NB: The author, Rev Samuel Johnson after writing the manuscripts in sent it to Britain to be published however it got "missing" and his brother had to write it all over again from manuscripts since Rev passed on in and before the lost manuscript could be found. There are several stories about the challenges the brother the editor faced when he also tried getting the boom printed, a feat finally achieved in The "Plot" Earlier accounts of the book were extracted from oral accounts largely from the elderly and traditional historians and did not include dates. The lack of dates leads to some level of disorientation in the course of the book and might cause readers to oscillate between pages to fit the jigsaw puzzle and maze of legends and stories. The book is divided into two main sections with the first section dwelling largely on Yoruba people, the country nation and the derivation of the language.
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The standard reference for the history of the Yoruba people. It is illuminating and engaging. And, it is a recommended must-read book for all Yorubas and indeed all interested Nigerians, Beninois, and Brazilians. The book reminds us of the beauty, pain, violence and resounding relevance of Yoruba culture easily mirrored in other African ethnicities.
This pioneering volume by Samuel Johnson brought together various oral and recorded accounts of Yoruba history, describing not only political history but also social, customs, language, economy, and laws. The author of this classic work is Samuel Johnson He was an Anglican vicar of African descent. He was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, but spent his adult life in Nigeria.
His peace-efforts in the s contributed to the eventual end of the Yoruba wars in In Samuel Johnson became a deacon and was ordained a vicar in Claiming Yoruba ancestry, he was concerned that his people were losing their own history and completed the original manuscript of his history of the Yoruba people from his notes in Whether by accident or design, this completed manuscript was sadly lost.
However, after his death, his brother, Dr. Obadiah Johnson, produced this work from his notes. It was at last published in Unfortunately, Obadiah died in so neither he nor Samuel saw the finished product. As pointed out earlier, the book remains a key resource for the understanding of Yoruba history. Any student of political history will be forced to acknowledge the explicit and almost accurate records collected by Samuel Johnson in the book.
The book has a vivid picture of a generation of Yoruba Nationhood within Nigerian Nationality. Prior to the British invasion and colonization of Nigeria, Yoruba had been a Nation with an institutionalized government and there is no better place to understand and assess this form of government except in this great work.
The first part of the book discusses the people, their country, language, religion, government, land law, manners, and customs. The second part is divided into four periods, dealing first with mythological kings and deified heroes; with the growth, prosperity and oppression of the Yoruba people; the time of revolutionary wars and disruption; and, finally, the arrest of disintegration, inter-tribal wars, and the coming of the British.
The book also includes an index and map of the Yoruba country. On a final note, the book is worth every penny of its cost.
The history of the Yorubas
This kingdom was founded by the deities Oduduwa and Obatala , who are believed to have created the world. Oduduwa was the first divine king of the Yoruba people, and Obatala fashioned the first human beings out of clay. It is said the Yoruba people believe that their civilization began at Ile-Ife where the gods descended to earth. The Yoruba were invaded by the Fulani in the early s, which pushed the people to the South. In the late s, they formed a treaty with the Fulani people and were colonized by the British in Archaeologically, the settlement at Ile-Ife can be dated to the 4th century BC, with urban structures appearing in the 8thth Centuries.
History of the Yorubas By Samuel Johnson ( Original & Complete)
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Samuel Johnson (Nigerian historian)