The History of the Yorubas

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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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