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THE HISTORY OF “LEGITIMATE TRADE” AMONG THE YORUBA’S

  • Type:Project
  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:76
  • Methodology:Primary and Secondary data
  • Reference:YES
  • Format:Microsoft Word
(History Project Topics & Materials)
THE HISTORY OF “LEGITIMATE TRADE” AMONG THE YORUBA’S
PROPOSAL

INTRODUCTION
The abolition of slave trade in 1807 by the Houses of Parliament in London which enacted legislation prohibiting British subject from participating in the slave trade. The French who had already abolished slave trade after the French Revolution, although she later re-established it in her Caribbean states in 1803. But by the end of the Napoleonic wars, both the French and the British had purchased a majority of the slaves sold from the ports of Oyo.
The end of European trading in slaves left a need for commerce between Europe and Africa (Yoruba) capitalist may have seen the light over slavery, but they still wanted to exploit the continent new legitimate trade would be encouraged.
Legitimate trade was the trade which replaced the trade in slavery after the abolition in 1807. It came to stay in gradual process i.e because of the necessity of both the European and the Africans. The Europeans wanted raw materials, while the Africans wanted finished goods from the Europeans.
AIMS OF STUDY
This work will critically expatiate the legitimate trade that took place in Yoruba land prior to the 19th century.
METHODOLOGY
    The principle governing this research. The analytical method will be based on relevant materials such as history journal reports, documents, history text books and faculty scholar view.
Contribution to Knowledge    
This is designed to enrich and contribute immensely to the legitimate trade that took place in Yoruba land prior to 19th century.
Chapterization
CHAPTER ONE
Introduction
Origin of the Yoruba
    The origin of the Yoruba will be discuss in details in these chapter using different accounts available and will be backed up with the work of great scholars who has done a lot on the people of Yoruba.
CHAPTER TWO
Yoruba People prior to Introduction of “Legitimate Trade”  
    Prior to the coming of the European; trade existed in Yoruba land. This chapter will discussed the trade that existed then, the means, ways and the goods which the people traded on and the people which the Yoruba people traded with. This discussion will bring the knowledge on what was on ground before the introduction of legitimate trade.
CHAPTER THREE
Legitimate Trade in Yorubaland - I
    With the abolition of slave trade, there was a shift from illegitimate trade to legitimate trade. The people (European) who use to force the people who they either buy or kidnapped to Europe now wanted to trade on raw materials which they needed in Europe. Since the production has changed from manual to mechanical. These change led to the introduction of legitimate trade these chapter will focus on the origin of legitimate trade in Yoruba land and new goods introduced for trade.
CHAPTER FOUR
Legitimate Trade in Yorubaland - II
    With the introduction of legitimate trade which was in a different way compared to the old trade practiced. The character of the various participants changed, for example the Africans who where given goods on first, never showed up to selfish interest or the character of the middlemen was now imposing their role on the people. The character of various participate the means of the trade and other features of legitimate trade will be discussed here.
CHAPTER FIVE
Conclusion: Impact and Effects of Legitimate Trade
    Before the exit of the European or before amalgamation of the various ethnic groups in Nigeria, legitimate trade had impact on the people both positively and negatively. All will be fully discussed in this chapter.
Literature Review
    The relationship that emerged between the Yoruba people and the European after the abolition of slave trade was base on trust and it was the origin of legitimate trade, which later changed the history of the people. These relationship which lasted over a long period, took different form and it also has influence on the culture and life pattern of the Yoruba people. But one thing that battle my imagination is that many books have be written about the Yoruba’s concerning their origin, culture life styles political organization among others, but non focus on the legitimate trade.
    Literature exclusively concerning it is virtually available. Those resembling it only talked on the origin and political organization. However, nothing much has been done on the legitimate trade in Yoruba lands hence it is a fertile ground for historian to exploit.
    P.O Olatunbosun, P.O. History of West African, have it that, the moment slave trade was abolished, the European shifted their focus to trade in raw materials. Although, the European came with the intention of putting an end to slavery and bringing the claim superior religion to the people.
Akintoye Stephen, A Short History of the Yoruba people, traced the origin and background of the Yoruba people, he gave various account which has being a question of argument among various scholars. He also gave detail information concerning the disintegration of various Yoruba land.
L.I. Izuakor, Patterns of Pre-colonial exploitation, where he discussed the trade between the local people and foreigners. The pattern and different reaction of the people was pointed out in his work.
    It is hoped that as this work progresses, more relevant materials would come to the researcher way.    
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: ORIGIN OF THE YORUBA PEOPLE
Introduction    -    -    
Origin of the people     -    -    -    
The Rise of Oyo Empire     -    -    
Government of Oyo Empire    -    -
Conclusion         -    -    -    
Endnotes     -    --    -    -    -
CHAPTER TWO: YORUBA PEOPLE PRIOR TO THE INTRODUCTION OF “LEGITIMATE TRADE”
Introduction    -    -    -
Agricultural Produce    -    -    -    
Leather Production    -    -    -
Organization of Market     -    
 Currency used    -    
Trade     -    -    -    -
Transportation     -    -    -    -
Slave Trade    -    -    -
Conclusion     -    -    -    -    -
Endnotes         -    -    -    -
CHAPTER THREE: LEGITIMATE TRADE IN YORUBA LAND I
Origin of Legitimate Trade     -    
Parties involved in the Trade    -    -
Goods Traded on    -    -    
Reasons for the survival of Legitimate Trade    -
Conclusion     -    -    -
Endnotes     -    -    -    
CHAPTER FOUR: LEGITIMATE TRADE IN
YORUBALAND II
Participants     -
Character of the Participants    -    
Change in the Character of Participants    -
Conclusion -    -    -    -
Endnotes     -    -    -    -    
CHAPTER FIVE
Conclusion         -    -    -    -
Bibliography     -    -
CHAPTER ONE
Origin of the Yorubas
INTRODUCTION
    Ile – Ife was believed to be the home to all Yoruba because of her historical position to them. Ile-Ife was believe to be the origin of the Yoruba (place where the world was created) before they expanded and grew so large leading to the finding of new territory like Oyo, Ondo, Owo, Ekiti even Benin and the more younger ones like Ibadan, Abeokuta, Modakeke1.
    Although, there are various account of the origin of the people, but the two which are popularly recognized, well sited and accepted by scholars will be discussed in full i.e both the hermetic and the myth of Yoruba creation. When the Yorubas was founded in Ile-Ife many years ago, they grew up either by conquering their neighbours or in a mutual relationship established their role in new places which led to the expansion and growth of the Yoruba people.
    Even with the growth and expansion of the Yoruba people to different location, there was one thing unique about their political organization. Its all the same every where even if its called different names, but they all practiced their system of government for example every Yoruba land or kingdom has a head which can either be called Kabiyesi (king) or Awujale (Ijebu) and there are also the king makers in all Yoruba land. In discussing the political organization of the Yorubas, Oyo will be used as an example of political situation in Yoruba land and it will be discussed in assumption of Yoruba political system.
Origin of the People
    The Yoruba was one of the largest homogenous groups among Africans2. They inhabit a continuous territory and speak the same language. They are town dwelling people who built kingdoms and empire along before they came into contact with Europeans. Their level of political sophistication and technological advancement is high.
       Although Yoruba kingdom just like other ethnic groups in Nigeria is still subject of controversy. There are various or several version of origin of the popular and quoted by great scholars like Rev. Samuel Johnson Clapperton and many more was the claim that the Yoruba  migrated from the northeastern area of Africa (variously supposed to be Egypt, Yemen ancient meroe and Arabia), and settled in Ile-Ife after a journey which took them centuries. The migration was being embark upon as a result of rift that occurred over religion.
    Another version, which scholars termed myth i.e the claim that the Yoruba land was the centre from which the whole world was created. It tells of a period when the whole earth was covered with water and god sent messengers to go and create farmland out of the Liquid mass. The party that was sent by god to create the world was being led by Obatala (Orisa Nla or Orisa Alase) as leader somewhere on the way, the tradition claimed Obatala got drunk with palm wine and Oduduwa seized the pararciphernalia3 of authority from him and eventually led the delegation to the world. Oke Oromfe in Ife is the site on which these messengers landed, when the party got to the world, it was covered with water, the snail given to them from heaven was turn which sand fell from and the fowl4 made to spread it. These led to the creation of the world by Oduduwa.
    In comparing these two account of origin of the Yoruba, both have one thing in common Oduduwa appeared as a leader who either led the people to their present abode or who has being able to organize the people politically. Following the oral tradition or investigation that the origins of Ife are much older than the Oduduwa period6. Other evidence tend to support this interpretation. If traditions remember the names of such kings as Kutukutu Oba Igbo and  Osangangan Obamakin7, who were much older than Oduduwa fragments of Ikedo,  almost all source of Yoruba history, have been collected and preserved8 and they tend to show that the antecedents of the Yoruba are older than the Oduduwa period.
    Oduduwa after establishing himself at Ile-Ife, he decided to send out his children to go and establish new territory in new places which led to the dispersal of his children. All of them are virtually unanimous, though some gave more details than outers. According to one of them to go and found kingdoms of their own, giving each one a royal symbol9. Before the children left Ile-Ife they all met at Ita Ijero (the place of consultation) where they agreed which way each would go and how they were to maintain future contacts some of the princes went north-westwards and south west wards, some eastwards and settled at Ado, Owo and Benin10. These migration resulted to the foundations of many new kingdoms, through it is probable that some only had a change of rulers11. The ebi system of government which later grew into a concept of societal organization12.
    Ile-Ife was now seen as the father-kingdom and Yoruba national headquarters had a unique type of constitutional and historical growth. Completely surrounded by other Yoruba kingdoms that acknowledged its fatherhood, Ife who had no standing army of its own, fear no attack form any quarter if there will be need to fight war13, other Yoruba territory comes to her and since they all see Ile-Ife as their spiritual home. The other Yoruba town also look up to up to Ile-Ife for spiritual support14, for example every Yoruba king come to Ife to be confirmed king.
The Rise of Oyo
    The position of Oyo was one of the reasons for its rise to power. Its foundation has been attributed in the traditions to Orunmiyan15. The soil around old Oyo was very fertile for farming16 not only that it’s position along the trade root and as a leading commercial centre, south of the Niger, was also an advantage. Trade routes connected Oyo with many important markets in those days. It was at a terminus where products of the guinea forest were sold to the people of the savanna in addition to being at the savanna terms of the trans-Saharan trade17, Oyo also traded with the Europeans at the coast through Porto Novo. Its situation at the Savanna belt made expansion easy. Iron ore was also available.
    It was not the mere existence of geographical advantage that contributed to the rise and growth of Oyo. The people made very good use of the geographical advantages. The trade routes were protected. The industrial skill of the people also enhanced the growth of the empire, the skill in weaving, dyeing, carving and decorated arts attracted traders from far and wide. The Oyo also had knowledge of iron-working made and used good tools and weapons.
    During the reign of Alafin Oronipoto, horses were first imported into Oyo. This formed the basis of the political power of Oyo, Oyo had a large, cavalry which made Oyo the scourge and terror of most of her neighbours and with which it fought wars of expansion. The leadership and valour of Oyo warriors also contributed to the military effectiveness. The Are-Onakaka-nfo was the commander-in-chief of the army. By tradition, he lived in a frontier18 province of strategic importance to prevent foreign attack on the capital. This also prevented him from interfering in the central politics19.
Government of Oyo Empire
    The Alafin was the Supreme head of the empire20. Ife was responsible for peace order and good government. Although constitutionally he was the final authority, he was not in the centre of power, politics and influence because he was a divine emperor who had to honour many taboos which secluded him from his subjects.
    His duties included setting of disputes between territories in his empire and between rulers and their subjects. As the fountain of honour and patronage, he distributes honours, awarded titles and appointed Provincial governors, military officers (by merits), and confirmed appointments of rulers of conquered territories. It was also his duty to protect vassal states from external attacks.
Oyo Mesi: This was the executive council of state made up of seven members who were king-makers. They consulted Ifa oracles before appointing a new Alafin so that the new Alafin would be the choice of the gods. The Oyo Mesi2 was the body that took important decision for the empire, formulated policies and gave advice to the Alafin.
Bashorun: Bashorun was the head of the Oyo Mesi and was the prime minister. He was in the centre of politics, power and influence. In addition to the above, certain other factors enhanced the position of the Bashorun, these are decision of the Oyo Mesi and the Ogboni. The decision of the Oyo Mesi were communicated to the Alafin through the Bashroun. Although the Oyo Mesi and the Ogboni could not depose an Alafin but they could ask the Basarun to present an empty calabash (a calabash in which parrots egg are kept) to the Alafin. Then the Bashorun would pass a sentence of rejection on the Alafin in the words.
            “The gods reject you,
            The people reject you, and
            The earth rejects you”.
    Tradition requested such Alafin to commit suicide by taking poison (many Alafins honoured this tradition but Oyo chronicles contain instances when few Alafin kicked against it). The Bashorun was also in charge of the religious divination held annually to determine whether or not the Alafin retained the favour and approval of the gods. In these ways, the Oyo Mesi, the  Bashorun and the Ogboni acted as limitations or checks and balances on the power of the Alafin.
The Aremo: Aremo was the eldest son of the Alafin. Until early in the 19th century,  he was barred from succession22 to the throne he was with other personal officials of the Alafin had to die with the Alafin. This was to prevent the Aremo from displacing their father from the throne and secondly, to give freehand to a new Alafin to select new officials from among those who were loyal to him.
The Ogboni Society: Ogboni Society was another important factor in the government of Oyo. It was a secret society which owned its political importance to the following factors first, the Oyo Mesi could not take important decisions without the support of the Ogboni society. Secondly, the leaders of society had right of free access to the Alafin. Thirdly the voice of the Ogboni was either respected or feared and was regarded as the popular opinion backed up by authority of the religion. In this way, the Ogboni society acted as limitation on the powers of the Alafin.
Organization of Army: The imperial army was strong enough to back up the imperial structure not only because it possessed a strong Calvary but also for its good organization and high standard of discipline. The Are-Ona-Kankanfo was the supreme commander and the head of the Army. By tradition, he lived in a frontier town of strategic importance to prevent foreign attack on the empire. The second reason for his living far away from the capital was to prevent him from interfering in central politics.
    The are-Ona-Kankanfo and other war chiefs were appointed on merit and their imposition were not hereditary. The war chiefs constituted a society known as the Eso Commanders who won victories were honored. Publicly but if the Are-Ona-Kankanfo or any other commander was defeated in battle or die. The Are-Ona-Kankanfo mustn’t flee from the battle field. If he was defeated, he would either commit suicide or go to found a new state. This prevented the Are-Ona-Kankanfo and other generals from remaining in office when their military ability was in a decline. This is another instance where the constitution placed very great importance on the success of the empire: any important functional be he the Alafin or the Are-Ona Kankanfo who failed must die so that the empire might survive.
Organization of Trade: Trade was well organized. There were taxes of different types which provided sufficient revenue for the empire. The trade routes were protected, Oyo benefited greatly in both the trans-Saharan trade and trans-Atlantic trade. It controlled the southern extension of the trans-Saharan trade and later controlled the interior trade with the last through Porto-Novo.
Provincial and Local Government: The provinces and the conquered territories were given a great measure of local autonomy in their internal affairs. They were allowed to select their own chiefs from among their traditional ruling houses, subject to confirmation by the Alafin, with or without full aid against a troublesome neighbor vassal states and provinces must send tributes regularly to Oyo and could be asked to collect special festival taxes on behalf of the Alafin thirdly, they must pay homage and demonstrate their festivals.
The Ilari: The Ilari were imperial (royal) agencies who represented the imperial interest in all the government of the provinces and the vassal states, (most of them were eunuks). They acted as a link between the central and local governments and ensure adequate central supervision in a local government system that enjoyed adequate survive.
CONCLUSION
    The origin of the Yorubas either through migration to conquered the people they met at Ife, before they were able to organize themselves into a state and further expansion which led to the establishment of new territory or the claim that Yoruba was the saddle of world creation. But one thing was certain, which was the fact that Oduduwa was the leader of the Yorubas who had led them to their settlement at Ile-Ife before they were able to further grow into different location.
    Because of the position of Ile-Ife as the centre of emergence of the Yoruba people and the very place where all other Yoruba state claimed to have emerged from. They now see Ile-Ife as their home and which, no Yoruba state must attack and also will come to her need in times of war to provide army which fight her wars, Ile-Ife was also the spiritual head of all Yoruba kingdom, every Oba comes to Ife for prayer and confirmation before ascending the throne.
    Oyo was one of the early state which became powerful and very big after the migration of the children of Oduduwa from Ile-Ife to found their own state. Since all Yoruba state emerged form the same origin, they all adopted the same pattern of political system with slight difference either with name recognition or limitation of duty. For example most Yoruba kingdom in various places has an Alafin (king), Aremo (first son of the Oba), Iya-Oloja, Organixation of Army, secret society who protect the state spiritually, then the chiefs who head the provincial and local government.
 Endnotes
1.    I.T. Fabla, Britain and Nigeria. London Zed Books Ltd, 1987, p. 15.
2.    E.A Ayandele, Groundwork of Nigeria History. Ibadan: Heinemann Publisher. 1980, p. 121.
3.    O. Adenira, Short History of Yoruba. Ibadan: Mindex Publisher. 1972. P. 6.
4.    O.G. Fadere, Origin of Yoruba Economy in Exploitation of Western Nigeria, Ibadan: Zegman Co. Ltd, 1987. p. 233.
5.    I.A. Akinjogbin, Groundwork of Nigeria History. Ibadan: Heinemann Publishers, 1980. P. 121.
6.    Ibid. pp 123 & 126.
7.    Ibid. p. 125.
8.    Ibid. p. 9.
9.    O. Adedogba, Short History of Owo. Akure: Mindex Publication, 1972. P. 6.
10.    J. Osagie, Nigeria History in Pre-Connial Times, Benin: Mindex Publisher, 2002. P. 4
11.    E.A. Ayandele, Groundwork of Nigeria History, Ibadan: Heinemann, Publisher. 1980. P. 128.
12.    Ibid. p. 142.
13.    Ibid. p. 115.
14.    G. Parrinder, The History of Ketu, Ife University of Ife Press Ltd, 1967. p. 89.
15.    Ibid. p.80.
16.    I.A Akinjogbin, Groundwork of Nigeria History. Ibadan: Heinemann Publisher, 1980. pp. 243 & 244.
17.    A.A. Stephen, A Short History of the Yoruba People, Dakar: Donde Co. Ltd, p. 135.
18.    P.O. Olatunbosun, History of West African, Ibadan: Fateregin press, 1981. p. 102.
19.    Ibid. p. 103.
20.    E.A; Ayandele, Groundwork of Nigeria History. Ibadan: Heinemann Publishers, p. 243.

THE HISTORY OF “LEGITIMATE TRADE” AMONG THE YORUBA’S

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Type Project
Department History
Project ID HIS0067
Price ₦3,000 ($9)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 76 Pages
Methodology Primary and Secondary data
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department History
    Project ID HIS0067
    Price ₦3,000 ($9)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 76 Pages
    Methodology Primary and Secondary data
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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