Research Programs: Faculty Research Awards

Period of Performance

1/1/2005 - 4/30/2006

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

The Impacts of the Atlantic Economy on Cultural Change in Yoruba (Nigeria) Hinterlands

FAIN: HR-50114-04

Akinwumi Olufisayo Ogundiran
Florida International University Board of Trustees (Miami, FL 33199-2516)

The goal of this research is to study the impact of the Atlantic economy on cultural transformations in Yorubaland, ca. 1500 to 1800, through an interdisciplinary approach that uses oral traditions, community rituals, material culture and archaeological data, as well as European travelers' accounts. The Upper Osun region will be used as case study because the upper reaches of River Osun were one of the earliest conduits for people, goods, and ideas that linked the Yoruba hinterlands to the Atlantic commerce on the coast during the first decade of the sixteenth century. By combining European documents and archaeological data with historical ethnography, the study will address how the incorporation of Yorubaland into the Atlantic economy restructured sociopolitical institutions, ideology and worldview, gender relations, sociopolitical networks and inter-group relations, social distinctions, and consumption patterns. This investigation is the final phase of the research for a book project titled "Cultural Translations of the Atlantic Experience in Yorubaland, 1500-1800". The book will significantly contribute to the Atlantic historiography given the fact that the hinterland portion of the African Atlantic basin has been largely neglected in transatlantic studies. It will also contribute to the general concerns in the humanities on the relationships between culture and history. The results of the research are primarily intended for publication in form of a scholarly yet readable monograph that could be adopted in courses on African history and anthropology. My goal is to complete and submit the manuscript to a major press in 2005.