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Egba-yoruba by Ikechi1 Egba-yoruba by Ikechi1
Kebbi and Gwari


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Name: Enitan (Storyteller)

Disclaimer: This is based on the Egba subculture of the Yoruba tribe as they had their own unique history concurrent with that of the Oyo and Edo-Benin. This is based on the Hetalia series as an informative look at the history of the 250 tribes of Nigeria.  This character covers the Egba subgroups, Ake, Oke-Ona, and Gbagura due to them having the same history whilst ruled by one together.

Egba is one of the six sons of Ife-Ife, the ancestor of the Yoruba. During the 300s-700s Egba studied the making of the arts under Ife-Ife, taking care to avoid the clashes with the ancestor of the Igbos and Nupe during this period. Egba was famous for making large terracotta statues of various visitors to which he found most of his initial income. During the 800s Ife died and his brother Oyo-Yoruba agreed to take him under his wing to help form the Oyo Empire. Egba agreed under the condition that he be allowed control of the arts. Though Oyo initially had a warlike attitude the siblings had no major power with which to challenge the rest of West Africa as much larger Empires loomed in the horizon. To make ends meet Egba helped bring his brother success with his sculptures.

In 900 A.D he founded a series of Art guilds and cultural schools of Philosophy, bringing enlightenment to the Yoruba people. The idea was to shrink down and make more sense of the world and its deities as previously the Yoruba had 401. Everyone visited to see the bronze and terracotta sculptures of Egba, the writings and philosophies that he would spout and most of the modern myths of the Yoruba started here. He was the first of the African cultures to include realism in the arts as most of the sculptures were often true to life instead of stylized like most West African artwork.

He was forced to stop his creative work when Oyo finally started up the Oyo Kingdom proper in the 1300s-1400s. He would find himself, along with brothers, Ketu, Owu, Savi, Ila Orangun and Grand-Popo (then called Popo) embroiled in fights against Nupe and their adopted brother Edo-Benin. By this time the Portuguese would arrive to initiate trade and some of the siblings, Savi and Grand-Popo especially would move to the area that would become Benin to start their own lands and trade with the Europeans. Savi would create the Kingdom of Whydah after the local bird that he liked so much. In 1535 he found himself along with Oyo and the remaining siblings, seeking refuge in the home of a vassal of Edo-Benin named Borgu.  Borgu agreed to help them drive Nupe back and in the 1600s and do so, cementing Oyo's position of power in the region whilst drawing the attention of Fon.

Fon would create a lot of trouble for Egba as during her clashes with Oyo she would make slave raids, eventually capturing Ketu and selling him to slavery in Brazil for a time before he was returned to the Oyo Kingdom. When Ketu returned he made it clear to Egba that Fon was dangerous and that she had to be taken down as Popo and Savi had been defeated by her. Egba began to notice during the 1800s the Oyo's grip on power would not last as Fon grew more powerful and the slave trade was beginning to diminish. Along with Owu and Ila the three left the Oyo kingdom and set out on their own paths.

Egba founded his own city, named Abeokuta, or under the Rock as the city had large boulders as natural defenses in 1825. Fon, hearing of this would attempt to sack Egba and make him submit to her rule as Egba made it clear that all slaves would be freed the moment they entered his borders. Pushing her back successfully he began to get visits from his siblings as well as England and Netherlands. It was well known that Fon despised the Dutch and in 1851 she launched a large scale attack against him. Egba found himself unable to withstand her full might and turned to England for help. England did help by giving Egba better guns than Fon had allowing him to win a final victory against her in 1860.

With the problem of Fon handled Egba realized that his agreement with England had let foreign influence start to control him. In 1867 he expelled the Baptist missionaries and closed trade routes with England, deciding that he was untrustworthy. Then the moment the Oyo Kingdom shrank its borders significantly, all hell broke loose in the formerly owned land. Thus began the Yoruba civil wars, on one side was Owu, having repelled Fulani-Fula on his own in 1840 with his new city of Ibadan was looking to expand the Owu Kingdom. Egba was not willing to join another kingdom and declined and was joined by Ketu and Oyo. The wars began in 1877 and Owu kept winning the wars despite the odds against him due to the Portuguese weapons that he had. To make matters worse for Egba who faced the brunt of the fighting, Fon was using this opportunity to attack him and cripple him.

Unable to handle a war on two fronts, especially against the Dahomey Amazons Egba turned to the one nation he had closed relations with, England, for assistance. England agreed, on the condition that Sir Gilbert Thomas Carter become Governor of Egba and make Egba a protectorate of the British Empire. Egba agreed and actually became a recognized vassal nation of the United Kingdom going by the name of the Egba United Government in 1893. With the support from England Egba was able to beat back both sides of the conflict and come out victorious in the Yoruba Civil Wars though Ketu would be captured by Fon and sold to Brazil once again, not to return until independence of Nigeria.

In 1914 Egba was made part of the new country of Nigeria by Frederick Lugard. Egba and Lugard failed to get along and towards the end of World War I Egba rioted in June 1918-August 1918 in response to the heavy war taxation that Lugard imposed. In response Lugard smashed him using the other tribes and forced him into unpaid labour.

It was at this time however that Egba would come into his own, he would print the first newspaper in Nigeria and be the first to have a television in the country. Egba would produce many famous writers, poets and musicians during this time and would write often about his experiences in Burma against Japan during World War 2.

In the 1950s he began to enter into the Political Structure of Nigeria and was overjoyed when Ketu returned in the 1960s from Brazil. Egba broached to Oyo the idea of separating from Nigeria and creating a new Yorubaland. All that went up in smoke as Nigeria plunged into civil war. Egba at first was adamant to stay out of the conflict until Nri-Igbo actually attempted to reach Owu and conquer him whilst turning her attention to Egba and Oyo himself. Egba then became a strong fighter in the war and helped to defeat Nri-Igbo.

Egba would stay on the sidelines during the war aftermath, continuing to produce artists like Fela Kuti and Wole Soyinka as well as activists and politicians. In Nigeria's fourth republic Egba ruled Nigeria with his representative Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 before stepping down in 2007 and letting Fula and Ijaw take over in the modern day. Egba was rich in palm oil a substance often used in cooking and was himself a writer, chef and artist and archaeologists are still finding many of his old terracotta artworks.
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The-Huntress-20 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student General Artist
about how many people would one tribe hold?
Ikechi1 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
hundreds of thousands, possibly a few million. Lagos city alone has 21 million people of many different tribes
The-Huntress-20 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student General Artist
and they work like monarchies?
Ikechi1 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
not all, some tribes do have monarchies, others have chieftainships (with hundreds within a single tribe), some in the north have emirs and caliphates, but because Nigeria is officially a democracy with its own politicians most of these people are not as important as one would thing
The-Huntress-20 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student General Artist
How do the chieftainships emirs and caliphates work? I don't believe I'm familiar with most of their workings weather or not they are important. And how would they work with the democracy? 
Ikechi1 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
they are given their own little regions to lord over sometimes and they report to the actual politicians. Like chieftains will manage an area and then report to the governor or senator of what was going on in the state
The-Huntress-20 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student General Artist
I see but ultimately they have little to no power?
Ikechi1 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
it varies depending on how much people believe in their power
(1 Reply)
Oye22 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Oh, can you do Ogun-Yoruba :D? (And make him realllllly cute ^^)
Ikechi1 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
that's not the new character hahaha, Nupe is the new one I made, Ogun-Yoruba?
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