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The History of the Yorubas By Samuel Johnson
Reverend Samuel Johnson is a rare and precious historian of his own native continent in The History of the Yorubas. African history is told constantly by western historians so the more integrated gaze of a missionary who sought to take his people with him towards Christianity is a refreshing change. The book relies on centuries old oral traditions and the testimony of elder members of the Yoruba elders and historians of the court. Official history everywhere comes from the roots of retained custom, cultural myth, oral accounts but it is a benefit to see those voices come through so clearly in Reverend Johnson s work.
The Yoruba live dispersed across an enormous area from Portugal to Nigeria and their history is rich and storied. Johnson goes back to the accounts of distant kings and leaders but his work becomes substantially more detailed as we near the period of the British Peace. The image of the Reverend tracking across the land, searching for the equivalent of hereditary bards and village elders is a welcome search for the truth of tribal peoples, as opposed to the paternalistic slant often found in other works.
As is often the case, the Yoruba s history is scattered with the debris of war and the author covers this in depth from the early conflicts that splintered parts of the community and spurred migration to the more recent and bitter conflicts with outside entities. Johnson describes the language, the origins and the customs of the Yoruba people and the institutions these have given birth to in the diaspora.
The History of the Yorubas is an unmissable perspective on a fascinating people.
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AUTHOR'S PREFACE pp vii-viii
EDITOR'S PREFACE pp ix-x
Contents pp xi-xviii
1 - INTRODUCTION pp xix-xxii
2 - THE YORUBA LANGUAGE pp xxiii-xxxii
3 - A SKETCH OF YORUBA GRAMMAR pp xxxiii-lvi
PART I - THE PEOPLE, COUNTRY, AND THE LANGUAGE pp 1-2
CHAPTER I - ORIGIN AND EARLY HISTORY pp 3-14
CHAPTER II - THE ORIGIN OF THE TRIBES pp 15-25
CHAPTER III - RELIGION pp 26-39
CHAPTER IV - GOVERNMENT pp 40-78
CHAPTER V - YORUBA NAMES pp 79-89
CHAPTER VI - YORUBA TOWNS AND VILLAGES pp 90-94
CHAPTER VII - THE PRINCIPLES OF LAND LAW pp 95-97
CHAPTER VIII - MANNERS AND CUSTOMS pp 98-140
PART II pp 141-142
CHAPTER I - THE FOUNDERS OF THE YORUBA NATION pp 143-154
CHAPTER II - HISTORICAL KINGS pp 155-160
CHAPTER III - THE KINGS OF OYO IGBOHO pp 161-167
CHAPTER IV - A SUCCESSION OF DESPOTIC KINGS pp 168-177
CHAPTER V - BASORUN GAHA AND HIS ATROCITIES AND ABIODUN'S PEACEFUL REIGN pp 178-187
CHAPTER VI - THE REVOLUTION pp 188-196
CHAPTER VII - THE RISE OF THE FULANIS TO POWER pp 197-205
CHAPTER VIII - CONSEQUENCES OF THE REVOLUTION pp 206-216
CHAPTER IX - FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE ANARCHY pp 217-222
CHAPTER X - SPREAD OF THE ANARCHY pp 223-233
CHAPTER XI - THE REVOLUTION IN THE EPO DISTRICTS pp 234-246
CHAPTER XII - WARS FOR THE CONSOLIDATION AND BALANCE OF POWER pp 247-257
CHAPTER XIII - THE LAST OF KATUNGA pp 258-268
CHAPTER XIV - THE INTERREGNUM pp 269-273
CHAPTER XV - THE NEW CITY, NEW GOVERNMENT, ILORIN CHECKED pp 274-292
CHAPTER XVI - FRATRICIDAL WARS pp 293-307
CHAPTER XVII - SUBJUGATION OF THE IJESAS AND EKITI'S SOCIAL REFORMS pp 308-327
CHAPTER XVIII - A GLORIOUS END AND A GORY DAWN OF TWO REIGNS pp 328-354
CHAPTER XIX - SEQUELS TO THE IJAYE WAR pp 355-364
CHAPTER XX - THE CLOSE AND THE OPENING CAREERS OF TWO HEROES pp 365-382
CHAPTER XXI - TWO ADMINISTRATIONS OF OPPOSITE POLICIES pp 383-395
CHAPTER XXII - A NEW REIGN AND EVIL PROGNOSTICATION pp 396-412
CHAPTER XXIII - THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE 16 YEARS' WAR pp 413-426
CHAPTER XXIV - CONFLICTS IN THE NORTH pp 427-449
CHAPTER XXV - IBADAN AT ITS EXTREMITY pp 450-461
CHAPTER XXVI - FAILURES AT RECONCILIATION pp 462-478
CHAPTER XXVII - A RIFT IN THE CLOUD pp 479-493
CHAPTER XXVIII - THE REV. J. B. WOOD AND THE A.O.K. pp 494-507
CHAPTER XXIX - THE INTERVENTION OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT pp 508-537
CHAPTER XXX - DISPERSAL OF THE COMBATANTS BY SPECIAL COMMISSIONERS pp 538-560
CHAPTER XXXI - DISTURBANCE IN EVERY PART OF THE COUNTRY pp 561-583
CHAPTER XXXII - ABORTIVE MEASURES TO TERMINATE THE WAR pp 584-605
CHAPTER XXXIII - THE DARK BEFORE THE DAWN pp 606-625
CHAPTER XXXIV - THE END OF THE WAR pp 626-637
CHAPTER XXXV - THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BRITISH PROTECTORATE. THE SEQUEL pp 638-650
APPENDIX A - TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS pp 651-668
APPENDIX B pp 669-672
INDEX pp 673-684
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