Slavery and Slaving Operations in Nineteenth-Century Ibadan: A Demographic Analysis

  • O Ojo


This article analyses the factors of ethnicity, sex and age in Ibadan slavery operations during the nineteenth century. It argues that slaveholders considered these factors in deciding the means of enslavement, who to enslave, when and for what purpose. It shows that the slave population fluctuated over time shifting from Hausa to Yoruba speakers, western to eastern Yoruba, male to female, adults to children, and from soldiers to farmers and manufacturers. All these have implications for the „making‟ and „meaning‟ of „Yoruba‟ identity and social relations.
While attacking Akoko in the 1860s Ayorinde Aje ―was kind to all Oyos, who flocked to him; …[b]ut no one must think of deserting him…any Oyo caught escaping lost all he had and returned home…but any Ekitis or Ilas similarly caught were seized…and sold to Owo."‖

[At Ibadan] ―male slaves had wives given by their masters from among the slave women.

…Their offsprings are home-borne slaves, belonging to the master.‖

Cf. Johnson, History of the Yoruba, 322, 325.


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eISSN: 1596-5031