ISBN 9789780295332
Pages 396
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations and Maps
Published 2005
Publisher Spectrum Books, Nigeria
Format Paperback

Farmers and Townspeople in a Changing Nigeria

Abakaliki during Colonial Times (1905-1960)

by Simon Ottenburg

This work documents the history of change during the colonial period in the Abakaliki division and town of south-eastern Igbo Nigeria over four main historical periods: pre- British Abakaliki; the beginnings of colonialism from the early twentieth century until the 1920s; the 1920s until the 2nd World War; and the post-war period through to independence in 1960. Within the context of rapid urbanisation and urban sprawl in Africa, the study focuses on one Nigerian town and its rural environs. It is the story of successful rural farmers and of an emerging town in their midst; and a study of ethnic interrelationships, integration and conflict between the town and the rural areas. It is a study in colonial history within the framework of British control and conquest; and also a story of African responses to colonialism: resistance, accommodation and innovation.

The author characterises his work as more descriptive than theoretical, and as having regard for both anthropological and historical approaches and the positive and negative aspects of colonialism, without being overtly ideological.

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About the Author

Simon Ottenburg

Emeritus Professor Simon Ottenberg, an anthropologist, taught at the University of Washington, Seattle from 1955-1991. Throughout his distinguished career he has carried out extensive research in the Igbo territories on traditional life and its changes, published many books and curated exhibitions on contemporary Nigerian artists. This, his final major work has been published in Nigeria, with the intention of making it available within as well as outside Africa.

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