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A Black Byzantium


SOME forty-five years ago, while the eyes of Great Britain were fixed on South Africa, Sir Frederick (now Lord) Lugard was quietly taking up the task of bringing ordered government into Northern Nigeria. This vast territory then consisted of a network of States under Muhammadan rulers who acknowledged the suzerainty of the Fulani Sultan of Sokoto. These States had attained a remarkable degree of political and military organization ; but, as the social and economic system was based on slavery, this organization had been used to devastate the pagan tribes in a perennial hunt for slaves. When Sir Frederick Lugard assumed control in 1900, on behalf of the British Government, Northern Nigeria was in a state of complete chaos. To-day it is one of the most contented and prosperous portions of the British Colonial Empire.

A Black Byzantium

The Kingdom of Nupe in Nigeria. By Dr. S. F. Nadel. (Published for the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures.) Pp. xv + 420 + 16 plates. (London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1942.) 25s, net.

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MEEK, C. A Black Byzantium. Nature 150, 749–750 (1942).

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