The Journal of African History: The Nature of the Path

Review of The Nature of the Path by Marcus Filippello

Sometimes a road is more than just a road

Marcus Filippello's book is a history of the Ohori people of southeastern Benin. Drawing on extensive Ohari oral histories and French archival records, Filippello traces the emergence and growth of this community from its early development in the eighteenth century through various periods of instability and transformation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While the timeline for the earliest settlement of the Lama Valley remains a bit murky, it is clear that by the eighteenth century refugees from the collapsed empire of Oyo migrated into the valley in large numbers, transforming what had once been a loosely organized community of farmers into a centralized, politically independent state. 


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