, Dogondoutchi is a majority Hausa town on the northern edge of the savanna zone, south of the Sahel. The area is dominated by small scale agriculture, mostly Millet farming, sedentary cattle raising, and seasonal grazing of longhorned cattle, mostly by nomadic Fula pastoralists and their semi-nomadic villages. The town itself is dominated by the large "Dogon Doutchi" Mesa, which looms over the eastern side of the town.

Religious culture[edit]

Dogondoutchi is best known as a cultural capital of the Arewa region, an area of rough topography that is the home of the Mawri subgroup of the Hausa people. The Mawri around Dogondoutchi are among the last Animist Hausa populations, and the region is a center for Niger's animist Hausa minority group. The town itself is majority Muslim, as is most of Niger and the Hausa ethnic group.[2] Dogondoutchi is also a center for gatherings of the Bori spirit possession ritual, which has been extensively studies by Western Anthropologists. The nearby village of Lougou was the site of the 1899 Battle of Lougou between French forces and Sarraounia, a traditional religious leader based just outside modern Dogondoutchi.

Cultural border[edit]

Dogondoutchi also is the common western border of the Nigerien Hausa population, who form a majority of the population in an arc stretching from this area towards the east all the way to Zinder. To the west of here, the Djerma people form the dominant sedentary population in Niger, while farther north, Dogondoutchi marks the rough boundary between the Wodaabe (Central-Eastern Niger) Fula people and the Dallol and Bitinkoore Fulfulde dialect speaking Fula people of the west.[3]

Trade and transport center[edit]

Dogondoutchi town is a vibrant trade center, sitting astride the intersection of routes to Nigeria less than 20 km to the south, and the main Nigerien east - west highway, RN1, which connects Niamey and the west of the country with Maradi, Zinder, and Diffa in the east. After Dogodoutchi, the RN1 meets Niger's main north - south road, the RN25 heading to Tahoua, Agadez and Arlit in the north.

2005 Famine[edit]

The Dogondoutchi area was particularly hard hit during the 2005–06 Niger food crisis and drought.[4]



  1. ^ West Africa 7, p. 593, "DOGONDOUTCHI. pop 32,200 'Doutchi' is a tiny village on the highway, about halfway between Dosso and Birni N'Konni. Everything but its Friday market, which swallows the gare routière whole, is outdone by the dramatic landscapes[...]"
  2. ^ Adeline Masquelier. THE SCORPION'S STING: YOUTH, MARRIAGE AND THE STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL MATURITY IN NIGER. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Volume 11 Issue 1, (2005), pp. 59 - 83
  3. ^ Niger country profile: Ethnologue.
  4. ^ CRS begins food distribution in drought-stricken Niger, Stephen Steele, Catholic News Service, NIGER-CRS Aug-16-2005

Further reading[edit]

  • Samuel Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press, Boston & Folkestone, (1997) ISBN 0-8108-3136-8
  • Finn Fuglestad. A History of Niger: 1850-1960. Cambridge University Press (1983) ISBN 0-521-25268-7
  • Jolijn Geels. Niger. Bradt UK/ Globe Pequot Press USA (2006) ISBN 978-1-84162-152-4
  • Jean-Michel Guillon, Bernard Hernandez. Dogondoutchi, petit centre urbain du Niger. Revue de géographie alpine. Volume 56, Issue 56-2, (1968) pp. 297–358.
  • Adeline Masquelier, Witchcraft, Blood-Sucking Spirits, and the Demonization of Islam in Dogondoutchi, Niger, Cahiers d'études africaines, 189-190, 2008
  • Adeline Masquelier. Prayer Has Spoiled Everything: Possession, Power and Identity in an Islamic Town of Niger. Duke University Press, (2001) ISBN 0-8223-2639-6
  • Adeline Masquelier. Behind the Dispensary's Prosperous Facade: Imagining the State in Rural Niger. Public Culture - Volume 13, Number 2, Spring 2001, pp. 267–291
  • Adeline Masquelier. Lightning, Death and the Avenging Spirits: "Bori" Values in a Muslim World. Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 24, Fasc. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 2–51

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°39′00″N 04°02′00″E / 13.65000°N 4.03333°E / 13.65000; 4.03333