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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mythic oil: resources, belonging and the politics of claim making among the Ilaje Yoruba of Nigeria
Author:Adunbi, OmoladeISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Nigeria
group identity
State-society relationship
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_the_journal_of_the_international_african_institute/v083/83.2.adunbi.pdf
Abstract:This article examines the genealogies of the Ilaje (Nigeria) and the narrative of belonging that reinforces claims to ownership of land and natural resources such as oil. The article maps how oil flow stations, pipelines and platforms have come to represent an ancestral promise of wealth to many members of Ilaje communities. This claim making is embedded in a mythic origin that continuously reinforces a distinct identity that projects an imagined community connected to the Yoruba of south west Nigeria as well as the oil-rich Niger Delta region. While many scholars have studied the myth of origin of the Yoruba, in most cases focusing on rituals and political imagination that intersect with linguistic evidence in determining Yoruba identity, these scholars have often neglected the centrality of these myths to oil resources. The author investigates how the Ilaje narrative of belonging creates its own specificity of 'ownership' of natural resources through ritual performances connected to migration and dispersal of subject populations. He examines how such narratives create spaces of opportunity for the organization of protests against multinational oil corporations and the Nigerian State. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]