World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Life mask of Osifekunde commissioned by Pascal d’Avezac-Macaya around 1838

Osifekunde of Ijebu (1795[1] - ?) was an Ijebu man whose documented narrative as a victim of The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade serves as one of the earliest Western records of Yoruba land.[2]


  • Early life 1
  • Victim of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade 2
  • Meeting with Pascal d’Avezac-Macaya in Paris 3
  • References 4

Early life

Osifekunde was from Epe, Ijebu Ode but was born in Makun, a suburb of Sagamu in about 1795. His father was Adde Sonlou, an Ijebu warrior who fled Makun as a result of a skirmish resulting in the death of another warrior. In addition to time in Epe as a result of his father Sonlou's asylum, Osifekunde spent time in the Kingdom of Benin. Osifekunde's grandfather was Ochi-Wo who held the office of Ladeke.[3]

Victim of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade

Osifekunde was about 20 years old (approximately 1810) when Ijaw pirates captured him in the Niger Delta lagoon.[1]

Meeting with Pascal d’Avezac-Macaya in Paris

About 20 years after Osifekunde was forcibly transferred to Brazil, he accompanied his master (one Mr. Navarre) to Paris where he was employed as a servant and went by the names ‘Joaquim’ and ‘Joseph’. In Paris he happened upon Pascal d’Avezac-Macaya, an ethnographer and vice-president of the Societe Ethnologique of Paris, who had a keen interest in Africa. Pascal d’Avesac-Macaya interviewed Osifekunde (in pidgin Portuguese since Osifekunde spoke little or no French at the time) for weeks and Osifekunde’s recollection of Ijebu Ode and Lagos (published by Pascal d’Avezac-Macay in 1845) became an important addition to European knowledge of the Guinea Coast.[3][4]

Pascal d’Avesac-Macaya arranged for Osifekunde to move to Sierra Leone (then a British colony established as a home for captives liberated by the West Africa Squadron) but Osifekunde didn’t take the offer and according to P.C. Lloyd “preferred servitude under his former master in Brazil, where he could be with his own son”.[5] There are no accounts of Osifekunde after his chance encounter with Pascal d’Avezac-Macaya. Seemingly frustrated by the transient nature of his encounter with Osifekunde, Pascal d’Avezac-Macay wrote: “[l]et me bring these disconnected pages to a close, a hasty collection of incomplete data drawn from an unexpected source [Osifekunde] and one that too soon became silent. Especially during my work of coordination I have become conscious of many important gaps that remain to be filled; but I no longer have Osifekunde to answer my questions, and I can only offer the results of our long and often fruitless conversations”[3]


  1. ^ a b Lovejoy, Paul. Civilian Casualties in the Context of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. In:Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Africa by Laband. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 32–33.  
  2. ^ Curtin, Phillip D. Africa remembered; narratives by West Africans from the era of the slave trade. University of Wisconsin Press, 1967. p. 7. 
  3. ^ a b c Lloyd, P.C. Osifekunde of Ijebu. In Curtin. Africa remembered; narratives by West Africans from the era of the slave trade. Ed. University of Wisconsin Press, 1967. pp. 217–288. 
  4. ^ I. A. Akinjogbin (1998). War and Peace in Yorubaland, 1793-1893. Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria), (University of Michigan). p. 488.  
  5. ^ John Laband (2007). Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Africa: From Slavery Days to Rwandan Genocide Daily Life Through History. Greenwood Publishing Group.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.