A land of many people Within its vast area, Nigeria has over 250 different ethnic groups, all with their own languages and heritage. The religious divide Nigeria is divided into 36 states. In the 13 northern states, the vast majority of people are Muslim. The Hausa have been Muslims for almost a thousand years, having been converted to Islam by Arab traders and merchants from the 10th century. Traditional culture and dress In the north, women wear long flowing robes and headscarves, though they rarely cover their faces. In the south, women may choose to wear Western-style clothes for everyday wear, often buying cheap second-hand items in markets. But on Sunday, most women in the south will put on their best traditional clothes and headdresses. These are frequently made from locally produced and dyed fabrics.