Yoruba country

Yoruba country
Location of Yoruba country
Administrative centerIbadan
Recognised national languagesYoruboid languages
Ethnic groups
Yoruba people
GovernmentElective monarchy
• Oba
LegislatureOyo Mesi, Ogboni
Today part ofNigeria

Yoruba country was a West African ethno-region located within the continent of Africa which was first introduced to the Western world in text in the 19th century through the writings of visitors who documented their voyages through West Africa, particularly through those who visited the region geographically bounded by the Volta river to its west and bounded by the Benin river on its eastern edge and inhabited by the Yoruba people. The date of its founding is uncertain but by the 19th century to early 20th century, visitors from England were able to give accounts of its geographical and cultural traits and classification in published works, including the Encyclopædia Britannica.[1][2][3]


The area is bordered by the Niger River to its east, the same river (once called the Quorra) to its north, the kingdom of Dahomey to its southwest, and the Bight of Benin to its south from which it spread to within 40 miles of the Niger.[4] The area at the end of the 19th century bordered Bariba Country to the north, French Porto-Novo to the west.[5]


British explorer Alvan Milson under the Royal Geographical Society writes of the people within the region that they are self-sufficient people not requiring trade with the West and instead gain their resources from the north and east of their region, also engaging in trade from the Sahara.[6] The Yoruba of the region are said to be a "peace-loving race, fairly industrious and who prefer working on farms and attending markets more than war". Modern facilities have reached the area, with regular weekly mail service by steam-launch between Lagos and Porto-Novo.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hinderer, Anna (1872). Seventeen Years in the Yoruba Country. Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday.
  2. ^ Barber, Mary Ann Serrett (1857). Oshielle, Or, Village Life in the Yoruba Country. J. Nisbet and Company.
  3. ^ Johnson, Samuel (1921). The History of the Yorubas: From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108020992.
  4. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature. Volume 24. H.G. Allen. 1890.
  5. ^ a b Ant, White (April 1902). "Practical Notes on the Yoruba Country and its Development". African Affairs. 1 (III): 316–324. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a093144.
  6. ^ Millson, Alvan (October 1891). "The Yoruba Country, West Africa". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography. 13 (10): 577–587. doi:10.2307/1800936. JSTOR 1800936.

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