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igbo benin precolonial relationship. Igbos were slaves to Itsekiris, Benin precolonial era. This question has emerged following people doubts that Igbos were never in their life time a slave to Benin people. This is full exposition to what happened to Igbos in precolonial era in the hands of Benin Itsekiris.
I found this research work which may be of a great insight to the question of if Igbos were slaves to to Itsekiris benin.
Igbo benin precolonial relationship INTRODUCTION
The Benin factor in the history of the Igbo-speaking people west of the Niger, a topical issue
in the study of pre-colonial intergroup relations in Nigeria, is investigated in a micro study of
the Kingdom of Ubulu-Ukwu. At issue is the fundamental question of cultural identity which
is multifaceted, and may be gleaned from the hints provided by the people in their traditions of
origins. The latter is, however, all encompassing, including the dawn of group consciousness
in relation to a territory, as well as the evolution of distinct socio-political institutions and
fundamental constitutional change (Atanda, 1980:63-76). Pre-colonial Nigerian communities
preserved these fundamental developments in myths, which are subject to diverse
interpretations. Their understanding and appreciation thus demands that the dynamics which
produce and modify them be placed in their contexts from which they cannot be detached
(Bradbury, cited in Afigbo, 1990:8).
Such has not been the case with the west Niger Igbo whose history is presented as “a kind of
footnote to the history of the much-celebrated Benin empire”. The situation was brought about
by the obsession of British colonial rulers with building “up large paramountcies at the local
level,” as a means of implementing the indirect rule policy in the 1930s. They thereby reduced
adjoining small scale societies “to dependencies of those empires” that were their neighbours.
Thus every development in the small scale societies was interpreted “as derivations from the
political systems of the said empires”, which became the sole prism from which to explain “the
origins and migrations of their peoples, their political structure and dynamics,” indeed “their
overall cultural heritage” (Afigbo, 1987:13).