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As the radius of farmed land expands, the more distant hamlets become increasingly permanent but continue to be viewed as daughter settlements to the town.

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The rights of the descent group are relatively permanent, so that an individual who returns home after many years in the city, for example, can reclaim entitlement to farm land and other privileges.

The traditional descent group shares a compound, and typically has a patrilineal core group, a hereditary chief, and a set of selfregulating functions concerning internal disputes and inheritance, its own titulary deities and shrines, its own praise songs, and sometimes hereditary occupations (Le Vine, Klein, and Owen 1967, 227).

Through most of Yorubaland, rural farm hamlets spring up as temporary shelters.

Farmers working in hamlets near the town may spend five nights a week there and two in the town.

A military coup, in which the commander of the Imperial Army called upon the assistance of powerful Fulani rulers to the north, brought down Old Oyo in a Fulani victory in about 1835, sending waves of refugees to swell the towns to the south and leading to the eventual establishment of Ibadan as the major Yoruba city.

A period of internal wars followed, until the time of British colonial rule, which started at varying dates of conquest in the 1890s and lasted until 1960.

Precolonial Yoruba society was not a class society, nor are class terms in widespread use today.

Differences in wealth and lifestyle between the educated lite and the uneducated exceed those between Western social classes.

According to tradition, the Yoruba migrated from the north-east between the seventh and tenth centuries, establishing Ile-Ife as their city of origin and spiritual capital, from which the sons of their mythic founder, Oduduwa, were sent forth to found their own cities and kingdoms (Lloyd 1974).

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