Markets and Indigenous Technology in Ilorin Emirate Before 1900 A Hermeneutical and Historical Analysis

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Langaa Research & Publising CIG, Mankon, Bamenda


This chapter attempts to show the technological dynamic and commercial capabilities as exhibited by the people of Ilorin emirate before 1900. It is noteworthy that the general economy of Ilorin and its environ as in other African society before 1900 was very active, contrary to rather dormant and totally unimpressive picture painted by people like high Trevor- Ropers, that African have no past and therefore no history. A cursory look at the pre-colonial economic activities in Ilorin shows that both male and female in the town were highly enterprising. Apart from farming in which both sexes jointly practice, especially at the harvest stage, there were some specific crafts which were regarded as exclusively preserved for women or men as the case might be. The reason for this could partly be explained by the peoples’ culture which regarded women as a weaker sex with fragile feminine frame. Thus, they were not allowed to engage in energy sapling vocations. Also, men often placed the responsibility of preparation for sale of some portion of their farm produce to their women, because the men were busier on the farm. These responsibilities however gave the women folks intricate knowledge of markets and indirectly opened them up to marketing. That was why women where the most noticed in the pre colonial Ilorin market. Markets served other purposes in Ilorin. They served as social and religious foral like place to court and meet lovers. It also served as religions link since central mosque were located close to the markets and for communication purposes beside buying and selling. Thus before 1900, the economic activities of Ilorin emirate exceeded the subsistence level to a commercial level. As indicated in the work, the markets in the villages were well attended with supply of products why those in the bigger towns enjoyed national and international patronages. For instance, Alapa, Afon and Megida as well as some courters in Oke Imale and Magaji Ngeri markets supplied items to the principal markets in Ilorin which attracted customers from distant places. Using both primary and secondary historical sources the chapter have been able to reveal that market in Ilorin Emirate serve more than a center of commerce.



Market, Indigenous Technology, Ilorin Emirate