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Juju: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music

by Christopher Alan Waterman - £28.00  University of Chicago Press (1990)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780226874654 | ISBN 10: 0226874656

Now internationally know through the recordings of King Sunny Ade and His African Beats, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey and his Inter-Reformers Band, Segun Adewale, and others, juju music has been produced for more than 50 years by the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria. Juju music has its roots in diverse Africa, African-American and European sources, and its history is a chronicle of creative responses to colonialism and an illumination of the values and social perceptions of groups excluded from most histories of modern Africa. This book describes the origins of juju in the colonial capital of Lagos in the 1930s and follows its development through Nigerian independence and the oil boom years of the early 1980s. He links changes in the music to the shifting Nigerian political economy and developing Yoruba nationalism. Waterman complements this social history with an account, based on his own fieldwork, of the contexts, social organisation and symbolism of juju in the historic city of Ibadan. The book is punctuated with the voices of performers, who speak with candour about their experiences as professional musicians in an uncertain economy.

(Price & availability last checked: February 2020)

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In booklists: African Music, Nigeria, Nigeria,
In categories: Music & Performing Arts, World - Africa, World - Africa,

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