Vol. 59 No. 4 (2011)
Research Article

The Former Names of Lagos (Nigeria) in Historical Perspective

Published 2011-12-01



This article traces Lagos's toponymy through the ages, from the original indigenous settlement to Nigeria's post-independence days. From Oko to Eko, from Curamo to Onim, and from Onim to Lagos, until its replacement by Abuja as the present federal capital — each name represents a layer in the city's rich and cosmopolitan past. Moving from the historical events to the related toponymic meanings and vice versa, the complexity of the simultaneous usages of Lagos's place names represents a fertile terrain of co-existent memories. From pre-colonial, colonial, or post-colonial times and the long intermediate phases in between, these memories sometimes contest or challenge each other, but their attached toponyms are also used as complementary alternatives.


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