BENIN BEYOND THE CAPITAL AND ROYAL COURT: THE CLANS, DUKEDOMS, TOWN/VILLAGE COMMUNITIES AND INSTITUTIONS IN BENIN KINGDOM
CALL FOR ABSTRACT/PAPERS
Benin is renowned as one of the eminent states in the pre-colonial period of African history. The Benin Kingdom boasts a long period of recorded history, imperial expansion in West Africa, and trading relations with Europeans. It incorporated numerous rival polities or mini-states (some of which became dukedoms), clans, towns, and villages that constituted the Kingdom's core area during its long history. These various policies and communities had their unique histories and institutions (including guilds), which maintained relations with the royal court in the capital Benin City, with occasional strains resulting in rebellions and wars.
The Benin Kingdom seems to be well-studied and documented because of Benin's mass of publications; the fact is that Benin remains largely understudied. Most of the published studies have concentrated on the arts, monarchy, royalty, the capital city, and aspects of its culture. These studies were done at the expense of the various villages, towns, clans, and Dukedoms and their institutions that make up the Kingdom and share the capital city's language and dialect. Some villages, towns, clans, and Dukedoms rivaled and contested leadership with Benin City before their incorporation into the Kingdom.
Though a few communities have started to receive some attention, particularly from non-academics, there are still no comprehensive studies of the composite that constituted the Benin Kingdom. These aspects of Benin history and culture are yet to receive their deserved research attention, which is critical to a better understanding of the Kingdom.
This study intends to bring together research works on some of these communities, their peculiar institutions, their relations with the monarchy/capital, relations among themselves, and relations with the non-Benin neighbours bordering them and the settlers amongst them. The goal is to put together materials to enhance the documentation, broaden knowledge, and achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the Benin Kingdom.
Contributors should consider sending abstracts (not more than 350 words) of their papers that address any topic on the following subthemes:
(i) Origins and developments of Self-administering Villages and towns
(ii) Clans -Origins, organizations and inter-clan relations
(iii) Dukedoms, their origins and development
(iv) Deities and Cults- Communal and Kingdom-wide cults
(v) Leadership -Edionwere and Okao institutions
(vi) Ohen- Priestly institutions and local administrations
(vii) Gender and family issues
(viii) Festivals, Masquerades and dances
(ix)Guilds, and relations of village guilds with the guilds of the capital
(x) Rebellions and wars within rural communities and against Benin Capital
(xi) Relations and Conflicts/wars with non-Benin neighbours
(xii) Economic specializations and trade beyond the Capital
(xiii) Non-Benin settlers, their activities and roles in the communities outside the capital
(xiv) Role and place of communities beyond the capital in Benin Kingdom’s history
Contributors should send their abstracts in word document format to the Editorial Committee, Institute for Benin Studies, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 31st May 2021.
Institute for Benin Studies, Benin City, Nigeria.