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Yoruba Wars, 19th century

Adebusuyi I. Adeniran


The Yoruba nation of nearly three hundred ethnic groups is one of the three largest in Nigeria, with a population of well over 40 million indigenes. The populace is spread over 10 of the 36 states in Nigeria: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti (Southwest); Delta, Edo (South); Kwara and Kogi (Middle-belt). Yorubas can also be found in Benin Republic, Brazil, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago. The ethnic group is renowned for its bravery and entrepreneurship, and in contemporary Nigeria for its educational achievements and advancement. Oduduwa, who is believed to have migrated southward from ancient Egypt about a thousand years ago, is often referred to as the Yoruba's progenitor. The impetus for various intra-tribal conflagrations which swept through the entire Yorubaland between 1817 and 1893 was fundamentally the control of trade routes within the region. The massive Yoruba empire of Oyo was renowned as an extraordinary exporter of slaves in the eighteenth century, and also as the seat of government for millions of citizens. The empire was to collapse shortly before the invasion of the Fulani Jihadists during a period of civil strife in the years following 1817. By the mid–1830s the ensuing uprisings had engulfed the entire Yorubaland. Meanwhile, the Owu War, which started around 1820, had earlier facilitated the creation of a new Oyo at Ago-Oja in 1837, and indeed, immediate abandonment ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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