The Impact of Nupe Invasion of Etsako Society, 1860 - 1897: A Sociopolitical and Cultural Analysis.

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Harunah, B.H
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University of Lagos
Until the Nupe invasion of 1860, Etsako, which came into being in northern Bendel from about the latter part of the fourteenth century, was essentially a patrilineal segmentary society. Like other acephalous societies, the indigenous religion played a dominant role in the culture and customs of the people. The Nupe invasion of the area, though not motivated by their determination to introduce Islam in Etsako, encouraged the spread of the religion to many of the villages and clans from about the 1860s, 1870s, and 1890s. Contrary to one theory, the process of conversion of people of the religion was by peaceful persuation before 1891. Most of those who accepted Islam during this period did so out of imitation of the Muslim Nupe/Hausa/Fulani soldiers, administrators, traders and scholars in their villages. The use of force in spreading the religion occurred in Agbede or Aviele from 1891, and was economically and politically-inspired. Though this culminated in the ascendancy of Islam in the area in the period of the Nupe administration, the majority of the Etsako people in the other clans continued to adopt the indigenous religion before 1897. On the other hand, the Nupe government under the Fulani in Bida, in a bid to establish its authority over the territory, and ensure the control of the administration of the clans, found itself compelled by circumstances relating to lack of strong central governments in the communities, to bypass the Etsako segmentary systems and evolve its own kind of sociopolitical and cultural institutions for the people in 1860. There were four major changes that emanated from the innovation: first, there was decline of traditional political authentic (the olders. the age grade, etc) and emergence of a new ruling elite (i.e. the rise of Islamic monarchies such as the Otaru of Auchi, the Oba of Agbede, the Aidenogie of South Ibie, the Egiegbai of Ekperi, etc) from 1860; second, there was relegation of certain aspects of the indigeneous socio-cultural institutions, e.g. Etsako religion, names, dress, diet, etc, and the growth of new ones, particularly Muslim names, Muslim/Arabic dress, Nupe facial marks, etc; third, there was evolution of important titles for the Muslim royal women, e.g. the Ogbachi of Auchi, the Giwamata of Agbede, etc; and lastly was the British intrusion into Nupe affairs in the territory, the result of which was the extrication of Etsako from the imperial hegemony of the Nupe whose kingdom has been incorporated into the new' Colonial State' in Nigeria during the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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Sociopolitical , Cultural Analysis , Nupe Invasion , Etsako Society
Harunah, B.H (1990) The Impact of Nupe Invasion of Etsako Society, 1860 - 1897: A Sociopolitical and Cultural Analysis. University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis and Dissertation Abstracts.378pp.