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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Iwe Irohin and the Representation of the Universal in Nineteenth-Century Egbaland
Author:Oduntan, Oluwatoyin B.
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abeokuta polity
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:In 19th-century Yorubaland (Nigeria), the slave trade, wars and raids had increased despite the British ban and blockades. For the Egba in Abeokuta, this made life and society uncertain, without any clear system of political or social order. It was in this condition of cultural confusion that the 'Iwe Iroyin' (Yoruba for 'newspaper'), the first breakthrough in sustained newspaper publishing in Nigeria, was established in c. 1850 in Abeokuta by the Reverend Henry Townsend. The fact that the paper was written for the most part in Yoruba suggests that it was intended for Yoruba and Egba audiences. The paper covered such items as church news, history, culture, and economic news. By 1867, the paper had ceased publication. Looking at the impact of the 'Iwe Iroyin' on the Egba, the present author shows that the 'Iwe Iroyin' represented the spearhead for the spread of European ideas and the management of Egba affairs that was needed for the understanding and resolution of the cultural confusion that the Egba confronted in the mid-19th century. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]