Kingdom of Oyo
The Kingdom of Oyo ( yoruba Ilú-ọba Ọ̀yọ́ ) was a pre-colonial, West African Yoruba state , the center of which was in present-day Nigeria . The Nigerian state of the same name, Oyo , is located on its territory today and is in the tradition of the historical empire.
Creation of the world
According to a local variant of the Yoruba cosmogony , Oyo was created in the primeval ocean by Oranyan , the youngest son of the high god Olodumare . His father had given him a sack of earth, the contents of which he threw carelessly on the water. A tap came in and spread the earth over the water. So Oranyan became lord of the world and his six elder brothers became his subjects.
According to legendary tradition, Oduduwa was the progenitor of all the kingdoms of the Yoruba and neighboring peoples. Under the pressure of Abrahamic monotheism he fled Mecca and finally got to Ile-Ife via Bornu and Gobir . His son Oranyan wanted to avenge him and had set out with an army towards Mecca. Due to the resistance of the Nupe , however, his plan was thwarted. On his return he was led by a queue to the later settlement area of the city of Oyo, where he built the new city. His first successor was Ajaka. This was deposed by Shango and came back to power after his death.
Emigration during the collapse of the Assyrian empire
According to Dierk Lange, who compared the palace tradition of Oyo with ancient oriental chronicles and lists of kings, Ajaka is the equivalent of the Israelite Isaac and Shango as a replica of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. to watch. Other figures of the palace tradition can be identified with Joram , Jehu , as well as with Assyrian and Babylonian kings. According to Dierk Lange, these reminiscences of ancient oriental history were made by refugees after the collapse of the Assyrian empire from 612 to 605 BC. Transferred to sub-Saharan West Africa.
Importance of the slave trade
The location of Oyo in the very north of Yorubaland and the early presence of Muslims can be explained by the connection of the empire to the trans-Saharan slave trade . With the growth of the Atlantic slave trade , the empire was reoriented towards the south from 1600. In the course of the 17th century, Oyo developed into the dominant Yoruba state with numerous dependent tributary states. The strength of the developing empire lay in addition to its favorable position for trade in the use of its military power, which was based on its well-organized officer corps and its extensive cavalry.
Greatest display of power
The height of Oyo's power lay between 1730 and 1748, when Oyo militarily defeated the powerful neighboring state of Dahomey and made it a tributary state. It is believed that the Oyo Empire attacked Dahomey because it banned the slave trade within its borders and this was a "thorn in the side" of Oyo and the British. The Empire then supported Oyo with weapons to attack Dahomey and legalize the slave trade again. During this time, Oyo extended almost to the Atlantic Ocean at the heights of Badagry and Porto-Novo . It is estimated that the empire sold up to 20,000 people as slaves annually between 1680 and 1730.
The decline of the Oyo Empire was the expansion of Sokoto - Jihad initiated to the south. Ilorin became an important starting point for the attacks of the Fulani . Internal disintegration and a failed counterattack against Ilorin hastened the collapse of the empire. The decline in the Atlantic slave trade resulted in economic losses. The conquest of the capital by the Fulani in 1836 forced the king and his court to retreat south. The New Oyo, 150 km further south, became the pole of further resistance against the Fulani . A successor state of the old Oyo empire has been preserved here to this day.
- Babatunde A. Agiri: Oyo History Reconsidered. In: History in Africa. Vol. 2, 1975, pp. 1-16, doi : 10.2307 / 3171463 .
- Joseph A. Atanda: The New Oyo Empire. Indirect Rule and Change in Western Nigeria 1894–1934. Longman, London 1973, ISBN 0-582-64537-9 .
- Samuel Johnson: History of the Yorubas from the earliest times to the beginning of the British protectorate. Routledge, London 1921, pp. 143-187 .
- Dierk Lange: Ancient Kingdoms of West Africa. Africa centered and Canaanite Israelite Perspectives. A Collection of published and unpublished Studies in English and French. Röll, Dettelbach 2004, ISBN 3-89754-115-7 , pp. 239-242.
- Dierk Lange: Origin of the Yoruba and "The Lost Tribes of Israel". In: Anthropos. Vol. 106, No. 2, 2011, pp. 579-595, ( digitized version (PDF; 593 kB) ).
- Robin Law: The Oyo Empire, c. 1600 - c. 1836. A West African Imperialism in the Era of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1977.
- Robin Law: African Cavalry State: The Kingdom of Oyo. In: The Journal of African History. Vol. 16, No. 1, 1975, pp. 1-15, doi : 10.1017 / S0021853700014079 .
- MO Ogunmọla: A New Perspective to the Òyó Empire History. 1530-1944. Vantage Publishers, Ibadan 1997, ISBN 978-2458-78-3 .
- ↑ Jean Hess: L'Ame nègre. 2nd edition. Calmann Lévy, Paris 1898, pp. 119-123 ; Samuel Johnson: History of the Yorubas from the earliest times to the beginning of the British protectorate. 1921, p. 9 .
- ^ Samuel Johnson: History of the Yorubas from the earliest times to the beginning of the British protectorate. 1921, pp. 3-12 ; Dierk Lange: The origin of the Yoruba and the "Lost Tribes of Israel". In: Anthropos. Vol. 106, No. 2, 2011, pp. 579-595, here pp. 588-594.
- ^ Dierk Lange: Ancient Kingdoms of West Africa. 2004, pp. 239-242; Dierk Lange: The origin of the Yoruba and the "Lost Tribes of Israel". In: Anthropos. Vol. 106, No. 2, 2011, pp. 579-595.
- ^ Robin Law: The Oyo Empire. 1977, pp. 201-236.
- ^ Robin Law: The Oyo Empire. 1977, p. 226.
- ^ Robin Law: The Oyo Empire. 1977, pp. 278-299.