A History of the Yoruba People

Release date : Monday 01 march 2010
Genre : Ethnology, civilization, anthropology

Book ISBN number : 978-2-35926-005-2
Column : History/society

A History of the Yoruba People is an audacious comprehensive exploration of the founding and growth of one of the most influential groups in Africa. With a population of nearly 40 million spread across Western Africa and diaspora communities in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and North America, the Yoruba are one of the most researched groups emanating from Africa. Yet, to date, very few attempts have tried to grapple fully with the historical foundations and development of a group that has contributed to shaping the way African communities are analysed from prehistoric to modern times.

In this commendable book, S. Adebanji Akintoye deploys four decades of historiography research with current interpretation and analyses to present the most complete and authoritative volume since Johnson's work of the early twentieth century. The author traces the origins of the Yoruba from the legendary mythical beginnings, development of early Yoruba society, the revolution and primacy of Ife from the tenth to fifteen centuries, the founding of Yoruba kingdoms and the power of frontiers, and the rise and fall of Oyo empire. With this intelligible narrative backdrop, Akintoye then takes the reader through agencies of change in the nineteenth century and the rise of new kingdoms, and the emergence of transcontinental diaspora communities, down to the colonial and post-colonial political histories of the twentieth century and the socio economic and political transformations of the present day.

This exceptionally lucid account gathers and imparts a wealth of research and discourses on Yoruba studies for a wider group of readership than ever before.


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