iii Dedication iii Acknowledgement iv Table of Contents v
The Yorubas’ Historical Background 15 CHAPTER THREE: Yoruba Pre-Colonial Political Relations 33 CHAPTER FOUR: Yoruba Pre-Colonial Social Relations 59 CHAPTER FIVE: Yoruba Pre-Colonial Economic Relations 70 CHAPTER SIX: Conclusion 86 Bibliography 90

The Yoruba extend west from Badagry to Warri and inland until they almost reach the Niger around latitude 9oN. Certain parts of the Niger did, in fact, form the border between it and Nupe. They spread westwards around latitude 5oN, cutting across Dahomey and reaching into Togo’s east. The country gradually rises from the coast. From low-lying swampy regions with dense undergrowth to forest belt and finally semi-or derived Savannah, which reaches almost to the coast in Port Novo (Ajase). The weather is fairly stable, with two distinct seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. The Yoruba must be one of Africa’s most homogeneous groups. They are currently estimated to number around fifteen million in Nigeria, with additional numbers in Dahomey and Togo. 1
The Yorubas are divided into clans, the most important of which are the Oyos, Egbas, Ifes, and Ijebus, while others of lesser importance include the Owus, Ijeshas, Ekitis, and Ondos. Lagos, the state’s capital, residents Nigerians are also of Yoruba descent. 2
As far as is known, the Yoruba were never subject to a single centralized political authority. Rather, they existed (and still exist) in various groups and organized themselves in separate kingdoms with varying levels of centralization and autonomy in the pre-colonial period. However, a number of factors held them together as a people. The ruling dynasties of most of their kingdoms derive origin and the provenance of their beaded crown and symbol of authority from Ile-Ife, popularly acclaimed as the citadel of Yoruba culture and civilization, as well as a center of dispersal. Yoruba is a Yoruba ethnic group. Third, despite dialectical differences, they share a common language that is widely understood by various groups of people and is recognizably the same. The Yoruba share a cultural trait that distinguishes them as a distinct cultural group in Nigeria. 3
The Yoruba origin has two versions. One is a mythical creation that implies the Yoruba were the original inhabitants of the Ife area. The entire world was a watery waste at the dawn of time. Olorun – Oduduwa descended from the sky on the orders of his father, the Supreme God. He brought a handful of earth, a cockerel, and a palm nut with him. He strewn the earth over the water, forming the land. on the island of Ife. The cockerel dug a hole in which Oduduwa planted the palm nut, and from it grew a massive tree with sixteen branches, each representing the ruling family of an early Yoruba state. Oduduwa’s chain is still kept among the Yoruba sacred relics today. 4
Another tradition holds that the Yoruba people were created through intermarriage between a small band of Savanna invaders and indigenous forest dwellers. According to legend, Oduduwa was the son of Lamurudu, who was described as a ruler from the east and a prince of Mecca. When Islam was introduced into his homeland, Oduduwa refused to abandon the religion of his forefathers, and he and his supporters were expelled. After After many years of wandering, they settled among the forest people and established the state of Ife. Oduduwa had seven close relatives. Some traditions say they were his sons, while others say they were his grandsons. These seven young men left to establish ruling families in seven new Yoruba states. 5
As early as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Yoruba were experts in the use of wood, ivory, and terracotta or baked earth, and hundreds of thousands of their carvings and models are still extant in Yorubaland. The Yoruba’s art is inextricably linked with their religion, as the majority of their works were created for temples. First and foremost, the Yoruba, like most African peoples, believe in the existence of an Almighty God, whom they call Olorun, and in the future. As a result, they worship the dead, believe in a future judgment, and adhere to the doctrine of soul transmigration. 6 The Yorubas were also well-known for their weaving, dyeing, iron smelting, and trading skills. “The Yoruba caravan system” demonstrates that, despite inter-state warfare and competition, Yorubaland was integrated through commerce, and long distance trade was important to Yorubaland’s economy despite the region’s pervasive insecurity during the nineteenth century. 7
The Yoruba political system was centralized, with the king remaining in power. Each Yoruba city’s government was an intricate system of power relations, a complex web of checks and balances. Although, The executive and judicial functions were frequently delegated to the Oba and his council. Institutions were frequently established to check the Oba’s and his council’s powers. 8 By the end of the 16th century, most Yoruba kingdoms’ political organizations were likely complete and broadly similar. Each kingdom had a capital town, as well as a number of subordinate towns, villages, markets, and farmlands. Each of the major kingdoms whose rulers claimed descent from Oduduwa ruled over a clearly defined (if not overly so) territory. 9
Yorubaland experienced protracted internecine wars in the nineteenth century. These wars were accompanied by massive changes, the first of which was the emergence of refuge towns, and the second, which was related to the first, was the evolution of new forms of warfare.

In these refugee towns, there is no government. These demographic and political changes occurred in the first half of the twentieth century, following the fall of the Old Oyo Empire. The wars that led to the fall of Oyo caused a large-scale migration of people from war-torn areas to more peaceful areas. As a result, a number of southern towns became hosts to these refugees, who arrived in large groups and brought their corporate identities with them. The refugees also established new settlements. Examples include Ibadan, Ijaye, and Abeokuta. 10

Objectives and Goals
The following are the goals and objectives of this research project: To investigate the origins of the Yoruba as a starting point.
To investigate the Yoruba’s pre-colonial growth and development.

To investigate the nature of Yoruba relations in the pre-colonial period.
Examine the various Yoruba sub-groups and the foundations of their relationships.

The purpose of this research is to provide a detailed analysis of Yoruba pre-colonial relations. Although it is claimed that before the arrival of Oduduwa migrants, Yorubaland had a series of autonomous but independent mini-states.
The Yoruba’s origins will serve as the starting point for this research project. The work will come to an end in the nineteenth century with the fall of the Oyo Empire and the rise of new states.
This research will also look into the Yoruba people’s political, social, and economic relationships. This will allow us to comprehend the

They have relationships with one another.

This study’s research method is based on relevant data and information obtained from a single main source: secondary sources. These secondary sources are used in academic and public libraries. They are textbooks and journals used to obtain standard and accurate information for an analysis of Yoruba pre-colonial relations.

Review of Literature
Several works of literature have attempted to provide an understanding of the Yoruba people, beginning with their origins and progressing to the arrival of Europeans. These books cover various aspects of Yoruba culture. There are, however, certain literatures that account for the Yoruba’s origin. “Yorubaland up to 1800,” by I.A. Akinjogbin and E.A. Anyadele. 11 There are, according to them, The migration version holds that the Yoruba originally came from the north-eastern region of Africa, variously thought to be Egypt, Yemen, ancient Meroe, and Arabia, and settled in Ile-Ife after a journey. The other version, which is gaining traction in academic circles, claims that Ile-Ife was the starting point for the creation of the world. Both stories share one feature. Oduduwa is remembered as a leader in both.
In the aspect of economic development of Yorubaland,.. Akinjogbin, “the economic foundations of the Oyo Empire,12 among the foremost industry of the Yoruba, was cloth weaving, which appeared to have reached a very high degree of craftsmanship by the beginning of the eighteenth century, possibly earlier. Additionally, dyeing and Then there was carving, which included making drums, mortars, pestles, door posts, and panels, as well as carving images. There was also the iron smelting and iron industry, which was equally widespread and fundamental to most industries. There is a wealth of literature on the Yoruba political system. S.A. Akintoye’s Revolution and Power Politics in Yorubaland 1840-189313 and Adu Boahen’s Topics in West African History14 are two examples. According to S.A. Akintoye, the Yoruba political system varied depending on location. It is to be expected that in a country as vast as the Yoruba, differences in environment and historical experience will result in political institutions varying from region to region. He also stated that it is reasonable to make the suggestion. That political institutions changed over time in each location, both in terms of structure and relative importance in the overall system. Adu Boahen examines the central administrative system of Oyo in his book Topics in West African History. The Alafin, the ruler, ruled with the advice of a council of about seven notables known as the Oyomesi, led by the Bashorun or Prime Minister. The Alafin and Oyomesi were under the control of the Ogboni. In addition, Oyo had an unwritten constitution as well as a system of checks and balances.
In addition, Adu Boahen, Topics in West African History,15 stated that the Yoruba’s art is closely related to their religion, as most of their art pieces were produced.

for the temples. The Yoruba believe in an Almighty God, whom they call Olorun, as well as a future state. As a result, they worship the dead and believe in future judgment. Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief, E.B. Idowu, Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief, 16 he also stated that music dominates Yoruba art. The Yoruba are a musical people. They tell stories of their past, present circumstances, and future hopes and fears through their singing, which includes songs, lyrics, ballads, and minstrelsy.

This chapter provides an overview of Yoruba culture. It demonstrates that the Yoruba are one of Africa’s largest ethnic groups and that they originated in Oduduwa.
This chapter looks at the Yoruba’s pre-colonial history and how they evolved as a people.
The Yoruba government was centralized. The Yoruba political system, which was based on checks and balances, will be examined in this chapter.
The Yorubas were well-known for their business activities. This chapter will explain how these activities based on agriculture, trade, iron smelting, and cloth weaving, craft.
The Yourba had a rich artistic tradition that was closely related to their religion. This chapter will discuss their religion as well as their arts.
This chapter summarizes the entire work as it has been listed.


Leave a Comment