Traditional Medical Practices in Ilorin Emirate Up to 1900

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Published by Department of History, UDUS.


A couple of factors precipitated the fame, strength and power of the Ilorin Emirate in the 19th century. These factors range from strategic location as a transit region, economy, cultural heterogeneity, military as well as medicine. The paper thereby discusses the significance and impact of traditional medicine in the sustenance of Ilorin Emirate as a power to reckon with in the 19th century. The discourse discusses how the Ilorin traditional professional healthcare providers have protected the community against diseases and epidemics, and how several common or ordinary, and severe ailments were cured. Huge success recorded in ensuring the healthy wellbeing of her people prompted the native to repose high trust and confidence in traditional medicine, and their anxiety, shunning and rejection of Colonial health services in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The paper uses secondary and primary sources such as oral interviews secured from resource persons, traditional medicinal items, and pictorial evidences of diagnosis, oracles and religious venerations to analyze how holistic medical cultures had helped to ensure and sustain the healthcare and wellbeing of the people of Ilorin in the 19th century.



Traditional Medicine, Ilorin Emirate, Supernatural world, Herbs, Babalawo, Onisegun