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Theatre Production ‘Kiriji’ Set to Establish First Yoruba Museum of War History

A theatre production titled ‘Kiriji‘ is setting the stage to establish a Yoruba museum of war history.

The Kiriji War, also called the Ekiti–Parapo War, was a 16-year conflict between subethnic Yoruba kingdoms.

These kingdoms are specifically divided into the Western Yoruba, which was mainly the Ibadan and Oyo-speaking ethnicities, and the Eastern Yoruba, which were the Ekiti, Ijesha, and the Ijebu people among others.

The war, listed among the longest civil wars in history, will be performed across the southwest in months to come.

Abiodun Abe, a Nollywood executive, will be directing the production which is created by Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) in partnership with Legendary Productions, an international art and culture concern.

Adewale Adeoye and Segun Balogun, the publicity chairman and secretary for the project, said the production will draw no fewer than 50 top artists from across the world with over 10,000 other participants at various levels.

They said it will camp artists for months and lead to the establishment of the first Yoruba museum of war history.

The team said the theatre production will also bring together artefacts, the collection of currently dispersed and disorganised art, weapons, historic equipment, and assets linked to the war.

“Kiriji War is the most significant political event in Yoruba history in the past 500 years. This is not just for the fact that it was a battle for federalism against a garrison state,” Adeoye and Balogun said in a joint statement.

“It revealed the science, technology, and political content of Yoruba historical struggles, over centuries for justice, liberty and an egalitarian society.

“From the primordial times, Yoruba history has been one of the most documented epics, reflecting a rich and remarkable civilization of indigenous people dating back to the 9th century.”

The Kiriji War happened from 1776 to 1886 and is one of the outstanding sociopolitical events in Yoruba history.

It lasted for 16 years, involved almost all the Yoruba ethnic and sub-ethnic groups, and had its own rules.

It was said that children, pregnant women, and the aged were spared from the sword of battle.

Parties to the war observed moments of a cease-fire that lasted for months, long before the UN Convention on war.

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