How And What Made Oyo Empire Collapse?

Shortly after Oyo Empire expanded her influence westwards, capturing Port Novo and making Dahomey (present-day Benin Republic) a vassal state pay tributes of 40 guns and 400 loads of cowries and corals regularly to Oyo, of course after phases of wars that made Oyo army a dread to the Dahomeyans, Alafin (Emperor) Labisi appointed a new Basorun (Prime Minister). 

To check the Alaafin from becoming too dictatorial, the Prime Minister according to the constitution could pass a vote of no confidence that would turn the Oyo Mesi (Legislators) against the Alaafin and an empty calabash would be handed to the emperor signaling that he was required commit suicide and pave way for a new Alaafin since the Oyo Mesi had lost confidence in his rule.

The Basorun was a high priest controlling all the cults except Sango and Ifa, so this could make him declare that the ancestors and Heavens had lost confidence in an Alaafin. Prior to the appointment of Ga, the unwritten constitution of the empire had been amended from the more ancient style that the Aremo (heir apparent) ruled after an Alaafin passed on.

The new constitution demanded that the heir apparent died with the Alaafin so as to pass on succession without disputes and in a way make the monarchical system a sort of republic. This made Basorun Ga more powerful. Ga became despotic and power drunk and from the slightest accusation that an Alaafin or his Prince disrespected the Oyo Mesi to the accusation that an Alaafin was assuming airs of superiority, Basorun Ga raised five Alaafins to the throne and successively destroyed four of them.

He and his family ruled despotically for twenty years, almost as if they were the Alaafins. By the reign of the fifth emperor, Alaafin Abiodun, the people were fed up of Ga’s dictatorship. On an appointed day, with the support of Are-Ona Kakanfo (Military Commander of Oyo army) Oyabi, the Alaafin and the people broke the jinx of Ga’s powerful magic and rounded up all his family (except Ojo, Ga’s first son) and were seized and killed, Ga himself was burnt to death in his house.

Abiodun’s reign then went on peacefully and lasted from 1774 to 1789, his was a golden reign. However, the center was no longer holding the seams of the Empire together after 20 years of internal imbalance triggered by Ga. Taking advantage of the lawless years, Egba province under the warrior, Lishabi, had proclaimed their independence and migrated towards their present location in Abeokuta. The Egbas had been aggrieved by the oppression of the resident Ilaris (governors) in their three provinces within the empire and the absence of any authority to hold them in check.

When authority was installed by Abiodun, he sent a punitive expedition against the Egbas, but the rocky hills of Abeokuta made the Oyo cavalry failed woefully in subjecting the Egbas. This triggered a domino effect of provinces declaring their independence from Oyo. Even Dahomey had the effrontery to assault Ketu, a westernmost Yoruba district, without fear of the Oyo imperial army. As far as Ewe (in today’s Togo), Oyo began to wane.

But within the city, Abiodun restated law and order but his reign came to an end with his death in 1789 and a new Alaafin was crowned, Alaafin Awole who reigned between 1789 to 1796). Alaafin Awole did not help matters he could have consolidated Abiodun’s effort to keep the empire together, but he did not. Under Awole, Afonja was the Are Ona Kakanfo (Military Commander), though the two of them had vied for the throne.

It was a taboo in Oyo constitution for the Alaafin and Are to live in the same city, so while the emperor resided in the capital, the Are must reside elsewhere, especially a town where enemy threat is imminent. Afonja was also from a royal family but he was slave-born and it was probable this that played against his becoming emperor, though some chiefs of the Oyo Mesi sympathized with him. Afonja’s great-grandfather had been the founder of Ilorin.

Alaafin Awole began to lose the Oyo Mesi’s confidence when he firstly requested Afonja to attack Apomu as part of a yearly military exercise the Alaafin must order the Oyo army to revive its strength, but Awole’s omission was that Apomu was an Ile Ife town and it is contrary to the “Coronation Oath” of the Alaafins who all received their royal swords from Ife and sworn never to raise sword against Ife. Secondly, Awole again ordered Afonja to attack Iwere town, which was a fortified fortress impregnable to Oyo army’s weapons of swords and arrows.

It was a calculated attempt by Awole to get rid of Are Afonja since the Are must kill himself if he ever failed to win any battle (this had also been the secret of the Oyo army’s strength in its heydays, asthe Are must fight to be killed or fight to win resulting, making his army fight to the finish without option of retreat).

Afonja sensed this and rather than launch a battle he would not win he refused on the pretext that the town, Iwere, was the maternal home of Alaafin Ajagbo. Ajagbo was Alaafin in 1587 to 1624 and had created the Are Ona Kakanfo, Basorun, Agbakin and Asipa titles, which were military titled except Basorun and Asipa which were administrative. The third reason that Oyo Mesi lost confidence in Awole was trying to introduce Islam into Yorubaland.

Yorubas generally distrusted Islam in the polity and it is unacceptable according to the constitution for the Alaafin to accept the religion because of its male dominance and autocratic nature of the emirs. Note that women make up part of the Oyo Mesi (Legislators) and there were powerful women like Efunsetan Aniwura who had their say in the polity for Oyo was not totally a male dominated society. Besides, the Alaafin was not allowed to wield total power like the emirs did in the north.

Soon the Oyo Mesi sent the empty calabash to Awole and he had to commit suicide. Awole was not missed for his reign further declined the empire and left the bullying ilaris unchecked in their districts. The center no longer held and even the next Alaafin’s reign were so short as people became disillusioned and in want of effective leadership. Adebo ruled for 130 days, Maku was next and was there for only two months thereafter an inter-regnum lasted in the capital from 1797 to 1803.

Afonja’s influence thus began to grow. Afonja tried to become emperor, but some chiefs opposed this. Thus in 1817, he declared Ilorin also independent just as other provinces were also doing. Afonja had a Fulani adviser, Mallam Alimi, and he encouraged dan Fodio jihadists warriors to support Afonja.

Meanwhile, Fulani/Hausas were popularly used in Yorubaland as cheap labors and servants, they were so popular that looking down the nose upon the northerners continued well into post-colonial years in Nigeria. So with the call to arms, Hausa/Fulani laborers in the Oyo underground economy swelled the ranks by fleeing to Ilorin. Ojo, the only surviving son of Ga, along with the Onikoyi of Ikoyi, which was then the largest provincial town of Oyo hence marched against Ilorin.

The Ikoyi’s were the royal battalion of the imperial army and were also known as Ikoyi-Eso (Guards Battalion). When the war began and Hausa/Fulani ex-laborers roamed the country pillaging and selling their former Yoruba aristocratic masters as slaves to white slave buyers (as happened to Ajayi Crowther and his mother who were sold to Portuguese when their village was sacked by the Muslims later in 1821: read earlier post of Eshu and Christian Devil on this blog), Afonja became displeased with this.

And since he was still suspected of being loyal to Yoruba than Islam, Alimi had Afonja killed and his son, Abdul Salami took Ilorin throne as emir, giving allegiance to the Sokoto caliphate. Thus Ilorin became a part of the Sokoto caliphate. There was no central authority anymore in Oyo and a lot of the provinces kept breaking away and the disunity did not give a common cause to the Yorubas to fight and retake Ilorin.

Some Yorubas by this time living in Ilorin had also accepted Islam and thus while Ilorin swelled with a platform for its warriors to fight on in one cause, there was no single cause the Yorubas stood for a united fight. The center no longer held and things badly fallen apart. There was no more cavalry for the Oyo army since horses were before bought from northern trade routes which were now closed because of the war against Fulani/Hausa.

The Oyo capital city was not destroyed by war, but it was rather emptied by the people who migrated to safer places like Ilorin, Kabba (present day Kogi state in Nigeria), and the forested south. Oyo city was so big with seventeen gates that it was not possible for the Fulani/Ilorin army to siege or take it. A new Oyo city was now found further south in Ago-Oja and a new Alafin, Atiba, was crowned. But by this time, the Alaafin was struggling to maintain a dignity that was lost. Yoruba was now no more an empire but more like the Greek city states of Athens, Sparta, Macedonia e.t.c. Yoruba city states of Owu, Egba, Ijebu, Ondo and Ijesha begun to emerge, with even facial marks emphasizing their differences, no more paying allegiance to a central authority.

Civil wars became rampant, famine spread like wildfire and slave hunting, slavery before this time was totally alien to the Yorubas since Oyo did not allow any Yorubas to be traded as slave. The slave coasts were now overcrowded with Yoruba slaves as Hausa/Fulani armies and slave-hunting warlords fed their armies with the new system of economic trade that coincided with the collapse of Old Oyo that was closer to the River Niger.

A new war brewed when Ijebu (whose reputation as businessmen is known even till today) and Ife also began to sell refugees from old Oyo as slaves. These are the Modakeke, who retraced their way back to Ife where the founder of Old Oyo had come from originally. Owu and these refugees therefore attacked Ife in reprisal, the sacred city. This turned Ijebu and Ife against Owu.

The Ijebus were the first to employ the use of guns in any battle and thus completely destroyed Owu town. Owu people fled to Egba for refuge. Ijebu went further to even attack the Egba for harboring the Owu people. Note that Egba used to be where present-day Ibadan was located. But they were scattered villages and settlements. The Owu warriors and other warriors from other destroyed or sacked provinces migrating southwards found a settlement in Eleiyele, thus beginning what today is known as Ibadan. The new city attracted other warriors who wanted to restore the old glory and because of its position in the rainforest area, Ibadan began to control palm oil belt which was just beginning to replace the trade in human beings. It subsequently grew into the largest city in West Africa. With the arrival of warriors from all over Yoruba country turning Ibadan into a military settlement. The issue of who was what ensued and the Oyo drove out the bullying Ife along with the Egba people. Egba then settled in what is now Abeokuta with the Owu people, while Ife found no love lost with the Oyo people, especially those in Ife, the Modakeke. Note that Ibadan too also became a largely Oyo city.

But still determined to totally expand the Sokoto caliphate downwards by totally conquering the dying embers of the Yoruba influence, the Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba Muslim cavalry in Ilorin relaunched another phase of war as they saw New Oyo and Ibadan rising.

Ibadan knew it could no longer control cavalry which used to be a force to reckon with in the Oyo army (Yoruba kings and chiefs still ride horses in celebration today as remnant of the horse tradition prior to these wars) but with the Sokoto caliphate in the north, Ibadan could no longer get horse supplies.Although, Ijebu first used the guns, but Ibadan, through insistent drills, perfected the use of guns in such remarkable ways.

Oyos were seasoned warriors and thus Ibadan infantry marched out to meet the jihadists who were pillaging villages and towns with impunity from Ilorin southwards. Finally, a decisive battle was fought in Oshogbo in 1839, led by the dreaded new Are Ona Kakanfo, Balogun Latoisha.

The Ibadan infantry were good marksmen and they plucked the jihadist riders off their horses in such a way that many lives were lost on the side of the Muslim invaders and the casualty toll was so high that they fled back up north, ending the prolonged Fulani/Oyo wars and the incursion of the jihadists in a very decisive victory.

Thus Ibadan emerged as the superpower of the Yoruba states. Although, ibadan tried to restore the old glory of Oyo by being the military wing of the New Oyo government, the city states wanted to assert their independence from the Alafina and this led to another protracted war, the 16-Year Yoruba Civil War that saw Ilorin, Egba, Ijebu, Ekiti, Ijesha and Ife fighting Ibadan and Modakeke. For 16 years Ibadan remained unbeaten until the British and Anglican missionaries called for a peace treaty. It was no surprised then that after independence in Nigeria, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, an Ijebu statesman, made Ibadan the capital seat of the Western region which is in the Yoruba region within Nigeria.

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40 Responses to How And What Made Oyo Empire Collapse?

  1. Yinka Adeogun says:

    This is a well researched and written piece of work. I love the way you presented your facts in a chronological order as well as your unbiased account of events. Through your write up, I have learnt about how Abeokuta came into existence, the vastness of the Oyo empire & the method Islam got introduced into Ilorin.
    I am also impressed by the fact that women had a say in the government way back as they were part of the legislators (Oyomesi). This fact can serve as an answer to those who erroneously believe that Africa/Nigeria is uncivilized & do not include women in the affairs of the state. I would have loved to see your sources though. I totally enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Akingbile Toyin says:

    You did well and am very happy about this most of people that is yoruba self don’t know this kind story Baba Ifasayo Alabi have tell ours and tell ours some odu IfA about oyo town am very happy for you keep on and good lock I love you


    • takeupanarm says:

      The future belongs toi those that are fluid and nonlinear; with your kinda mindset, the future belongs to your likes. But pls, I cannot get you on facebook because there are many with your name. Mine of facebook is BOLAJI FAKEYE, displaying a lion on the wall. I will like to add u, pls.


  3. Ohi says:

    I was lucky enough to have heard the oral version told by the blogger himself before this post was published. This is even better-detailed. We need more of this


    • takeupanarm says:

      A lot of truth has been lost to Christianity: Poseidon’s Trident has become their Devil’s pitchfork, wise’s cone hats became for witchesPentagon star that used to belong to Venus now symbol of war and now our own dear “kadacian” Eshu symbolizes God’s antagonist. The blog will hopefully reveal more stuff that had been lost to racism. Thanx a zill.
      Lest I forget, I’m through with Alchemist, got anymore? I’m starving, feed my mind!


  4. Oyadare says:

    Wonderful article, this is important information, thanks for sharing!


    • takeupanarm says:

      Thank you too for reading… I only hope however that such information play the gradually hope we hope for, that enlightenment spread among our people and we as a race walk heads high wherever we are. Africans have great legacy… Let me know if u are on FB.


  5. The Owu account though partly true is not accurate in how the Owu came to Abeokuta. Owu are noted warriors that protected Abeokuta and were the first to settle there. I will like to know the source of this account so we could debate it and bring clarity to timeline and which event preceeded which, and what led to such events. Graet article though..


    • takeupanarm says:

      I tried to add u on FB but dont know which of the adeboye adegbenros… anyways, mine is BOLAJI FAKEYE with a lion head. One major thing we shoud note in history is objectivity. Most histories because of the oral makeup before they got written down lose facts. Modakekes are not the initial inhabitants of Ife but today they are claiming otherwise. Oduduwa was a stranger to Ife but crowned king, today his descendants have as any rights as the indigenous ppl. North Africa was at a time not filled with Arabs except the merchants passing through, today, North Africa is so Arab we will picture the pharaohs of being Arab stock. Lishabi led the Egbas to Abeokuta initially, it was later the Owus arrived. the Owu war came later, for Owu as a city before its destruction was a very thriving walled city enviable to the Ijebus. The Owus were good warriros that was why they did a lot in starting what is today Ibadan. But most of them arrived Abeokuta as refugees and which is why the Alake is the paramount ruler of Abeokuta. there was a time talk was rife of elevating the Olowu but the Egbas resisted this because of the history that theirs is Abeokuta and they had taken in the Owus. I will not be surprised to know u are Owu; I am from neither, I am just being objective. If Owus were the first to settle there Olowu would have been the paramount ruler… every tribe tries to use oral history for elevation, even the Jews did it and this is being believeed by millions because of what Moses wrote. Many of the Egypt stuff and Jericho walls breaking are not accurate truths they were only to imbue patriotic love of one’s country. If Owus got their first they will not watch Alake crowning himself as paramount chiefs, moreover do u also remember the Egba-Dahomey wars, it would have been Owu-Egba if the Egbas had tried to take over Owu assuming Abeokuta was the latter’s.


      • olaolu says:

        Though you tried , your account of Owu is very far from truth .
        1. The warrior leader of Owu at the time of arrival at abeokuta was Balogun Olufakun and at a time he had to put shodeke, the warrior of leader of Egba , into his place by verbally threatening showdown with him if he fails to control his chiefs who were trying to take advantage of the newly arrived refuges .
        2. Samuel johnson, in his pioneering book on the history of yoruba, attributed the Ibadan loss to Abeokuta in a war to “characteristics fighting style of Owu ” . He also stated that Owu were “bravest” element in the new abeokuta.

        3. when Owu were passing through okeata , a place not far from abeokuta , Shodeke, the egba warrior leader begged them to stay and joined the abeokuta . Owu decided to settle in southwest of abeokuta , directly facing the Dohemeys who used to come to harass the egbas . This allowed the Egbas to come out from their hiding under the olumo rock and settled behind the owu . owu stood as a shield for the egbas to stop the hiding .

        4 . Not long after they settled in Abeokuta , Owu contigents lead by Gbalefa defeated and cleared the dahomeys warriors from south of abeokuta to otta to illogbo and ado-odo . He defeated the dahomeys ,who at that time were the overlords , and owu claimed the region . That is the reasoned when the british came to Nigeria , they named those region Gbalefa penisular and you find large number of Owu villages in those areas.

        5. Owu was never a vassal state of Oyo . Even , Oyo army joined ife and Ijebu to fight Owu in a war that lasted about 7 years . You should hear Richard Akinjinde brag about Oyo contribution to Owu defeat .


      • takeupanarm says:

        Every Yoruba city states used to be controlled by the emperor throne in Oyo-Ile. Yes, Owu were hardy fighters. At the time of the Owu war against Ife/ijebu, Oyo empire had collapsed and warlords were gone rogue fighting individual battles for bounties not national wars…there was no Oyo nation anymore then. Oyo-Ile was the metropolis seat of political power in the federal system of Yoruba government. Ife was the spiritual capital as Oyo-Ile was the political. I respect your account of the inner politics between Owu and Egba.


      • Adekunle Esulaja says:

        alake was made paramount ruler of abeokuta by Henry Townsend the reverend that brought xtianity to egba. He had to convince the other chiefs of the importance of a unified nation under a king, which led to the creation of the egba nation under the kingship of Alake. Can you see uk system of govt in Egba, but now we a agitating for the old system, every group should govern itself. Ake had its chief, Agura had his, owu had his osiele had his,


      • adekunlekunle says:

        Alake was made the paramount ruler after much persuasion by Rev Henry Townsend, because it was sodeke of Ake that he first met, He further adviced of a unified govt that gave birth to Egba union, The first sovereign nation in nigeria recognised by the king of England.


  6. @Akingbile Toyin, are you willing to share Baba Ifasayo Alabi’s story with us. That is invaluable and thanks to this extensive research by takeupanarm. You could inbox me on my Facebook account, or better still share on this blog. Best wishes.


  7. Just a thought. If the Yoruba Nation should break away in the future, we might have to revisit and contest the Ilorin township ruled by the Sokoto Caliphate.


    • takeupanarm says:

      I think Nigeria is becoming too enlightened for any breakaway. It is just those northerners that are giving us problems and this reason is just because there is very little difference of IQ between them and their cattle; there leaders have deprived them something the Yoruba’s have always had… education/enlightenment… Yorubas love education anyway, even Western education has more Yoruba products than any others in Nigeria. We are too enlightened for such jingoism anymore and in time- and with patience – they will get to catch up… because even their leaders would not want a break up of Nigeria. ppl like Dangote will not see Nigeria on political fussion but economic, without Nigeria most of their aristocratic class will suffer and they too know, they have enjoyed power for too long in their autocratic emir-style democracy is alien to them. But I think they will blend, yet there will be bloodshed I know, but Nigeria will not break up. Even the world will not allow it.


  8. Native says:

    Thanks for a well done and researched article.


  9. TUNDE OKEDIJI says:

    Your piece is very educative and well articulated; it confirms Oyo- Alaafin as the flower of. the Yoruba race. Well done


  10. ejim blessing akachu says:

    thank u so much for your really helped me in completing an assignment our detail-loving lecturer gave was very useful.


  11. akinleye wale says:

    read this and pass any exam concerning oyo history in the past


  12. Janet Angel says:

    Please be giving clear answers to our questions.


  13. concerning the alake as paramount ruler of egbaland,i think its more of a British creation because it was the area they settled while propagating Christianity.before the coming of the British to abeokuta all the kings of abeokuta were equal but with mutual respect of each other.its just the colonizer patterns of imposing who they feel like on the people they govern.


  14. ED OLUOKUN says:



    • takeupanarm says:

      Ha. lol. No. I do not mean in violent term. it is only a figurative expression that we need to arm our minds with knowledge, for the latter gives it power. Our mind is our weapon against ignorance.


  15. Eyinju Olodumare says:

    Great job, thanks for your effort, God bless you


  16. says:

    This is a good attempt; at least it shows that some Yoruba people are interested in their history which is great. But most of what I read here has some semblance with J. Samuel’s book, “The history of the Yoruba”, which is an excellent piece. But there are so many things written about Yoruba (Oyo) that are influence by Eurocentric ideas. Contrary to what has been written severally: (1) There was NO Oyo Empire; there was an Oyo KINGDOM, headed by the Alaafin of Oyo who is a king (not an emperor), (2) The Oyo kingdom HAS NO ARMY – Note that the Aare onokakanfo must NEVER be an Oyo indigen and he must NEVER have lived anywhere around the Oyo teritory before becoming Aare, he must NEVER recruit an Oyo indigen into his arm and he must NEVER enter Oyo teritory after his installation. You will see that Afonja’s case was an anomaly. Afonja killed a reigning Aaree Onakakafo (Ojo Iberu) and decleared himself the Aare against all advice and persuations, from within and outside Oyo. His actions, not the Filani/Hausa war, led to the attach on Oyo. Note that the Oyos have been leaving peacfully along side the Filani/Hausa people for several centuries without any major quarel recored. Also note that an ALAAFIN MUST NEVER GO TO WAR in Person! (HE MUST NEVER SEE A CORPSE). The story that the Ijebus drove the Owu to Abeokuta is in error. The story that Oyo sold slaves during the transatlantic trade is wrong. The story that Aole ordered the invation of Apomum is wrong. I can go on and on. As an indigen of OYO myself, and having access to the orignal narratives and cultures, I think we should start addressing this errors bit by bit.
    ODEJOBI, Odetunji Ajadi


    • takeupanarm says:

      Good observations pointed out. But then what is an empire? An empire is an extensive group of states ruled over by a single monarch. Yes, Oyo was a kingdom when it began. But as time went on, it expanded its territories as far as beyond Dahomey. There were kings like the Onikoyi, Olowu and others ruling the provinces but none equaled or tried to equal the Alafin. This was what Ibadan later tried to re-instate by making other Yoruba states return their loyalty to the Alafin, but by then the provinces had evolved into city states like Greece. And then every history record will attribute the success of Oyo expansion to the fringes of Ghana (note that there is an element of Yoruba colony, though small, in what is now Accra – the Ga people) to its cavalry until the horse trade from the north was cut. It then began a new era of fighting largely with infantry except the officers riding horses, which remained till today as we see only chiefs ride horses, unlike among the Hausa where we see horse riding durbar festivals. With the rise of the city states then came personal armies. The Olu of Ilaro was stationed as an outpost to monitor the route to Dahomey corridor. And then, Sango who was the third Alafin after his brother was initially deposed for being weak, went to war. At the very early stages of Oyo, kings went to war, in short the king was be war-like and this was why early Oyo rulers were despots. The killing of an Alafin during a battle against Ilorin brought a change in the constitution. It does not mean the king must be in the heat of action but throughout history we see this happen that they even take their wives and family to war. So many things changed among the Yoruba. It was a different system when Oyo was in the north and a different system when Oyo was established further south with Ibadan as the military teeth. In Old Oyo a Basorun must stay in the capital for royal duties but in Ibadan, as we see till today, Basorun rule separately in Ibadan. In Old Oyo a prince must die with his father, in new Oyo the prince rules after his father and this had led to the Ijaiye War as Kurunmi insisted on the old constitution. In Old Oyo, Yoruba never sold each other as slaves, in Ibadan it became norm for the city states to fight and sell each other. Every history book, not just Samuel Johnson, and as well as oral history will hint about the curse of Aole scattering the unity of this “empire” but of course we know that empires rose and fell in those days until our modern laws created sovereignty to prevent imperialism. And yes, the Ijebu did not drive the Owu ‘directly’ to Abeokuta, but they drove them among the Egba people who used to inhabit what is now called Ibadan. It was rather the Gbanamu war during which Oyo warriors rebelled against the Maye of Ife who was treating them as refugees, something akin to the Ife/Modakeke discord that is still smoldering today.


  17. Hemmy says:

    Great job..but i still need reasons why and how the collapse of oyo empire led to the civil war in Yoruba land especially the 16yr war. i wouldn’t mind if u can send it to my mail. tanks


  18. fagbola sunday says:

    I love this article so much its educating but I would like to know how you were able to get the dates.


  19. Babatunde says:

    Although I may not like the general tone of your personality which some of your comments above seem to portray, it does nothing to stop me from taking time to say brilliant work!

    I stumbled on this by accident while helping a niece research for an elementary project, but it is I who have really benefited from this happenstance.

    Splendid one!


  20. Adetayo says:

    Brilliant work! This is the most precise account of the collapse of the Oyo Empire that I’ve read so far. Being a descendant of one those yoruba slaves that were sold in the early 19th century, I am trying to retrace my family history. From the research I’ve been able to make on the internet, my great grandfather was sold to Europeans and sent to Brazil, but was part of the freed slaves who came back to Africa (circa 1850) after the popularly known “Malê revolt” in Salvador, Bahia. He then settled in a thriving town of that time which is now at the Border or Togo and Benin; maybe he stayed due to the state of relative chaos in his home town. What I would like to ask you is: ” What are the origins (meaning possible cities) of those aristocratic yorubas that were sold into slavery? What type of positions did they hold in Old Oyo? Were Ifa/Orisha priests part of them? Also, how deep was the level of relations between Ifa/Orisha priests and muslim imams and scholars? I would greatly appreciate your take on those questions?


  21. Adesoji Elewode says:

    A piece of historical masterpiece. Well researched and well presented. Thanks to the author. May God renew your knowledge. I need a hard copy. To refresh and refresh my memory. I am very very happy.


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