Category Archives: Ancient History

The History of Ogbomoso Town in Oyo State

History of Ogbomoso

The town of Ogbomoso lies between Ilorin and Oyo Town in the south western region of Nigeria. The town was founded in the mid-17th century by Ogunlola, a brave hunter of Ibariba descent. History has it that Ogunlola migrated to the present site of Ogbomoso around 1650 in pursuit of his hunting career. Continue reading The History of Ogbomoso Town in Oyo State

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The Legend, Mysteries and History of Dala Hill, the Pride of Kano

Dala hill

The history of the Dala community and Kano cannot be told without including the significance and importance of the magnificent Dala hill also known as ‘Dutsen Dala’ in Hausa language. The mystery-filled Dala hill majestically stands 534 meters high and covers a land mass of 289,892 metres in the Dala Local Government Area of Kano city, Kano State. The hill has a beautiful outlook that gives tourists an irresistible urge to climb to the top. At the base of the hill, there are potsherds and remains of dyeing pits and graves which are evidences that some early settlers have inhabited the place long ago. These early settlers were craftsmen who took to mining and iron works of different kinds due to excessive iron ore found on the hill. Continue reading The Legend, Mysteries and History of Dala Hill, the Pride of Kano

List of Alaafin (Kings) of Oyo

 

Alaafin of Oyo
Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III

Below is the list of all Alaafin (King) of Oyo

  • Oranmiyan- 1300- ??
  • Ajaka- ??
  • Sango- ??
  • Ajaka- (Second reign)
  • Aganju- ??
  • Kori- 1400- ??
  • Oluaso- 1500-??
  • Onigbogi- 1500- ??

Continue reading List of Alaafin (Kings) of Oyo

The History of Ila-Orangun and its People

Ila Orangun Palm wine tapper

Ila-Orangun lies about 65km northeast of Ile-Ife and 90km southeast of Ilorin on the southern edge of the savannah. It is a part of the distinct dialectical Yoruba sub-group known as Ìgbómìnà or Ìgbóónà who originates from the north central and south western parts of Nigeria. The Igbomina group, presently, is mainly found in the eastern part of Kwara State, and the northern part of Osun State where Ìlá-ọ̀ràngún is located. The beautiful and serene town of Ila-Orangun share boundaries with Rore, Arandun and Aran-Orin to the North, Ora and Oke-Ila Orangun to the north-east, Oyan to the West, Otan-Ayegbaju to the South West and Oke-Imesi (in Ekiti State) to the east. Continue reading The History of Ila-Orangun and its People

Pre-Colonial Political Administration of the Benin Empire

Pre-colonial administration of the Benin empire

The Edos of Benin inhabit the south western part of modern day Nigeria and are close neighbors of the Yorubas with whom they claim the same origin. The Benin pre-colonial system of government, like the Yorubas was monarchical. The Oba (a title used for the king of Benin) was the theoretical and political leader of the empire with absolute authority no one dares to challenge. Unlike a Yoruba king, he was not bounded by the constitution or laws of the land. He solely wielded the legislative, executive and judiciary powers of the empire. Howbeit, he was assisted in the administering the empire by a many councils and officials. The highest of the councils were the Uzama who advised the King on important matters concerning the affairs of the empire. But unlike a Yoruba king, he was not subjected to their advice and decisions; he could heed to them and dispose them at will. Besides advising the King, the Uzama were also saddled with the responsibility of crowning a new king (the eldest surviving son of the previous king).

Apart from the Uzama, there were a number of officials who helped the Oba in administering the empire. These included officials like ‘Unwagwe’ and ‘Eribo’ who were in charge of the empire’s trade. They monitored the flow of goods in the empire and advice the king on how the economy of the empire can be improved. There were also the gold and brass-smiths that took care of the empire’s craft and industry. Other notable and important officials were the ‘Ezomo’, ‘Ebohon’, ‘Iyasere’ and the ‘Ologbosere’, the chief priest. All these officials had specific roles they played in the administration of the empire.

Furthermore, the Benin Empire was divided into two classes; they were the nobles and the commoners. Traditional chiefs and administrative officials were mostly chosen from the noble class. These included: the ‘Iwebo’ who were in charge of the regalia; the ‘Ibiwe’ who supervised the king’s harem and the ‘Iwagwe’ who provided the king with personal attendants. On the other hand, the commoners were not involved in the administration of the empire. Their main concern was providing food for their communities. Each of the commoners owns a piece of land he/she cultivated. They were also hired by the nobles to work on their farms for a period of time in return for money, a piece of land or sometimes cancellation of debts.

 

References:

  • Ola Abiola; A Textbook of West African History; 3rd ed.; Ado-Ekiti; Omolayo Standard Press & Bookshops co. (Nig.) Ltd.; 1984

Pre-Colonial Political System in Igboland

Igbo pre-colonial administration

The Igbo pre-colonial political system was described by many scholars as an ‘acephalous political system‘ which can be translated as ‘a leaderless or chiefless political system’. This term is suitable for describing the Igbo pre-colonial political system because it was decentralized and based on village and direct democracy where everyone in the village has the authority to contribute in decision making. Each Igbo village was seen as a political unit inhabited by related families who were bounded by common beliefs and origin. Each family head in the village held the ‘Ofo‘ title and altogether formed the council of elders. The council of elders presided over important issues on the village’s welfare, safety, development and so on. Among the council of elders, one was recognized as the most senior to others. He was the ‘Okpara‘. He could call for and adjourn a meeting, and could also give judgements as well.  Continue reading Pre-Colonial Political System in Igboland

The Reign of Bashorun Gaa in Old Oyo Empire

Map of Old Oyo Kingdom

When Alaafin Labisi took over the throne from the previous (late) Alaafin, Onisile, in 1750, he appointed Gaa as his Bashorun, the head of Oyomesi (7 hereditary kingmakers). During Alaafin Labisi’s reign, the old Oyo Empire, also known as Oyo-Ile, became so powerful and earned the respect of other kingdoms in Yorubaland. History has it in profile that Alaafin Labisi collected tributes from faraway kingdoms of Dahomey, Popo and Ashanti even though his reign was very short, and more than half of the kingdoms and villages in Yorubaland (over 6000) fell under the political umbrella of Oyo-Ile. This thus made the old Oyo Empire a political and military colossus in Yorubaland.

Continue reading The Reign of Bashorun Gaa in Old Oyo Empire

Berlin Conference And The Partition of West Africa

Berlin Conference

In the due course to get a share of the African continent, all European nations participating in the struggle to have a colony in Africa had lost their decency and orderliness in the run. The tension and clashes among these competitors was boiling at its hottest degree. It was at that time that Otto Von Bismarck, a German Chancellor, convened a meeting at Berlin (Berlin Conference) with the purpose of resolving the disputes among the competitors without the use of arms. Continue reading Berlin Conference And The Partition of West Africa

Art work of Nigeria

nigerian artart

A comprehensive value of the Nigerian art and culture gives you a glimpse of the beautiful stone carvings, potteries, wood carvings and different form of glass work. The bronze work of Igbo-ukuw which lies in Enugu state stands as the highest of the ancient works of Nigeria art. The Igbo- ukuw bronze works with beautiful and amazing designs, are well known as well as Ifa works, while famous places like Continue reading Art work of Nigeria

The History Of Ibadan- The City Of Heroes

History of Ibadan

Ibadan, (pronounced as E- baa- dawn) the present capital of Oyo State, is the third most populous state in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano with 3.5 million dwellers. In the 1960s, Ibadan was known to be the largest city in Africa after Cairo (Egypt) and Johannesburg in South Africa. The Yoruba people are the main inhabitant of this popular city, Ibadan, which was formally called Continue reading The History Of Ibadan- The City Of Heroes

Ancient and Modern History of Nigeria

Nok people
Nok people

The history of Nigeria can be traced back to the Iwo Eleru and Ugwuelle- Uturu people that settled in the South-western part of Nigeria around 9000 BC. Agriculture was mostly practiced among the settlers and later, the production of ceremic stepped in. However, the ancient Nigerian culture owes its origin to the Nok people who thrived extensively between 500 BC and 200 AD on the Jos plateau situated in the Northern part of Nigeria.

igbo people
A group of Igbo people

Continue reading Ancient and Modern History of Nigeria

Igbo -Ukwu: Home of the Roped Pots

Igbo ukwu bronze

The bronze work of Igbo-ukuw which can be found in Enugu state remains as the highest of the ancient works of Nigeria art.

It is possible that the inhabitants of Igbo-Ukwu had a metalworking art that flourished as early as the ninth century. Continue reading Igbo -Ukwu: Home of the Roped Pots

Pre-colonial Political Administration In Yorubaland

Political administration of the Oyo Empire

Before the advent of the British in Yoruba land, Yoruba kingdoms maintained an orderly and unified political system which is still in effect till today. A Yoruba kingdom (e.g. the Oyo kingdom) was made up of a headquarter (i.e. Olu-Ilu) and other local towns and villages. However, its political administration consisted of a central level and subordinate units. Continue reading Pre-colonial Political Administration In Yorubaland

Pre-colonial Political Administration In Hausaland

Pre- colonial political administration in Hausaland

After the great Jihad war (1804-1810) led by Usman Dan Fodio, the former fourteen Hausa states were merged and then divided into two caliphates. The eastern caliphate which included states like Yola, Gombe, Kano, Zaria and Katsina had Sokoto as its capital while the western caliphate, including Ilorin, Argungun and Kontagora had Gwandu as its capital. Usman Dan Fodio became the head (Sarkin Muslim) of the whole Hausaland while the control of Sokoto (eastern) and Gwandu (western) caliphates went to Bello, Usman Dan Fodio’s son and Abdullah, Usman Dan Fodio’s brother respectively. Continue reading Pre-colonial Political Administration In Hausaland