Here, amidst great linguistic confusion, may be distinguished the tribes of Yoruba speech in the Niger delta and the east portion of the Slave Coast; those of Ewe speech, in the western portion of the latter; and those of Ga and Tshi speech, on the Gold Coast.
The town of Illorin was founded, towards the close of the 18th century, by Yoruba, and rose to be the capital of one of the Yoruba kingdoms. About 1825 the kingdom, which had come under Mahommedan influence, ceased its connexion with the Yoruba states and became an emirate of the Sokoto empire.
It was carried at the point of the bayonet by the Yoruba troops, who proved themselves fully equal to the Hausa.
Abeokuta is the headquarters of the Yoruba branch of the Church Missionary Society, and British and American missionaries have met with some success in their civilizing work.
Johnson, Yoruba Heathenism (1899, reprinted in R.
Johnson, Yoruba Heathenism (1899).
Of Benin city, is an important trade centre for the Yoruba country, in which are the large cities of Abeokuta, Ibadan and Illorin, all separately noticed.
Illorin is a great trading centre, Hausa caravans bringing goods from central Africa, and merchandise from the coasts of the Mediterranean, which is distributed from Illorin to Dahomey, Benin and the Lagos hinterland, while from the Guinea coast the trade is in the hands of the Yoruba and comes chiefly through Lagos.