Nadel, S. F. (Siegfried Frederick), 1903-1956. A black Byzantium: the kingdom of Nupe in Nigeria

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter I Environment

The Country

Vegetation And Natural Resources


Health And Disease

Population Movement

Birth-rate And Fertility

Sex Ratio

Population And Emigration

Density Of Population

Chapter Ii Culture, Tribe, Society

Problems Of Definition

The Tribe

The Sub-tribe

Chapter Iii Introduction To Nupe Kinship

Chapter Iv The Community: Village And Town

Chapter V The Political Organization Of The Village

The Council Of Elders


Village Government

Balance Of Power

Binding Forces

Chapter Vi Political History Of Nupe Kingdom

The State

Foundation Of The Kingdom

The Fulani Conquest

Chapter Vii Political History Of Nupe Kingdom ( Continued )


A Day Of Court Routine

The Royal Nobility

Dynastic Ranks In Bida 1936

Officers Of State



Chapter Viii Political History Of Nupe Kingdom ( Continued )

The Feudal State

Patronage And Clientship

Social Class In Nupe

Binding Forces

Chapter Ix The Position Of The Women

Ranks And Offices

Marriage And Status

Polygamy And Sex Morality

Chapter X Government In Modern Nupe

The Administration Of The Emirate

Town Administration



Problems Of Adaptation

Chapter Xi Economics: Resources

Possession Of Land

Village Land

Access To Village Land

Strangers As Settlers

Access To Family Land

Borrowing Of Land

Long-term Lease And Purchase

Hereditary Land: Secondary Tenantship

Hereditary Land: Primary Tenantship

Royal Estates

Non-agricultural Use Of Land

Live Stock

Sheep And Goats

Other Domestic Animals

Donkeys And Horses

Chapter Xii Agriculture: Production

Country And Crops

Farming Technique

Rotation Of Crops

Selection Of Species And Varieties


Sowing And Planting

Weeding And Transplanting

Reaping And Harvesting


Disposal Of Crops


Food Crops And Market Crops

Tree Cultivation And Fruit Industry



Locust-bean Tree

Shea-nut Tree



Innovations In Production

Technique And Knowledge

By-products Of Agriculture

Chapter Xiii Agriculture: Organization Of Labour

Individual And Family Work

Maintenance Of Labour

Collective Labour


Division Of Labour Between The Sexes (1)

Chapter Xiv Industries

Organization Of Craft-guilds

Blacksmith Work


Guild Organization

Brass- And Silversmiths




Chapter Xv Industries ( Continued )

Individual Crafts

Meaning And Future Of Guild Organization

Division Of Labour Between The Sexes (ii)

Chapter Xvi Free Professions


Drummers And Dancers

Chapter Xvii Industrial Labour

Chapter Xviii Wealth

Money Capital


Chapter Xix Economic Balance: Exchange

Currency, Measures, And Prices

Market And Trade

Modern Business Methods

Trade As A Profession

Division Of Labour Between The Sexes (iii)

Chapter Xx Economic Balance: Means And Wants

The Problem

Standards Of Living: Necessities Of Life

Standards Of Living: Cultural Requirements


Standards Of Living: Status And Prestige

Wants And Cultural Assimilation

Wealth And Status

Chapter Xxi Economics And Social Structure

Economic Mobility

Risk And Insurance

Economic Relations And The Group

Chapter Xxii Education For Citizenship

Mallam Schools

Age-grade Associations

The Meaning Of Nupe Life

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: A black Byzantium: the kingdom of Nupe in Nigeria

Published By: London, New York [etc.]: Pub. for the International Institute of African languages & cultures by the Oxford university press, 1942. xvi, 420 p., 16 plates: ill., maps

By line: by S. F. Nadel, with a foreword by Right Hon. Lord Lugard

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2014. Computer File

Culture: Nupe (FF52)

Subjects: History (175); Community councils (623); Community structure (621); Tribe and nation (619); Settlement patterns (361); Status, role, and prestige (554); Classes (565); Real property (423); Tillage (241); Labor and leisure (461); Mutual aid (476); Smiths and their crafts (326); Labor organization (467); Accumulation of wealth (556); Standard of living (511); Insurance (456); Age stratification (561);

Abstract: This volume is one of the major sources on Nupe culture. It is focused on political and economic organization, revealing in particular the reciprocal relations between these and the religious and legal systems. The political organization is described in terms of the contemporary relations between the quasi-feudal state and the various ethnic groups and economic classes in the total community. Particular attention is paid to urban-rural relationships and differences. Political organization is also explained historically as the outcome of earlier tribal structures, the Fulani conquest, and new economic and political forces under British rule. In the discussion of economic organization, Nadel introduces records of actual time and labor involved in production, detailed descriptions of selling methods, and the amount of profit and how it is spent. An important chapter discusses the interrelationships of standards of living, cultural requirements, wealth, status and prestige. While this is a very complete monograph insofar as sociopolitical and economic organization are concerned, data on human biology, material culture, language and warfare are largely absent. A discussion of religion was reserved for a later volume.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: ff52-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Field Date: 1934-1936

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Timothy J. O'Leary ; 1958

Coverage Date: 1800-1936

Coverage Place: Bida Emirate, Niger state, Nigeria

LCSH: Nupe (African people)//Nigeria --Civilization


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