European Prejudice and Pre-Colonial African Reality: Reconsidering State Formation and Indigenous Governance in Owo Kingdom

OKAJARE, Solomon Tai


A major aspect of historical reconstruction during and after independence in Africa was a conscious attempt by African scholars to study and write their history. This was designed to debunk the Euro-centric view that Africans had no history worth of study before their contact with Europe. In spite of the appropriateness of these efforts, most of them had concentrated on the popular mega-states and empires, with utter neglect of many of the other kingdoms. This is a major lacuna in African historiography. It is in that context that this article offers a modest attempt to fill the lacuna by discussing a crucial aspect of Owo kingdom’s early history namely; the process of state formation and indigenous governance. Owo, which is adopted in this study as the unit of analysis for understanding the pre-colonial African reality of governance, social organization and self determination, is obviously one of the ancient kingdoms in Yorubaland, Southwestern Nigeria. As a largely descriptive and explanatory study, this work employed primary source archival materials and oral interviews, as well as secondary source materials from an existing body of knowledge such as books, long essays, conference papers and journal articles The study rests on the premise that any attempt to study African history will, necessarily entail the study of its different empires and kingdoms that were later colonized by the European Powers. This is the main purpose this paper sets out to achieve.

Keywords: European prejudice, African reality, state formation, indigenous governance

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3178 ISSN (Online)2225-0964

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