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October 23 , 2008

Yoruba Speaking Peoples


Yoruba Speaking Peoples
by A.B. Ellis

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The portion of the West African coast occupied by the Yoruba-speaking peoples is situated in the eastern half of the Slave Coast, and lies between Badagry, on the west, and the Benin River, on the east. The extent of sea-board held by them is thus smaller than that occupied either by the Tshi or by the Ewe tribes; but the Yorubas are really an inland people, and it was not until the beginning of the present century that they moved to the south and colonised Lagos and the adjacent littoral.

The territory now inhabited by the Yoruba tribes is bounded on the west by Dahomi, on the south-west by Porto Novo and Appa, on the south by the sea, on the east by Benin, and on the north by the Mohammedan tribes from the interior, who have within recent times conquered and annexed the Yoruba province of Ilorin, and whose territory may now be said to extend southward to about 8º 30' N. latitude. The aggressions of these Mohammedan tribes commenced very early in the present century, and it was no doubt this pressure from the north that caused the Yorubas to move to the south and colonise the seaboard.

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