Forced Migration, Interregional Trade, and the Making of a Yoruba Diaspora in Sierra Leone


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


History & International Studies


Studies have shown that one of the lasting demographic impacts of the Atlantic slave trade is the large concentration of Yoruba people across the world. Many scholars have therefore shown remarkable interest in the diffusion of Yoruba culture in the diaspora. Indeed, Yoruba diasporan historiography is largely synonymous with the study of Yoruba culture in the Atlantic world. Yet, the Yoruba are also spread across Europe, Asia, and the West African sub-region. Indeed, with the exception of Campbell (2005), Harris (1993), and Wyse (1991), who are mainly interested in contemporary Krio identity, the Yoruba diaspora in Sierra Leone as well as its cultural interconnectedness with the Yoruba homeland remains a neglected theme. Thus, this study examines the Yoruba diaspora in Sierra Leone against the background that its study has largely been subsumed under the rubric of the broad historiography on the African diaspora.