Drawing a Line in the Sand: British Response to the Emergence and Activities of Indigenous Prophets in Colonial Yorubaland, 1918 – 1951

  • O.O. Thompson
  • I.A. Jawondo
  • A.S. Afolabi
Keywords: Prophets, Miracles, Colonialism, Yorubaland, Healing Water, Fanatics, Ayo Babalola

Abstract

This study examines the emergence, activities, and some manifestations of indigenous prophets among the Yoruba of south-west Nigeria and how the British colonial administration responded to them. The Yoruba of southwest Nigeria believed in prophets because too many of them, prophets possess the power to heal, deliver people from evil forces, prophesy and deliver God’s and ancestral messages to the people. The study relies upon archival sources, extant literature, and oral testimonies on the subject. The study states that there were some differences as a result of religious beliefs that existed between the British colonial administration and the emerging indigenous prophets which made the former to attempt to control the latter. In the end, what was regarded as the excesses of the indigenous prophets which the colonial administration tried to check did not result in the complete subjugation of the former.

Keywords: Prophets, Miracles, Colonialism, Yorubaland, Healing Water, Fanatics, Ayo Babalola

Published
2021-02-15
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1596-5031