Indigenous Social And Economic Structure In Precolonial Idanreland

Ajiola, F.O (2015)

Article

Pre-colonial Idanre was built on household farming, and reciprocal economic system among family members, age group and the community. Economic system in precolonial Idanre was therefore, conducted with an eye on widening social affinity, enhancing inclusive development and tightening cultural bond rather than accumulating wealth and economic surplus for individual aggrandizement. With this, social stratification, class conflict, expropriation and monopolization of the means of production, and uneven development were virtually non-existent, until the colonial epoch when agrarian capitalism adopted by the British government to maximize the extraction of raw materials - cocoa in the case of Idanre - based on the vent-for surplus theory, gained momentum. This paper thus examines the precolonial social and economic structure of Idanreland. This work shows that in order to gain a fuller understanding of the dynamics of pre-colonial social and economic system in Yoruba land, scholars must focus on neglected rural, but productive Idanre society. The study adopts the historical methodology; using on primary sources, especially oral tradition, the British intelligent reports and other official colonial document sourced at the National Archive Ibadan in addition to a handful of relevant secondary sources.