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Colonial Modernity, Rituals and Feasting in Odùduwà Grove, Ilé-Ifẹ̀ (Nigeria)

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Sacred groves are ubiquitous on the cultural landscape of Ilé-Ifẹ̀ and they have been the site of most archaeological research in the ancient Yoruba city. But these studies have been driven by the view that sacred groves were places of static ritual traditions. Recovering the paraphernalia of those rituals, especially the exquisite sculptures, therefore preoccupied the pioneering archaeological research in Ilé-Ifẹ̀. In contrast, the historical trajectories that defined the evolution and transformation of these groves as dynamic cultural sites have not been undertaken. We make the case in this article that sacred groves are dynamic and meaningful sites for historical negotiation. With this perspective, we conducted archaeological study of Odùduwà Grove in Ile-Ife with the goal to understand the broad sociocultural processes that have shaped the cultural landscape of the grove across different registers of time. The archaeological evidence in Odùduwà Grove dates back to at least the fourteenth century. We focus this article on the evolution of the grove during the twentieth century with emphasis on the materiality of colonial and postcolonial modernity and its implications for rituals of royal coronation, sacrificial rites, and feasting.Des bosquets sacrés sont omniprésents sur le paysage culturel de Ile-Ife et elles ont été le site de la plupart des recherches archéologiques dans l’antique ville Yoruba. Mais ces études ont été entraînée par le point de vue que des bosquets sacrés étaient des endroits de la statique les traditions rituelles. Récupération de l’attirail de ces rituels, particulièrement les sculptures exquis, par conséquent préoccupé le pionnier de la recherche archéologique dans Ilé-Ifẹ̀. En revanche, les trajectoires historiques qui a défini l’évolution et la transformation de ces bosquets comme sites culturels dynamiques n’ont pas été entrepris. Nous faisons le cas dans cet article que des bosquets sacrés sont dynamiques et fructueux pour historique négociation. Dans cette perspective, nous avons procédé à l’étude archéologique de Odùduwà Grove dans Ilé-Ifẹ̀ avec l’objectif de comprendre le vaste processus socioculturel qui ont façonné le paysage culturel du bosquet à travers différents registres de temps. Les preuves archéologiques dans Odùduwà Grove remonte au moins à la quatorzième siècle. Nous nous concentrerons dans cet article sur l’évolution du bosquet au cours du xxe siècle, avec l’accent sur l’importance relative de la modernité coloniale et post-coloniale et ses implications pour les rituels de couronnement royal, rites sacrificiels, et un festin.This article is in English.

Affiliations: 1: Corresponding Author ; 2: Department of Africana Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte NCUSA ; 3: Natural History Museum, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-IfeNigeria


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