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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditions, Documents, and the Ife-Benin Relationship
Author:Thornton, John K.
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Benin polity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Abstract:This paper reexamines the relationship between the two southern Nigerian cities of Ife and Benin, and proposes some new documentary evidence on the issue. In addition to supporting A.F.C. Ryder's position (1965) that the Ogané of the early Portuguese texts was not Ife but rather a state (the Igala kingdom) of the Niger-Benue confluence, this documentary evidence suggests new interpretations of the regional history of southern Nigeria in the 16th and early 17th centuries. The author argues that there is no necessary contradiction between the Igala origins of Benin suggested by pre-17th-century documentation and the Ife origin suggested by modern tradition or art history, and that the Bini, over the centuries, have substituted Ife traditions for their original Igala ones to placate Yoruba elements in Benin. Notes, ref.