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4.2b Information from Member of Ilorin Chiefly Family on Slavery: Text

Informal discussion [12 July 1982?]

Previously his people used slaves to do the farming.

What happened when the slaves were freed?

We became baba kekeres. ***

Do you still have people out on the farms who come in for festivals?

Yes--they bring food for festivals.

But many other families have now sold their land--very profitable nowadays.

In the past, the people used to bring food every 2 weeks.

Informal discussion 29 September 1982 (second day of Id el Kebir)

People from the villages--very few came into his family compound this year. Now they have their own Local Government Areas, they don’t want to come.

They used to come for sallah, bringing foodstuffs. Would be housed, would stay 4-5 days. Would be fed 1-2 days. Would expect to take a piece of meat home.

The villagers in the old days would send food when they harvested and during festivals.

The villagers wouldn’t kill rams themselves. Really pagan--just a veneer of Islam.

*** After the beginning of the colonial period, chiefly families which did not receive District Headships would have had to rely on their role as “unofficial” intermediarieso  (baba kekere) between villages and the court for income. See O’Hear, “Political and Commercial Clientage in Nineteenth-Century Ilorin,” African Economic History, vol. 15 (1986), in this collection.