- The Yoruba
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A New History
Published by: Indiana University Press
The Yoruba: A New History is the first transdisciplinary study of the two-thousand-year journey of the Yoruba people, from their origins in a small corner of the Niger-Benue Confluence in present-day Nigeria to becoming one of the most populous cultural groups on the African continent.
Weaving together archaeology with linguistics, environmental science with oral traditions, and material culture with mythology, Ogundiran examines the local, regional, and even global dimensions of Yoruba history. The Yoruba: A New History offers an intriguing cultural, political, economic, intellectual, and social history from ca. 300 BC to 1840. It accounts for the events, peoples, and practices, as well as the theories of knowledge, ways of being, and social valuations that shaped the Yoruba experience at different junctures of time. The result is a new framework for understanding the Yoruba past and present.
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Appendices
Glossary of Yorùbá words
1. Writing a New History
II. Birth of the Yorùbá Community of Practice, ca. 300 BC–AD 1420
2. The Emergence of a House Society
3. Knowledge Capital and Referentiality
III. Atrophy and Regeneration, 1400–1650
5. Regeneration and Restoration
IV. Atlantic Entanglements, 1630-1840
6. Merchant Capital Revolution
7. Sociality of Merchant Capital
8. Perennial Inequality
9. A House Divided
10. The Past in the Present
Akinwumi Ogundiran is Chancellor's Professor and Professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology & History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a co-editor of Materialities of Rituals in the Black Atlantic, named a Choice magazine's 2015 outstanding book.
"In this brilliantly conceived and successfully executed project, Akinwumi Ogundiran deploys a cultural-historical approach to pose new questions on how the Yoruba as historical subject created their own epistemology, new eras of aspirational values and principle, and conceptions of honor and respectability."~Saheed Aderinto, author of Guns and Society in Colonial Nigeria
"This is an extraordinary book that offers a comprehensive description and expert analysis of the growth, development, and advancement of the Yoruba society, one of the most progressive civilizations in Africa South of the Sahara. In highlighting the significant milestones and landmarks in the great states, kingdoms and empires of Yorubaland, Akinwumi Ogundiran has adopted conceptual and methodological approaches that allows for a better understanding of the cultural, socio-economic, and political forms, practices, events, ideas, and everyday life that have constituted the Yoruba experience for over two thousand years. His style resonates with high scholarship that makes the complex and fascinating history of the Yoruba more accessible and profound. He has provided both the thematic and chronological approaches that has allowed for the recreation of the deep past in the existence of the Yoruba. With this significant addition to the literature on the Yoruba, he is now one of the most respected voices in Yoruba history and culture. This book will command the attention and respect of scholars, students, researchers, and the general reader in the fields of history, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, and culture for a long time. It is an excellent addition to the literature and reference works on African Studies."~Olutayo C. Adesina, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
"Yoruba say of their culture that it is "like a river that never rests." The author has explored the depths of that cultural river, revealing in lucid analysis and preceptive interpretations certain foundational principles and generative ideas that have animated this dynamic culture, its philosophy of being and world-making, from 300 BCE to 1840 CE. His analysis is an exquisitely detailed and evocative portrait of the Yoruba "community of practice" that will change the ways we think about Yoruba history and culture and become a seminal source for present and future scholars."~Henry John Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor Emeritus of African and African Diaspora Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"The Yoruba: A New History gives us the most precise and detailed periodization scheme, thereby providing scholars, writers, artists, and the general public with a new template for contemplating and rethinking Yoruba history."~Yoruba Studies Journal
"The Yorùbá: A New History by Akinwumi Ogundiran is an excellent compendium of Yorùbá studies focused on the period from 300 BC to AD 1840. The result is a "new history" of the Yorùbá born from systematic methods of research, inference, and interpretation that fit together knowledge from oral history, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology. The author's creative blend of methods, theories, models, and approaches establishes the concept of the book as a new cultural history of the Yorùbá."~O. Lasisi, African Archaeological Review
"The Yoruba: A New History is daring in scope and ambition and takes to task canonical stories of Yorùbá history. It is engaging and crosses datasets, making the case for a study of the deeper past that goes beyond the information oered by recent historical texts and the often-sober archaeological data. In this, Akin Ogundiran has written a book to be warmly welcomed by archaeologists."~Anne Haour, AZANIA: ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN AFRICA
- Isaac Oluwole Delano Prize for Yoruba Studies
- Vinson Sutlive Prize for Historical Anthropology