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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The owner of the land: the Benin Obas and colonial forest reservation in the Benin Division, southern Nigeria
Authors:Hellermann, Pauline vonISNI
Usuanlele, UyilawaISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:forest management
national parks and reserves
traditional rulers
indirect rule
colonial period
Abstract:Colonial forest reservation in the Benin Division of southern Nigeria was remarkably extensive, with reserves taking up almost 65 percent of the Division by 1937. This paper explores both the various strategies employed by the colonial government in order to bring about large scale reservation and the role of reservation in changing land politics. In doing so, it provides nuanced insights into the interaction between the colonial government and local rulers under indirect rule. It shows that both Oba Eweka II (1914-1933) and Oba Akenzua II (1933-1979) supported reservation for strategic reasons, but also highlights the government's many underhand tactics in dealing with the Obas. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]