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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Cult of Awo: The Political Life of a Dead Leader
Author:Adebanwi, WaleISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume:46
Issue:3
Pages:335-360
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Yoruba
politicians
elite
cults
About person:Obafemi Awolowo (1909-1987)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/30224888
Abstract:This essay examines the 'posthumous career' of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909-1987), the late leader of the Yoruba of Nigeria, popularly called Awo. It focuses on why he has been unusually effective as a symbol in the politics of Yorubaland and Nigeria in general. It examines the monumentalization of Awo, how his life and death are interpreted, and are used to articulate Yoruba collective political vision and future. Regarding Awolowo as a recent ancestor, the essay elaborates why death, burial and the raising and destruction of statues are useful in the analysis of the social history of elite politics in Africa. The Awolowo case is used to contest secularist and modernist assumptions about 'modernity' and 'rationality' in a contemporary African society. Bibliogr., notes, ref. sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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