Graveyard, Epitaphs and Burial Culture in Colonial Lagos, 1861 to 1960


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of History & International Studies


This study explores the conflicts between indigenous and colonial burial cultures in Lagos between 1861 and 1960. It examines the origins of mortuary, graveyards and epitaphs in the burial culture of colonial Lagos. It also investigates the various colonial influences and internal dynamics that shaped the burial culture of Lagos and the extent of these on the continuity and changes in burial practices in the post-colonial Lagos. In doing this, I will engage the following issues: (1) was the new trend a passing phase or one that stuck during the colonial period? (2) Did these changes become a permanent feature of the popular burial culture in post colonial Lagos or did they wane with colonialism? (3) And if they stuck, how, why and what internal and external dynamics were responsible for sustaining this transformation? In this study, I will adopt the historical method of data collection, interpretation, analysis and presentation.