1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ibadan

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IBADAN, a town of British West Africa, in Yorubaland, Southern Nigeria, 123 m. by rail N.E. of Lagos, and about 50 m. N.E. of Abeokuta. Pop. 1910 estimated at 150,000. The town occupies the slope of a hill, and stretches into the valley through which the river Ona flows. It is enclosed by mud walls, which have a circuit of 18 m., and is encompassed by cultivated land 5 or 6 m. in breadth. The native houses are all low, thatched structures, enclosing a square court, and the only break in the mud wall is the door. There are numerous mosques, orishas (idol-houses) and open spaces shaded with trees. There are a few buildings in the European style. Most of the inhabitants are engaged in agriculture; but a great variety of handicrafts is also carried on. Ibadan is the capital of one of the Yoruba states and enjoys a large measure of autonomy. Nominally the state is subject to the alafin (ruler) of Oyo; but it is virtually independent. The administration is in the hands of two chiefs, a civil and a military, the bale and the balogun; these together form the highest court of appeal. There is also an iyaloda or mother of the town, to whom are submitted all the disputes of the women. Ibadan long had a feud with Abeokuta, but on the establishment of the British protectorate the intertribal wars were stopped. In 1862 the people of Ibadan destroyed Ijaya, a neighbouring town of 60,000 inhabitants. A British resident and a detachment of Hausa troops are stationed at Ibadan.

See also Yorubas, Abeokuta and Lagos.