Yoruba

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Contents
Articles
History of the Yoruba people Yoruba religion Yoruba music Yoruba people Yoruba language Santería Orisha 1 4 9 11 21 30 34

References
Article Sources and Contributors Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 38 39

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History of the Yoruba people

1

History of the Yoruba people
Ancient history
The African peoples who lived in Yorubaland, at least by the 4th century BC, were not initially known as the Yoruba, although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. Both archeology and traditional Yoruba oral historians confirm the existence of people in this region for several millennia. Yoruba spiritual heritage maintains that the Yoruba ethnic groups are a unique people who were originally created at Ile-Ife. Legend holds that the creation was delegated by the supreme spiritual force, Olodumare. The name "Yoruba" is an adaptation of euroba"(arabism). Yoruba civilization remains one of the most technologically and artistically advanced in West Africa to this time. Some contemporary historians contend that some Yoruba are not indigenous to Yorubaland, but are descendants of immigrants from elsewhere to the region. This version of history contends that Oduduwa was a prince from mecca, under whose leadership Yorubaland was conquered towards 600 BCE and the kingdom of Ife was established.[1] Oduduwa's relatives established kingdoms in the rest of Yorubaland. One of Oduduwa's sons, Oranmiyan, took the throne of Benin and expanded the Oduduwa Dynasty eastwards. Further expansion led to the establishment of the Yoruba in what are now Southwest Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, with Yoruba city-states acknowledging the spiritual heritage primacy of the ancient city of Ile Ife. The southeastern Benin Empire, ruled by a dynasty that traced its ancestry to Ifẹ and Oduduwa but largely populated by the Edo and other related ethnicities, also held considerable sway in the election of nobles and kings in eastern Yorùbáland.

Golden age
Between 1100 CE and 1700 CE, the Yoruba Kingdom of Ife experienced a golden age. It was then surpassed by the Oyo Empire as the dominant Yoruba military and political power between 1700 CE and 1900 CE. The nearby splinter Yoruba kingdom of Benin was also a powerful force between 1300 and 1850 CE. Most of the city states were controlled by Obas (elected monarchs) and councils made up of Oloyes, recognised leaders of royal, noble and, often, even common descent, who joined them in ruling over the kingdoms through a series of guilds and cults. Different states saw differing ratios of power between the kingship and the chiefs' council. Some such as Oyo had powerful, autocratic monarchs with almost total control, while in others such as the Ijebu city-states, the senatorial councils were supreme and the Ọba served as something of a figurehead. In all cases, however, Yoruba monarchs were subject to the continuing approval of their constituents as a matter of policy, and could be easily compelled to abdicate for demonstrating dictatorial tendencies or incompetence. The order to vacate the throne was usually communicated through an aroko or symbolic message, of parrots' eggs delivered in a covered calabash bowl by the senators.

Modern history
The Yoruba eventually established a federation of city-states under the political ascendancy of the city state of Oyo located on the Northern fringes of Yorubaland in the savanna plains between the forests of present Southwest Nigeria and the Niger River. Following a Jihad led by Uthman Dan Fodio and a rapid consolidation of the Hausa city states of contemporary northern Nigeria, the Fulani Sokoto Caliphate annexed the buffer Nupe Kingdom and began to press southwards towards the Oyo Empire. Shortly after, they overran the Yoruba city of Ilorin and then sacked Ọyọ-Ile, the capital city of the Ọyọ Empire. Following this, Ọyọ-Ile was abandoned and the Ọyọ retreated south to the present city of Oyo (formerly "Ago d'Oyo", or "Oyo Atiba") in a forested region where the cavalry of the Sokoto Caliphate was less effective. Further attempts by the Sokoto Caliphate to expand southwards were checked by the Yoruba who had rallied to resist under

History of the Yoruba people the military leadership of the City State of Ibadan which rose from the old Oyo Empire, and of the Ijebu city-states. However, the Oyo hegemony had been dealt a mortal blow. The other Yoruba city-states broke free of Oyo dominance, and subsequently became embroiled in a series of internecine. These wars weakened the southern Yorubas in their opposition to British colonial and military invasions. In 1960, greater Yorubaland was subsumed into the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The historical records of the Yoruba, which became more accessible in the nineteenth century with the more permanent arrival of the Europeans, tell of heavy raids by the mounted Fulani warriors of the north as well as of endemic intercity warfare amongst the Yoruba themselves. Archaeological evidence of the greatness of their ancient civilization in the form of, amongst other things, extensive city fortifications that are centuries old, never the less abound.[2]

2

Etymology
During the 19th century, the term Yoruba or Yariba came into wider use, first confined to the Ọyọ. The term is often believed to be derived from a Hausa ethnonym for the populous people to their south, but this has not been substantiated by historians. As an ethnic description, the word first appeared in a treatise written by the Songhai scholar Ahmed Baba (16th century) and is likely to derive from the indigenous ethnonyms Ọyọ (Oyo) or Yagba, two Yoruba-speaking groups along the northern borders of their territory. However, it is likely that the ethnonym was popularized by Hausa usage and ethnography written in Arabic and Ajami. Under the influence of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a Yoruba clergyman, subsequent missionaries extended the term to include all speakers of related dialects. Before the abolition of the slave trade, some Yoruba groups were known among Europeans as Akú, a name derived from the first words of Yoruba greetings such as Ẹ kú àárọ? ‘good morning’ and Ẹ kú alẹ? ‘good evening.’

Yoruba origin mythology
The mythology of the origin of the Yoruba, who refer to themselves as "Omo O'odua" (Children of Oduduwa), revolves around the mythical figure of Oduduwa or Odudua . The meaning of the name may be translated as "the spiritual one ("O/Ohun") who created the knowledge ("odu") of character ("iwa")."
one God, Olodumare, but also believe that the only way to reach Him is through the divinities.

Some say that the making of land is a symbolic reference to the founding of the Yoruba kingdoms and that this is why Oduduwa is credited with the achievement.[3] Recently, historians have attributed this cosmological mythology to a pre-existing civilization at Ilė-Ifę which was invaded by a militant immigrants from the east, led by a king named Oduduwa. Oduduwa and his group had been persecuted on the basis of religious differences and forced out of their homeland. They came to Ilé-Ifè where they came across Oreluere and his people. Other informants are convinced that Oduduwa and his followers were believed to have subjugated the pre-existing Igbo whom local informants relate to the present Igbo people, though this claim has not been supported by competent historians.

there was a dispersal of his children from Ilé-Ifè to found other kingdoms (Owu. • Smith. 3rd ed. with each kingdom tracing its origin to Ile-Ife. yorubaalliance. • Idowu. Ila. Oxford 1977. • Lucas. London 1988. 339-341. Dierk: "The dying and the rising God in the New Year Festival of Ife". [3] Idowu.+ kingdoms& hl=de& ei=N_-fTYqhL82Vswam6KzoAQ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1& ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q& f=false). google. de/ books?id=syATJKcx5A0C& printsec=frontcover& dq=lange. 2010. Popo. 2006. Ketu. Jonathan Olumide "The Religion of the Yorubas". Benin. "War in human civilization" Oxford University Press. Awori and Oyo). • Johnson. Ancient Kingdoms of West Africa (http://books. 1969. org/ Newsletter/ newsletter74. pp. London 1962. Each making a mark in the subsequent urbanization and consolidation of Yoruba confederacy of kingdoms. 1st ed. Stephen Adebanji: A History of the Yoruba People.de/books?id=syATJKcx5A0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=lange. Dakar.+ kingdoms&hl=de&ei=N_-fTYqhL82Vswam6KzoAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1& ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false). in: Lange. htm)Who are the Yoruba? Bibliography • Akintoye. Robin: The Oyo Empire. . pg 275. c. Robert: Kingdoms of the Yoruba. Bolaji: Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief. 1836.google. Lagos 1948. • Lange. 343–376. London 1962. • Law. 1600 – c. Azar. Sabe. [4] Yoruba Alliance: (http:/ / www. [2] Gat. in: Ancient Kingdoms (http:/ / books.[4] References [1] Lange. London 1921. pp.History of the Yoruba people 3 After Oduduwa Upon the "disapearing act" of Oduduwa. "Dying and rising God". Samuel: History of the Yorubas. Bolaji: Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief. Dettelbach 2004.

stories and other cultural concepts which make up the Yorùbá mode of existence. The earth being one of these was visited but deemed too wet for conventional life. the winged-beasts began to scatter this around until the point where it gradually made into a large patch of dry land. Furthermore. it was carried by a number of enslaved practitioners to the Americas and the West Indies. where it dried much of the land and simultaneously began to bake the motionless figurines. Ẹlégbara (Eṣu. This evolution is said to be most evident amongst the Orishas. In the Yorùbá belief system. Prayer to one's Orí Òrún has been known to produce an immediate sensation of joy. On one of their visits to the realm. the total collection of songs. fate) and are expected to eventually become one in spirit with Olódùmarè (Olòrún. the arch-divinity Obatala took to the stage equipped with a mollusk that held in its shell some form of soil. He transmits this prayer without distorting it in any way. Thereafter.[2] [4] Well-balanced people. are able to make positive use of the simplest form of connection between their Oris and the omnipotent Olu-Òrún: an adúra (petition or prayer) for divine support.[1] [2] [3] Beliefs According to Kola Abimbola. Iwapẹlẹ (or well-balanced) meditation and sincere veneration is sufficient to strengthen the Orí-Inu of most people.[1] in brief. Its homeland is in Southwestern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo. a region that has come to be known as Yorubaland. The land became fertile and plant life began to flourish. where it has influenced or given birth to a slew of religious systems such as Lucumí. the divine creator and source of all energy). After a successful period of time. and the figurines . histories. the Ifa oracle of the Orisha Orunmila may also be consulted. spiritual self). it holds that all human beings possess what is known as "Àyànmô"[4] (destiny.[2] According to a Yorùbá account of creation. the "truth" was sent to confirm the habitability of the newly formed planets. the petitioner may be satisfied with a personal answer. it is believed. the divine messenger) initiates contact with Òrún on behalf of the petitioner. a place somewhat similar to the Abrahamic kingdom of Heaven). In the event that he or she is not. Meanwhile. however. Olódùmarè gathered the gasses from the far reaches of space and sparked an explosion that shaped into a fireball. including the Earth itself. One's Orí-Inu (spiritual consciousness in the physical realm) must grow in order to consummate union with one's "Ipônri" (Orí Òrún. are destined for "Òrún-Apadi" (Lit. It was at this point that Olódùmarè released the "breath of life" to blow across the land. From handfuls of earth he began to mould figurines. a number of divinities were commanded to accomplish the task of helping earth develop its crust. the invisible realm of potsherds). During the Atlantic slave trade. the Yorùbá have evolved a robust philosophy. the deliverer of àṣẹ or the spark of life.[4] Those who stop growing spiritually. Olódùmarè has àṣẹ over all that is. in any of their given lives. It is for this reason that He is considered supreme. and transmits the prayer to Ayé. as this was happening on earth. Umbanda and Candomblé. He emptied the soil onto what soon became a large mound on the surface of the water and soon after. during a certain stage in this process. the various indentations they created eventually becoming hills and valleys. Life and death are said to be cycles of existence in a series of physical bodies while one's spirit evolves toward transcendence. the thoughts and actions of each person in Ayé (the physical realm) interact with all other living things.[1] Yoruba religious beliefs are part of itan.Yoruba religion 4 Yoruba religion The Yorùbá religion comprises the original religious beliefs and practices of the Yoruba people. two winged beasts and some cloth like material.[5] Obatala leaped on to a high-ground and named the place Ife. is energized by invoking àṣẹ. He subsequently sent it to Ife. whether simplistic in the form of a personal prayer or complicated in the form of that done by an initiated priest of divination.[2] Each person attempts to achieve transcendence and find their destiny in Òrún-Réré (the spiritual realm of those who do good and beneficial things. the divine viziers of the Almighty God. All communication with Òrún.

Central to this is the theme of righteousness. the Cures of illnesses and deformities. The divinity of iron and metallurgy. Obatala descended from above on a long chain. Olódùmarè gave "êmí" (the breath of life) to humankind.[5] Regarded as being all-encompassing. In the beginning there is only water. Èsù or Elegbara Ogun Yemoja . as well as the breasts which nurture. Obatala then created humans out of earth and called Olódùmarè to blow life into them. social and intellectual spheres of being. Chameleon. Ile-Ife is localy referred to as the "cradle of existence". Some of the other divinities descended upon it to live with Obatala. creating land. Olódùmarè called the land Ife for "wide". According to Olorishas.[3] Orishas Orunmila Attributes The Yorùbá Grand Priest and custodian of the Ifa Oracle. In this. Olódùmarè (also called Olorun) is the creator. thus being better referred to as the divinities. Olódùmarè is Supreme[5] Perhaps one of the most important human endeavors extolled within the tribe's literary corpus is the quest to better one's "Iwa" (character.[6] An Alternative Version Of The Creation The Yorùbá regard Olódùmarè as the principal agent of creation. Olódùmarè sends Obatala to bring forth land. no gender can therefore be assigned. the earth on the iron. Hence.[7] Divinities An Orisha (Orisa or Orixa) is an entity that possesses the capability of reflecting some of the manifestations of Olódùmarè. Also regarded as the "divine messenger". and the chicken atop the earth. Èsù is in truth neither of these. the term Orisha is often used to describe either of these loose groups of entities. In another telling of the creation. some earth. but Olódùmarè put him to sleep as he worked.[5] For this reason.Yoruba religion slowly came into "being" as the first people of Ife. He is said to assist in enhancing the power derived from herbal medicines. The term is often translated as "deities" or "divinities". Often ill-translated as "The Devil" or "The Evil Being". When he said that it was. Nurturer of Water Resources. there are those of their number that are more akin to ancient heroes and/or sages[3] These are best addressed as dema deities. came first to judge if the earth was dry. for during human creation. The chicken kicked and scattered the earth. both individual and collective. and some iron. Conversely. One of them. she is the amniotic fluid in the womb of the pregnant woman. His suburdinate priests or followers are the Awos. source of knowledge who is believed to oversee the knowledge of the Human Form. Even though in the basics of things. a prime negotiator between negative and positive forces in the body and an enforcer of the "law of being". every stanza of the sacred Ifa oracular poetry has a portion covering the importance of "Iwa". In this way the tribal teaching transcends religious doctrine. Purity. Yòrùbá Orishas (translated "owners of heads") are often described as intermediaries between man and the supernatural. Mother of Waters. it is also said by others that it is Obatala who shapes life while it is still in the womb. Some say Obatala was jealous and wished to be the only giver of life. He stacked the iron in the water. Best referred to as "The Trickster". it is common to hear references to "it" or "they" (although this is meant to address a somewhat singularity) in usual speech. bringing with him a rooster.[8] Orisha(s) are more like "anamistic entities" and have control over specific elements in nature. it is mainly reserved for the former. "They" are the owner of all heads.[5] 5 Olódùmarè Olódùmarè is the most important "state of existence". he deals a hand of misfortune to those that do not offer tribute or are deemed to be spiritual novices. behaviour). She is considered the protective energy of the feminine force. Even so. advising as it does that a person must also better his civic.

Due to her personal power. which contains personal destiny. often acting as liaisons between Orun (the invisible realm) and Aiye (the physical realm). Orisha of rebirth. The spirit that returns does so in the form of a Guardian Ori. see below) is said to have turned into a river in Osogbo. represents not only the spirit and energy of one's previous blood relative. Women appeal to her for child-bearing and for the alleviation of female disorders. Storms and Progression. Shango Oya Irúnmôlè Irúnmôlè are entities sent by the Supreme (Olódùmarè) to complete given tasks. while the other remains in Heaven (Ikole Orun). The Yoruba clerics ascribed to her Sensuality. whereby such divinities are regarded as the principal Orishas. The Yoruba traditions describe her as being fond of babies and her intervention is sought if a baby becomes ill. Guardian of the Cemetery. Beauty and Gracefulness. The Primary Ancestor (which should be identified in of Indianapolis your Itefa (Life Path Reading) [11]) becomes .if you are aware and work with that specific energy . Babatunji (Father wakes once again) and Sotunde (The wise man returns) all offer vivid evidence of the Ifa concept of familial or lineal rebirth. One's Guardian Ori. Masculinity. Oshun is also known for her love of honey.a “guide” for the individual throughout their lifetime. Associated with Virility. induction of fertility and the control of the feminine essence. Yetunde (Mother returns). Warriors and Magnetism. He was the Oba of Oyo at some point in its history. At the end of that life they return to their identical spirit self and merge into one. This is not to be confused with one’s spiritual Ori.Yoruba religion 6 Oshun Wife of the former Oba of Oyo called Shango (another Yoruba Orisha. see above). symbolizing both their people's search for clarity and a flowing motion. Winds of Change. but instead refers to the coming back to The Marketplace of one's personal blood Ori through one's new life A Egungun masquerade dance garment in the and experiences. . however. The other wife of the former Oba of Oyo called Shango (another Yoruba Orisha. she is usually depicted as being in the company of her husband Shango. Reincarnation The Yoruba believe in reincarnation within the family. one of the component entities of a person's being returns. taking the additional knowledge gained from their experience with the individual as a form of payment. He is said to have the abilities to transform base substances into those that are pure and valuable. she is said to have turned into the River Niger. which is represented and contained in the crown of the head. The names Babatunde (father returns). Lightning. He derived his nickname Oba Koso from the tales of his immortality. but the accumulated wisdom he or she has acquired through a myriad of lifetimes. Whenever the time arrives for a spirit to return to Earth (otherwise known as The Marketplace) through the conception of a new life in the direct bloodline of the family. There is no simple guarantee that your grandfather or great uncle will "come back" in the birth of your child.[3] Irúnmôlè(s) can best be described as ranking divinities. Stones. The explanation in The Way of the Orisa [9][10] was permanent collection of The Children’s Museum really quite clear. She is often described as the Tempest. including abilities to heal with cool water. She is associated with several powers. Fire.

Àyànmọ́.Longman. e319) . A. Macmillan Nigeria. Lagos. net/ forum/ showthread. said to have originated amongst a different ethnic group (the Gba speaking peoples of modern Benin.[12] the reach of their culture is largely due to events that occurred between the 16th and 19th centuries AD. The school of thought they provided them with combined with those of both the native Amerindians and the European colonists to form what now constitutes the core of the "New World lineages"[12] [13] [14] [15] : • • • • • Santería or "regla lucumi" (Cuba) Oyotunji (U. ISBN 1-905-38800-4 Retrieved 27-03-2011 [2] George E. ifafoundation. Venezuela and other parts of the New World. Brazil. Puerto Rico. 2005. A history of the Yoruba people (http:/ / www. Athelia Henrietta PR. org/ The-Way-of-the-Orisa-p110. OCLC 33249752 [5] Bolaji Idowu. many were sold into slavery by both tribal enemies and European slave dealers and were transported to Cuba.) Candomblé (Brazil) Umbanda (Brazil) Batuque (Brazil) Relationship with Vodou The popularly known Vodou faith.S. blogspot. Amalion Publishing. 2010. Togo and Ghana). ISBN 9-781-21068-0 [3] J. Retrieved 27-03-2011 [15] Baba Ifa Karade. ISBN 0-226-07610-5 [14] Oditous. Ikeja. 1996. Retrieved 27-03-2011 [13] David H. [8] Cf.Iroko Academics Publishers. Yoruba (http:/ / anthrocivitas. shares some similarities with the religion. 1994.D. com/ 2011/ 02/ odu-ifa-iwori-meji-ifa-speaks-on. html). References [1] Kola Abimbola. 1991. (an extract from S. Anthropology. The Concept of God: The People of Yoruba (http:/ / organizations. The Religion of the Yorubas. spiritualtools. com/ views/ ENTRY. INC) 2011 [7] Leeming & Leeming 2009 – entry "Yoruba" (http:/ / www. 1993) ISBN 9780062505576 [11] http:/ / www. Olumide Lucas. Akintoye. (ed Paperback). amazon. 2003. Simpson. ISBN 2-359-26005-7.). Olódùmarè : God in Yoruba Belief . 2010. org/ case-histories-from-ifa [12] Prof S. Iwòrì Méjì: Ifá speaks on Righteousness (http:/ / ifaspeaks. Yoruba Religion and Medicine in Ibadan. html [10] The Way of the Orisha by Philip John Neimark: Publisher HarperOne.Yoruba religion 7 Yoruba religion around the world According to Professor S. uk/ History-Yoruba-Stephen-Adebanji-Akintoye/ dp/ 2359260057/ ref=sr_1_1?s=books& ie=UTF8& qid=1301193953& sr=1-1). Anthrocivitas Online. A. co. oxfordreference. University Of Chicago Press.S. ISBN 0-963-87878-6 [4] Afọlabi Ọlabimtan. Brown (Ph. Nigeria (1982) ISBN 0-582-60803-1 [6] Ifaloju . Along with what little they could manage. York Beach. Yoruba Culture: A Philosophical Account. htm) for the acceptability of the translation [9] http:/ / www. Akintoye. New York. html?subview=Main& entry=t279. ISBN 0-877-28789-9 . The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts. Ifa Dida. . edu/ ncrsa/ journal/ v03/ johnsonoyinade_yoruba. the Dominican Republic. During this period. the Yorùbá people spread across the globe in an unprecedented fashion. Retrieved 2010-04-30. Santería Enthroned: Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion. Library. 1973. they carried their traditional religious beliefs with them to their new homes. 1st edition (May 28. Popoola. uncfsu. php?t=9088). Ibadan University Press. Weiser Books.

1993) ISBN 9780062505576 • Olódùmarè : God in Yoruba Belief by Bolaji Idowu.html) • Ifa Books/The 16 Mayis and Omoluos (http://www.ifafoundakkktion.org/The-Way-of-the-Orisa-p110. • Leeming.html) by Philip John Neimark: Publisher HarperOne. 1st edition (May 28. Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America. Esu. Lagos 1948.comunidadeportuguesadocandombleyoruba.org/ibeji/ibeji. Oxford University Press.Yoruba religion 8 Further reading • Charles Spencer King.html) • The Place of Susanne Wenger's Art in Yoruba Religion (http://www. Asefin Media Publication • Chief Solagbade Popoola Foundation Ifa Dida Volume One of Seventeen (http://alawoye.com/religion/yoruba. Leeming. Solagbade Popoola. Irunmole Faithfuls.wordpress. C. The Latin Beat. Orunmila. Bookshop. Jonathan Olumide Lucas. ISBN 0-8028-4973-3.html) ISBN 978-0-9810013-1-9 Asefin Media LLP 2008 • Ase Magazine titles: Olodumare.gbawoniyi.photius.Tratado Enciclopedico de Ifa..html) • West African Orisa Tradition of Nigeria (http://www. "Nature's Ancient Religion" ISBN 978-1440417337 • The Way of the Orisha (http://www.com/ Ifa_Orunmila_:_Alawoye/Ifa_Book_News_&_Reviews/Entries/2008/6/ 1_Ifa_Didaa_-_Ifa_Consultation_for_the_Beginner_&_Professional_. Yemoja. S. ISBN 0-306-81018-2. html) • Ibeji (http://www. Ikunle Abiyamo: The ASE of Motherhood (http://www. (Nigeria/Germany) www.org • Miguel R. Ikeja : Longman Nigeria (1982) ISBN 0-582-60803-1 • Dr. M.alawoye. David Adams.alawoye. Ed (2003).africaresource. Obatala._.com External links • The Lost Truth of the Yoruba (http://www. 177 • Miguel A. www.com) • Ifa Studies Podcast hosted by Awoyinfa Ifaloju on iTunes (http://alawoye. etc. Bances – Baba Eshu Onare.tratadosifasanteria.com/Ifa_Orunmila_:_Alawoye/ Eko_Ifa_Podcast/Eko_Ifa_Podcast.com/ Ifa_Orunmila_:_Alawoye/Book_News_&_Reviews/Entries/2008/1/ 9_Ikunle_Abiyamo_-_It_is_on_Bent_Knees_that_I_Gave_Birth. com) • Traditional Yorùbá site dedicated to teaching (http://www.).spiritualtools.org/lost-truth-of-the-yoruba/) • Yoruban cosmology and mythology (http://www. De La Torre.tribalartforum. Irunmole. • Chief S. Osun. Da Capo Press.html) 2007. pg. Ibile Faith Society. • Morales. Ogun.com) • Yorùbá Religious Community in Portugal (http://www. "The Religion of the Yorubas".com) .yorubareligion. Margaret Adams (2009). Los 16 Meyis y sus Omoluos u Odus o Signos de Ifa.tratadosifasanteria. A Dictionary of Creation Myths (Oxford Reference Online ed. 2004.com/ijele/issue5/olajubu.

Apala. Yoruba music traditionally centred around folklore and spiritual/deity worship. Ligali Mukaiba. which emerged in the late 60s/early 70s. Yoruba folk music became perhaps the most prominent kind of West African music in Afro-Latin and Caribbean musical styles. etc. and Lagos (Nigeria's most populous city). Although. Although traditional Yoruba music was not influenced by foreign music the same cannot be said of modern day Yoruba music which has evolved and adapted itself through contact with foreign instruments. Misitura Akawe. as an offshoot of were/ajisari music genres. etc. especially using the dundun[1] hourglass tension drums. Sanusi Aka.Dele ojo. Some pioneering juju musicians include Tunde King.Yoruba music 9 Yoruba music The music of the Yoruba people of Nigeria is best known for an extremely advanced drumming tradition. Ik Dairo Moses Olaiya (Baba Sala). Tunde Nightingale. and Port Harcourt where people and culture mix influenced by their rich culture.[4] These ensembles consist of various sizes of tension drums along with special band drums (ogido). Yusuf Olatunji. here Yoruba. Karimot Aduke. Ibadan. more recently. talents and creativity. Interpretation involves rendering African. Saka Layigbade. sakara played by the pioneers such as Ojo Olawale in Ibadan. Another popular genre is waka music played and popularized by Alhaja Batuli Alake and. . Fuji. Alhaji Dauda Epo-Akara and Ganiyu Kuti or "Gani Irefin. Salawa Abeni.K. Kasumu Adio.) Ajadi. Mujidat Ogunfalu. Yorùbá music left an especially important influence on the music used in Lukumi[2] practice and the music of Cuba[3] Folk music Ensembles using the dundun play a type of music that is also called dundun. utilising basic and natural instruments such as clapping of the hands. Asanat Omo-Aje. these multicultural traditions were brought together and became the root of Nigerian popular music. is another genre of Yoruba modern music which was played by spirited pacesetters such as Haruna Ishola. and this form is often devoted to Orisas. In both Ibadan (Nigeria's largest city). These musical genres have their roots in large metropolitan cities like Lagos. Segun Bucknor. Sefiu Ayan. Why Worry in Ondo and Ayinde Bakare. and Risikat Abeawo. musical expression using a mixture of instruments from different horizons. Bobby Benson. Kuburat Alaragbo. Abibu Oluwa. which were made popular by certain Ibadan singers/musicians such as the late Sikiru Ayinde Barister. Much of Yoruba music is spiritual in nature. Playing music for a living was not something the Yoruba's did and singers were referred to in a derogatory term of Alagbe. it is this derogation of musicians that made it not appeal to modern Yoruba at the time. Popular music Yorùbá music is regarded as one of the more important components of the modern Nigerian popular music scene.. Yekini (Y. The leader of a dundun ensemble is the oniyalu who uses the drum to "talk" by imitating the tonality of Yoruba. The gangan[5] is another such. Fela Kuti's Afrobeat[6] and King Sunny Ade's juju[7] are all Yoruba adaptations of foreign music. it is true that music genres like the highlife played by musicians like Rex Lawson. Fatimo Akingbade.

"Afro-Funksters" and "From Hausa Music to Highlife" in the Rough Guide to World Music. 1990 ISBN 0-226-87465-6 [8] Turino. pg. descarga. Savannahphone. 432 .600. (ed Paperback). • Dundun. Karolyi. F. 588 . 43 [6] Randle. melodic bata • Sakara drum: goatskin istretched over clay ring • Agogô: a high-pitched tone instrument like a "covered" 3-dimensional "tuning fork" • Saworo: like agogo. bass drum. pg. pgs.600. "Afro-Funksters" and "From Hausa Music to Highlife" in the Rough Guide to World Music.182. Old World and New (http://www. main or "mother" drum and omele. "Afro-Funksters" and "From Hausa Music to Highlife" in the Rough Guide to World Music. a thumb piano instrument wound round the neck and stabilized by the player's chest. Bensignor. Fran&ccedi. 30. pgs. and Ronnie Graham. 588 .amazon. 181 .182. vol.436 and pgs. Fran&ccedi. pgs. "Afro-Funksters" and "From Hausa Music to Highlife" in the Rough Guide to World Music. "Afro-Funksters" and "From Hausa Music to Highlife" in the Rough Guide to World Music. jstor. 588 . Bensignor.ois with Eric Audra. pgs. 181 . com/ dp/ 0226874656).182. 43 External links • Gray. pgs. 181 . pg. John. pgs.436 and pgs. pgs. Soul Force 101: Yoruba Sacred Music. beaten by fists occasionally and thrown in the air to create a festive mood. Chicargo.Grass. Karolyi. 588 . 432 . pg. 432 . Karolyi.ois with Eric Audra.com/cgi-bin/ db/archives/Article17) • Various Artist.com/dp/ B000OYC79O)] 1931-1952].182. Jùjú: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music (http:/ / www. beads or cowrie shells beautifully wound around a gourd. The MIT Press. pgs. smaller drums. Karolyi. pgs.1. pg.descarga.ois with Eric Audra. scribd. org/ pss/ 1145717). 43 [5] Turino. 43 [2] Bata Drumming Notations Discographies Glossary: Bata Druming & the Lucumi Santeria BembeCeremony (http:/ / www. with strong links to the deity Shango.ois with Eric Audra. and Ronnie Graham. but its tone is low-pitched • aro: much like a saworo. pgs. Scribd Online [3] Conunto Folkorico Nacional De Cuba: Música Yoruba (http:/ / www. shaken.ois with Eric Audra. saworo and hand-clapping • Agidigbo.600. consisting of iya ilu or gbedu. amazon. com/ cgi-bin/ db/ archives/ Article17) [4] Turino. 588 . played as an accompaniment to bata drums to create a base for their sharp beats. • Bembe. • Goje: sort of violin like the sahelian kora • Sekere[9] : a melodic shaker. Fran&ccedi.182. (Audio CD). it produces sharp high tone sounds. Bensignor. Awon Ojise Olorun: Popular Music of [[Yorubaland (http://www. and Ronnie Graham.600. Bensignor. University of Chicargo Press. no. 432 . Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: The Art of an Afrobeat Rebel (http:/ / www. Fran&ccedi. Fran&ccedi.436 and pgs. (see also List of Caribbean membranophones) References [1] Turino.436 and pgs. Karolyi. 432 . com/ doc/ 85753/ Bata-Drumming-Notations-Discographies-Glossary). Fran&ccedi. Bensignor. kettle drum. "Afro-Funksters" and "From Hausa Music to Highlife" in the Rough Guide to World Music.182.ois with Eric Audra. 131-148 [7] Christopher Alan Waterman. pgs. Bensignor. • gudugudu:[10] a smaller. 181 . 432 . 2007 . low-pitched • Seli: a combination of aro. TDR (journal).600.Yoruba music 10 Musical instruments • Agbe: a shaker • Ashiko: a cone-shaped drum • Batá drum[8] : a well decorated traditional drum of many tones. 181 . pgs. 43 [10] Turino.436 and pgs. pg. 1986 pp. Karolyi. and Ronnie Graham. 43 [9] Turino. 588 . 181 .600. and Ronnie Graham.436 and pgs. and Ronnie Graham.

Igala. èdè).009. The Yoruba constitute between 30 and 50 million individuals[9] throughout West Africa and are found predominantly in Nigeria and make up around 21% of its population. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language (Yoruba: èdèe Yorùbá. and the Egun. the Nupe (whom they often call "Tapa") and Ebira in the north.[10] The Yoruba share borders with the Borgu (variously called "Baruba" and "Borgawa") in the northwest. there are also substantial indigenous Yoruba communities in the Republic of Benin and Togo. and others in the southwest. plus large groups of Yoruba migrants living in the United States and the United Kingdom.207+ [3] 350. Nupe.) [1] Regions with significant populations  Nigeria 29. The Igala and other related groups are found in the northeast.480 [2]  Benin  Ghana  Togo 1.315+ (2006) [6] [7] Languages Yoruba. . Fon.Yoruba people 11 Yoruba people Yoruba Kwara State drummers Total population Over 30 million (est. Yoruboid languages Religion Islam 50% Christianity 40% [8] Orisha veneration & Ifá 10% Related ethnic groups Bini.000 [4] 85. and the Afemai to the southeast.000 [5]  Canada 3. the Ẹsan.039. The Yoruba people (Yorùbá in Yoruba orthography) are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. and the Edo. Ebira. Itsekiri. While the majority of the Yoruba live in western Nigeria.

at least by the 4th century BC. Ife. • The "third generation" consists of villages and municipalities that emerged following the Yoruba wars. 12 History Yoruba people Culture Music Art Language Mythology People General history The African peoples who lived in the lower western Niger area. even common descent. were not initially known as the Yoruba.[11] It was then surpassed by the Yoruba Oyo Empire as the dominant Yoruba military and political power between 1700 AD and 1900 AD. . who joined them in ruling over the kingdoms through a series of guilds and cults. often. The nearby Benin Empire with its capital in the city of Benin.Yoruba people Yoruba settlements are often described as primarily one or more of the main social groupings called "generations": • The "first generation" includes towns and cities known as original capitals of founding Yoruba states/kingdoms. the oba or ruler of Ife is referred to as the Ooni of Ife. Between 1100 AD and 1700 AD. autocratic monarchs with almost total control. while in others such as the Ijebu city-states. referred to as the Awujale of Ijebuland. was an equally powerful force between 1300 and 1850 AD. Some such as Oyo had powerful. although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. the Yoruba Kingdom of Ife experienced a golden age. noble and. recognised leaders of royal. Different states saw differing ratios of power between the kingships and the chiefs' councils.[13] Further information: Kingdom of Ife Most of the city states were controlled by Obas (or royal sovereigns with various individual titles) and councils made up of Oloyes. Both archeology and traditional Yoruba oral historians confirm the existence of people in this region for several millennia. its ruler being referred to as the Oba of Benin. however. • The "second generation" consists of settlements created by conquest. remained and continues to be viewed as the spiritual homeland of the Yoruba. was more limited.[12] the oba or ruler of Oyo is referred to as the Alaafin of Oyo. the senatorial councils held more influence and the power of the ruler or Ọba. which is also in modern day Nigeria.

But this was at a great price.[15] Criticism Ife bronze casting of a king dated around the 12th Century However. Ekiti is near the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers.[17] . Among the objecting voices to the stories of Oduduwa being the Progenitor of the Yoruba was the London-based Yoruba Muslim scholar. but more likely signifying the region of Ekiti and Okun sub-communities in northeastern Yorubaland/central Nigeria. these people now turned themselves into marauders. she was said to have played a significant role in the quelling of the marauders advancements. some Yoruba scholars. His coming from the east. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu. He was to empty the content of the snail shell on the water after placing some pieces of iron on it. having to give up her only son Oluorogbo.[14] Ọbatala descended from heaven on a chain. to create solid land out of the primordial water that constituted the earth and populating the land with human beings. Each making their mark in the subsequent urbanization and consolidation of Yoruba confederacy of kingdoms. who dismissed the common myth that all Yorubas are descendants of Oduduwa as a false representation by Orisha worshippers to gain an unjust advantage over the more recent jihadist Islam and the evangelism of Christianity". with each kingdom tracing its origin to Ile-Ife. palm kernels and a five-toed chicken. the Supreme. Thought to be survivors of the old occupants of the land before the arrival of Oduduwa. and constituted a serious threat to the survival of Ife. Sheikh Dr. Oduduwa Oral history of the Oyo-Yoruba recounts Odùduwà to be the Progenitor of the Yoruba and the reigning ancestor of their crowned kings. and is where the Yoruba language is presumed to have separated from related ethno-linguistic groups like Igala. the aborigines became difficult.[16] " After Oduduwa Upon the disappearance of Oduduwa. carrying a small snail shell full of earth. especially when examining materials and functions of the physical and spiritual worlds of the African people. The reward for her patriotism and selflessness was not to be reaped in one life time as she later passed on and was thereafter immortalized. Then came Moremi on the scene. The Edi festival celebrates this feat till date. and Edo. Igbo. the Muslim and Christian clerics object to this mythology. They would come to town in costumes made of raffia with terrible and fearsome appearances. sometimes understood by some sources as the "vicinity" true East on the Cardinal points.Yoruba people 13 Cosmogonic origin Orisa'nla (The great divinity) also known as Ọbatala was the arch-divinity chosen by Olodumare. a PhD graduate from Damascus. and burn down houses and loot the markets.[16] He argued that the myth that all the Yorubas are children of Odua was based only on words of mouth and that it does not conform with the science and the reality of logics conducted on objective principles which usually consist systematized experiment with phenomena. and then to place the chicken on the earth to spread it over the primordial water. especially. After the dispersal. there was a dispersal of his children from Ife to found other kingdoms.

' 140 principal military ones and 280 secondary ones. servant. that it stayed with them in its various forms from their antiquity to the contemporary era. however. A family could be excluded from kingship and chieftancy if any family member. The kings were traditionally almost always polygamous and often married royal family members from other domains. and judicial powers resided with the Ogboni." Leadership Gerontocratic leadership councils that guarded against the monopolization of power by a monarch were a proverbial trait of the Ẹgba. In other city-states. with distinguished soldiers wielding political powers through their election by popular acclaim and the respect of their peers. a representative of the British Crown writing an account of his visit to the city in an 1853 edition of the Church Military Intelligencer. There are also. largely dispensed with the concept of monarchism. and the system of government as having "840 principal rulers or 'House of Lords. murder or rape. the Ijebu forced citizens of more than 150 Ẹgba and Owu communities to migrate to the fortified city of Abeokuta. which saw a corresponding rise in . Oyo Empire and surrounding states. or slave belonging to the family committed a crime such as theft. were notable exceptions. the monarchy was open to the election of any free-born male citizen. legislative. Ondo. and other Yoruba communities. but they were not the only approach to government and social organization. fraud. The city became a military republic. found in the forests below Ọyọ's savanna region. according to the eminent Ọyọ historian Reverend Samuel Johnson. These independent councils then elected their most capable members to join a federal civilian and military council that represented the city as a whole. and in some cases its own elected Obas or Baales. a city-state and proto-empire founded in the 18th century by a polyglot group of refugees. and itinerant traders from Ọyọ and the other Yoruba sub-groups. soldiers. or council of military leaders. Similar practices were adopted by the jẹsa and other groups. During the internecine wars of the 19th century. though real political. The notion of the divine king was so important to the Yoruba. preferring to elect both military and civil councils from a pool of eminent citizens. several traditions of female Ọbas. where each quarter retained its own Ogboni council of civilian leaders. Commander Frederick Forbes.' 2800 secondary chiefs or 'House of Commons. the most centralized of the precolonial kingdoms. a council of notable elders.[18] described Abẹokuta as having "four presidents". the Alaafin consulted on all political decisions with a prime minister (the Basọrun) and the council of leading nobles known as the Ọyọ Mesi. These independent polities often elected an Ọba. and other groups falling under the Yoruba ethnic umbrella. but such councils were also well-developed among the northern Okun groups.[19] Ibadan. In Ọyọ." He described Abẹokuta and its system of government as "the most extraordinary republic in the world. along with an Olorogun. City states The monarchy of any city state was usually limited to a number of royal lineages. The numerous Ijebu city-states to the west of Oyo and the Ẹgba communities. in Ilesa.Yoruba people 14 Pre-colonial Yoruba society Government Monarchies were a common form of government in Yorubaland. the eastern Ekiti. though these were comparatively rare.

and each lodge plotted to overthrow Ọyọ's Ajeles (appointed administrators) in the late 18th century. social clubs. Be that as it may. Diversity Today. They are largely seen by the adherents of the modern faiths. commonly known as Ẹgbẹ in Yoruba. This group. is commonly seen as one of the principal components of the syncretic pool known as the African traditional religions. and maintained an important role in commerce. Benin and Togo. Ìgbómìnà and Okun Yoruba in order to resist various imperial expansionist plans of Ibadan. covert military resistance leagues like the Ekiti Parapọ and the Ogidi alliance were organized during the 19th century wars by often-decentralized communities of the Ekiti. and religious units. They participate in them as a means to boost tourist industries in their local economies. many of the principles of the traditional faith of their ancestors are either knowingly or unknowingly upheld by a significant proportion of the populations of Nigeria. Islam And Christianity Traditional Yoruba religious practices such as the Eyo and Osun Oshogbo festivals are witnessing a resurgence in popularity in contemporary Yorubaland. a reserved way of life remains. and vocational education in Yoruba polities. Similarly. . Traditional Yoruba Religion The Yoruba faith. secret or initiatory societies. Nupe. Orisha-Ifa or simply (and erroneously) Ifa. variously known as Aborisha. It largely survived the so-called middle passage. and the Sokoto Caliphate. a figure named Lisabi is credited with either creating or reviving a covert traditional organization named Ẹgbẹ Aro. social control. originally a farmers' union. and is seen in a variety of forms in the New World as a result. Islam found its way into the Yoruba kingdoms long before the Christianity of the colonial evangelists. coming as it did with itinerant merchants from the medieval empire of Mali. There are also examples of other peer organizations in the region.Yoruba people the social influence of military adventurers and successful entrepreneurs. especially the Muslims and Christians. Ijẹsa. most contemporary Yoruba are Muslims and Christians. as cultural rather than religious events. with the school of thought of their people serving as a major influence in West Africa and elsewhere. was converted to a network of secret militias throughout the Ẹgba forests. When the Ẹgba resisted the imperial domination of the Ọyọ Empire. Culture In the city-states and many of their neighbors. 15 Groups organizations and leagues in Yorubaland Occupational guilds. included the Parakoyi (or league of traders) and Ẹgbẹ Ọdẹ (hunter's guild).

[20] Twins are very important for the Yoruba and they usually tend to give special names to each twin. 7 ojo in 1 ose. is the name of the last born twin. which means 'the first to taste the world'.4 % of all maternities). Kehinde.[22] Ibeji twins. ose (weeks). wakati (hours). Kehinde is sometimes also referred to as Kehindegbegbon which is short for Omokehindegbegbon and means.[21] The first of the twins to be born is traditionally named Taiyewo or Tayewo. Taiye or Taye. this is often shortened to Taiwo. There are 12 oshu in 1 odun. 'the child that came last gets the rights of the eldest'. Months in Yoruba calendar: Months in Gregorian calendar[23] : Sere Erele Erena Igbe Ebibi Okudu Agemo Ogun Owere (Owewe) Owara (Owawa) Belu Ope January February March April May June July August September October November December .Yoruba people 16 Twins in Yoruba society The Yoruba present the highest dizygotic twinning rate in the world (4. 4 ose in 1 oshu and 52 ose in 1 odun. oshu or osu (months) and odun (years). Calendar Time is measured in isheju or iseju (minutes). There are 60 isheju in 1 wakati. 24 wakati in 1 ojo. or Kenny for short. ojo (days).

The North-West Yoruba dialects. show more linguistic innovations. historical-comparative linguistics.[25] To reconcile with the Gregorian calendar. Yoruba people also often measure time in seven days a week and four weeks a month: Modified days in Yoruba calendar Days in Gregorian calendar Ojo-Aiku Ojo-Aje Ojo-Ishegun Ojo-'Ru Ojo-Bo Ojo-Eti Ojo-Abameta Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday [26] Demographics Yoruba Dialectology Although most Yoruba speakers share a common history. According to some.[28] .Yoruba people 17 Yoruba calendar traditional days Days: Ojo-Orunmila/Ifá Ojo-Shango/Jakuta Ojo-Ogun Ojo-Obatala The Yoruba calendar (Kojoda) year starts from 3 June to 2 June of the following year.[27] Under the influence of the Yoruba Samuel Ajayi Crowther (first Lord Bishop of West Africa and first African lord bishop of the Church of England) and subsequent missionaries. have shed some light on the history of the Yorubas and their language before this point. suggests a later date of immigration for Northwest Yoruba. for example. it was only in the second half of the 19th century that they began to share one common name . the term Yoruba was at that time extended to include all speakers of related dialects. the Gregorian year 2008 A. is the 10050th year of Yoruba culture. glottochronology.[24] According to this calendar. and dialectology used along with both traditional (oral) historical sources and archaeological finds. D. for example. combined with the fact that Southeast and Central Yoruba areas generally have older settlements. this. Linguistic means including.children of Oduduwa.

They also often have at least one Iyaloja. Plateau Province. all Subprefectures. The term is often believed to be derived from a Hausa ethnonym for the populous people to their south. Iwo. An electoral college of lineage heads was and still is usually charged with selecting a member of one of the royal families from any given realm. Ouihni and Zogbodome Subprefecture. Yoruba towns The chief Yoruba cities/towns are [Ilesa]. Ondo. Ilé-Ifẹ. Ijebu-ife. . Odogbolu. two Yoruba-speaking groups along the northern borders of their territory. Traditionally kingship and chieftainship were not determined by simple primogeniture. they also constitute a sizable proportion of Kwara. These markets form an inherent part of Yoruba life. The Ọbas live in palaces that are usually in the center of the town. Ilisan. Centrale Region and Tchamba Prefecture. Ijẹbu-Igbo. Lagos. or Lady of the Market. Ọta. Owo. the term 'Yoruba ' or 'Yariba' came into wider use. as in most monarchic systems of government. Yoruba area in Nigeria. Osogbo. all Subprefectures. Iree. officers. Location in Benin The Yoruba/Ife are the main group in the Benin department of Ouémé. or the king's market. Traditionally their traders are well organized. Ogbomọṣọ. Eko (Lagos). Tchaourou Subprefecture. Orile Igbon. Ikẹnnẹ. Ogou and Est-Mono prefectures. Ilọrin. Opposite the king's palace is the Ọja Ọba. Sagamu. Oyo). Offa.Yoruba people 18 Location in Nigeria The Yoruba are the main ethnic group in the Nigerian federal states of Ekiti. Ondo. have various guilds. Ede. Fiditi. Kogi and Edo states. Ọyọ. Ibadan. Ikare. (Owu. Yoruba diaspora Other names During the 19th century. Kandi Subprefecture. it is likely that the ethnonym was popularized by Hausa usage and ethnography written in Arabic and Ajami. who is expected to represent their interests in the aristocratic council of oloyes at the palace. As an ethnic description. and Oyo. Abẹokuta. Ijẹbu Ode. Osun. Ado-Ekiti. Egba). Location in Togo The Yoruba/Ife are the main group in the Togo department of Plateau Region. Ogun. Ejigbo. but this has not been substantiated by historians. Akurẹ. Donga Province. the word 'Yoruba' first appeared in a treatise written by the Songhai scholar Ahmed Baba (16th century) and is likely to derive from the indigenous ethnonyms Ọyọ (Oyo) or Yagba. Ilesa. Collines Province. Ilaro and Ago-Iwoye. and the selection is then confirmed by an Ifá oracular request. and an elected speaker. Bassila Subprefecture and Alibori. first confined to the Ọyọ. (Owu. Badagry. Borgou Province. Ogere. all subprefectures. Oto-Awori. Zou Province. However. Iperu.

com/ yoruba/ calendar/ ). 2006 counts. jstor. London 1988. 2010 Yorùbá Calendar (Kojoda 10052) #1 [25] Yorùbá Kalenda (http:/ / www. .Freedom of Religion" (http:/ / www. ralaran. for Canada. com/ wc/ Mauritania-to-Nigeria/ Yoruba. . [9] Every Culture Online (http:/ / www. randafricanart.co. provinces and territories" (http:/ / www12. com/ profile/ 120-nigeria-news/ 592-oduduwa-the-ancestor-of-the-crowned-yoruba-kings. c. org/ issn/ 1465-4814) [17] Who are the Yoruba! (http:/ / www. html) Bibliography • • • • • • Akintoye.). gov/ library/ publications/ the-world-factbook/ geos/ ni. July 2010 1465-4814 (http:/ / www. everyculture.gov (https:/ / www.com (http:/ / au. html) [11] Encarta. joshuaproject. Lagos 1948. jsp) [27] (1994:13) [28] Adetugbọ 1973:192-3. worldcat. com/ encyclopedia_781536070/ Ife_(kingdom). ISBN 0-86543-219-8. gov/ library/ publications/ the-world-factbook/ geos/ bn. 61. bottom: Statistics Canada. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 60871/ Benin) [14] James Gibbs. gov/ library/ publications/ the-world-factbook/ geos/ ni. ca/ census-recensement/ 2006/ dp-pd/ hlt/ 97-562/ pages/ page. cfm?Lang=E& Geo=PR& Code=01& Table=2& Data=Count& StartRec=1& Sort=3& Display=All& CSDFilter=5000). jolome. Census 2000. The Ancestor Of The Crowned Yoruba Kings (http:/ / www.uk (http:/ / www.gov (https:/ / www. Law. 103. msn. com/ Yoruba_Customs_and_Beliefs_Pertaining_to_Twins. bottom.: Prominent Traditional Rulers of Yorubaland. net/ peopctry. 1600 – c. org/ Newsletter/ newsletter74. S. 1st ed. Robin: The Oyo Empire. htm) [18] Jstor. jolome. com/ wc/ Mauritania-to-Nigeria/ Yoruba. Bookshop. 03/ yoruba_calendar.Yoruba people 19 References [1] Every Culture: Countries and Their Culture (http:/ / www.org (http:/ / www. interscience.com (http:/ / www. New York 1969. Isola. [15] Article: Oduduwa. uk/ yoruba. google. com/ books?id=CoeBNzqlLT0C& pg=PA103& lpg=PA103& dq=Orisa'nla& source=web& ots=KDXUZedAJZ& sig=UdrF2k3F-ue8wf56VhYJ0S8JCjA& hl=en& sa=X& oi=book_result& resnum=10& ct=result). Igbo and Yoruba in [29] the United States according to U. html) [10] CIA World Factbook (https:/ / www.3. C. Africa World Press. 2010 Yorùbá Calendar (Kojoda 10052)#2. html) [16] DELAB International Magazine. 1836. encarta.com (http:/ / www3.4.gov (http:/ / www. Olumola. 2010 Bascom. org/ pss/ 180299) [19] Royaldiadem. royaldiadem. gov/ main/ www/ cen2000. Under Culture [20] Randafricanart.6. William: The Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria.7 [23] Ralaran Uléìmȯkiri Institute (http:/ / www. php. Oxford 1977. Ibadan 2003. html) [2] CIA. Stephen Adebanji: A History of the Yoruba People. Johnson. pp.net (http:/ / www. html) The language spread of Kru. cia. census.net (http:/ / yourtemple. html) [12] Britannica. net/ peopctry. 1969. statcan. coastalnews. joshuaproject. et al.com (http:/ / www. com/ yoruba/ calendar/ ). ncbuy. [29] Census. co. S.520 identify as Nigerian. • Smith. html) [21] Interscience. jolome. com) [24] Yorùbá Language: Research and Development (http:/ / www. Jonathan Olumide: "The Religion of the Yorubas". com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 437048/ Oyo-empire) [13] Britannica. yorubaalliance. 3rd ed.5. Bernth Lindfors (1993). Lucas. [4] Joshuaproject.wiley. cia.msn. cia. com/ reference/ country/ humanrights. wiley. php?rop3=111095& rog3=TO) [6] "Ethnic origins. britannica.com (http:/ / www.net (http:/ / www. Samuel: History of the Yorubas. britannica. html?code=ni& sec=2c). net/ spirit/ 2008. [8] "Nigeria Human Rights Report . London 1921. Robert: Kingdoms of the Yoruba. everyculture.430 identify as Canadians. php?rop3=111095& rog3=GH) [5] Joshuaproject. com/ yoruba/ calendar/ ) [26] Yourtemple. Dakar. [7] 19. . Research on Wole Soyinka (http:/ / books. M. Retrieved 2010-04-04. com/ journal/ 119755283/ abstract) [22] Yorùbá Language: Research and Development (http:/ / www. . html) [3] CIA.

social.sourceforge.org) promotes the cultural. .org (http://oroede.net/) Ọrọ èdè Yorùbá (Words of the Yoruba Language) promotes the digital presentation of Yorùbá orthography through the creation and modification of Opensource software.org • Oroede. economic and political welfare of Yoruba.Yoruba people 20 External links • Egbe Isokan Yoruba (http://yoruba. yoruba.

have shed some light on the history of the Yorubas and their language before this point. in Nigeria. At some stage the term Yariba or Yoruba came into use. the term was used among the Hausa (as it is today) but its origins are unclear. for example. first confined to the Ọyọ Kingdom. suggests a later date of immigration for Northwest Yoruba. glottochronology. show more linguistic innovations.[1] The native tongue of the Yoruba people. Europe and the Americas. Igbo and Nupe. Oduduwa. The North-West Yoruba dialects. it is only since the second half of the nineteenth century that the children of Oduduwa share one name. 'the Yorùbá language') is a Niger–Congo language spoken in West Africa by approximately 20 million speakers. according to their oral traditions. It is more widely related to other Nigerian Niger–Congo languages including Edo. According to some. historical-comparative linguistics.[2] In part due to the development of a written standard. the term Yoruba was extended to include all speakers of the language. it is spoken. Benin.[3] . It is most closely related to the Itsekiri language spoken in the Niger-Delta and Igala spoken in central Nigeria. this. combined with the fact that Southeast and Central Yoruba areas generally have older settlements. and Togo and in communities in other parts of Africa. Although they share a common history.Yoruba language 21 Yoruba language Yorùbá èdèe Yorùbá Spoken in  Nigeria  Togo  Benin Yoruba people 19 million (Johnstone 1993 as cited in Ethnologue) Ethnicity Native speakers Language family Niger–Congo • Atlantic–Congo • Volta–Niger • yeai • Yoruboid • Edekiri • Writing system Latin alphabet Official status Regulated by No official regulation Language codes ISO 639-1 ISO 639-2 ISO 639-3 yo yor yor Yorùbá Yorùbá (native name èdè Yorùbá. Linguistic means — including. and dialectology — used along with both traditional (oral) historical sources and archaeological finds. among other languages. History The ancestor of the Yoruba speakers is. for example.

• Abẹokuta. . The various Yoruba dialects in the Yorubaland of Nigeria can be classified into three major dialect areas: Northwest. traditional government is based on a division of power between civil and war chiefs. Crowther. SEY has collapsed the second and third person plural pronominal forms. just as their nasal counterparts. with some writers holding the opinion that the Ọyọ dialect is the most "pure" form. has nonetheless been a powerful consolidating factor in the emergence of a common Yoruba identity. Ilésà. thus. is a separate member of the dialect cluster. North-West Yoruba is historically a part of the Ọyọ empire. for example the simplified vowel harmony system. as well as foreign structures.[4] Of course. Central Yoruba forms a transitional area in that the lexicon has much in common with NWY. the standard variety learnt at school and that spoken by newsreaders on the radio. Ifẹ. while it has lowered the nasal vowels /ịn/ and /ụn/ to /ẹn/ and /ọn/. Ibadan. Ọyọ. Standard Yoruba has its origin in the 1850s. Standard Yoruba incorporates several features from other dialects. and Southeast.[5] In contrast to NWY. whereas NWY for example has ẹ wá 'you (pl.) came' and wọ́n wá 'they came'. Ethnographically. the variety learnt at school and used in the media. Ẹfọn. Literary Yoruba Literary Yoruba. and Ijẹbu areas. such as calques from English which originated in early translations of religious works. lineage and descent are largely multilineal and cognatic. Ikarẹ. Ọwọ. when Samuel A. respectively. Its vowel system is the least innovating (most stable) of the three dialect groups. In NWY dialects. respectively. The emergence of a plural of respect may have prevented coalescence of the two in NWY dialects. Because the use of Standard Yoruba did not result from some deliberate linguistic policy. and parts of Ijẹbu. Ilaje. lineage and descent are unilineal and agnatic. Akurẹ. • South-East Yoruba (SEY) • Okitipupa. SEY has retained the /gh/ and /gw/ contrast. clear boundaries can never be drawn and peripheral areas of dialectal regions often have some similarities to adjoining dialects. It is the written form of the language. published a Yoruba grammar and started his translation of the Bible. much controversy exists as to what constitutes 'genuine Yoruba'. Central. whereas it shares many ethnographical features with SEY.Yoruba language 22 Varieties The Yoruba dialect continuum itself consists of several dialects. Yagba. having retained nine oral-vowel contrasts and six or seven nasal vowels. Yoruba koiné. àn án wá can mean either 'you (pl. • North-West Yoruba (NWY). also known as Standard Yoruba. Linguistically. the first African Bishop. the upper vowels /i ̣/ and /ụ/ were raised and merged with /i/ and /u/.[6] It also has some features peculiar to itself. and an extensive vowel harmony system.) came' or 'they came' in SEY dialects. South-East Yoruba was probably associated with the expansion of the Benin Empire after c. and the division of titles into war and civil is unknown. Standard Yoruba. Though for a large part based on the Ọyọ and Ibadan dialects. Ekiti. Ṣagamu. Ogun and Lagos (Eko) areas • Central Yoruba (CY) • Igbomina. and common Yoruba. 1450 AD. and others stating that there is no such thing as genuine Yoruba at all. Ondo. Proto-Yoruba /gh/ (the velar fricative [ɣ]) and /gw/ have merged into /w/. resulting in a vowel system with seven oral and three nasal vowels.

When more than one tone is used in one syllable. as is common in many African orthographies. and revised in 1980 by the National Center for Applied Linguistics. ‹o̩›. Yoruba uses a different orthography. In this case. viz. who later would proceed to work on his native language himself. and ‹s̩›. combined into a single accent. The only diacritic used was a dot below certain vowels to signify their open variants [ɛ] and [ɔ]. more rarely in current usage. These are used in addition to the line in ‹ẹ› and ‹ọ›. In addition to the vertical bars. ‹y› represents a palatal approximant like English ‹y›. in which both consonants are pronounced simultaneously rather than sequentially. ‹v›. Still largely similar to the older orthography. the standard devised there was the basis for the orthography of the steady flow of religious and educational literature over the next seventy years. In 1875 the Church Missionary Society (CMS) organised a conference on Yoruba Orthography. The Yoruba alphabet was standardized along with other Benin languages in the National Languages Alphabet by the National Language Commission in 1975. Over the years the orthography was revised to represent tone among other things. The pronunciation of the letters without diacritics corresponds more or less to their International Phonetic Alphabet equivalents. ‹ṣ› represents a postalveolar consonant [ʃ] like the English ‹sh›. including the traditional vertical line set under the letters ‹e̩›. Crowther used the Latin alphabet largely without tone markings. Nigerian alphabet A B D E Ẹ F G Gb H I J K L M N O Ọ P R S Ṣ T U W Y a b d e ẹ f g gb h i j k l m n o ọ p r s ṣ t u w y The Latin letters ‹c›. three further diacritics are used on vowels and syllabic nasal consonants to indicate the language's tones: an acute accent ‹´› for the high tone. ‹q›. *‹òó› for a vowel [o] with tone rising from low to high) or. it employs the Latin alphabet modified by the use of the digraph ‹gb› and certain diacritics. a study of the earlier orthographies and an attempt to bring Yoruba orthography in line with actual speech as much as possible. ‹z› are not used. List of characters used in Nigeria Á À Ā É È Ē Ẹ / E̩ Ẹ́ / É̩ Ẹ̀ / È̩ Ẹ̄ / Ē̩ Í Ì Ī Ó Ò Ō Ọ / O̩ Ọ́/ Ó̩ Ọ̀ / Ò̩ Ọ̄ / Ō̩ Ú Ù Ū Ṣ / S̩ á à ā é è ē ẹ / e̩ ẹ́ / é̩ ẹ̀ / è̩ ẹ̄ / ē̩ í ì ī ó ò ō ọ / o̩ ọ́ / ó̩ ọ̀ / ò̩ ọ̄ / ō̩ ú ù ū ṣ / s̩ In Benin. One of their informants was Crowther. In many publications the line is replaced by a dot ‹ẹ›. a grave accent ‹`› for the low tone. except for the labial-velar stops [k͡p] (written ‹p›) and [ɡ͡b] (written ‹gb›). ‹ẹ› and ‹ọ›. ‹x›. In early grammar primers and translations of portions of the English Bible. and an optional macron ‹¯› for the middle tone. the vowel can either be written once for each tone (for example. The current orthography of Yoruba used in Nigeria derives from a 1966 report of the Yoruba Orthography Committee. . ‹ọ›. along with Ayọ Bamgboṣe's 1965 Yoruba Orthography. ‹ṣ›. a caron ‹ˇ› is used for the rising tone (so the previous example would be written ‹ǒ›) and a circumflex ‹ˆ› for a the falling tone. a form of Arabic. The vertical line had been used to avoid the mark being fully covered by an underline. pronounced with the root of the tongue retracted (so ‹ẹ› is pronounced [ɛ̙] and ‹ọ› is [ɔ̙]).Yoruba language 23 Writing system In the 17th century Yoruba was written in the Ajami script. The diacritic underneath vowels indicates an open vowel. and ‹j› a voiced palatal plosive.[7] Modern Yoruba orthography originated in the early work of CMS missionaries working among the Aku (Yoruba) of Freetown.

It is cumbersome or impossible to do this sort of editing with modern electronic systems. These include currency symbols such as the Nigerian Naira (₦) and the Ghana Cedi (Ȼ). mobile phones and tablets tend not to enable the bottom marks AND the top marks together. Attempts The advent of the use of writing instruments and the European cultural invasion have highlighted key issues in writing for the Yoruba language. Firstly. editors could go over an article and hand-write the marks before additional copies are published. video. Remi-NIyi Alaran [8] has proposed an adaptation of the Crowther marking system. The sentence 'n̄ ò lọ' I didn't go provides examples of the three syllable types: • n̄ — [ŋ̄] — I • ò — [ó] — not (negation) • lọ — [lɔ] — to go . Unfortunately. Linguists and software developers have not done enough to transfer these marks into the modern age. Other terms are more mundane such as cake. chemical names like xanthium and calcium. and the web-centric @. a whole range of new characters have evolved internationally and been adopted by the Yoruba. and syllabic nasal (N). less visual clutter. The Alaran method involves putting 'both' diacritical marks above the character. vowel alone (V). mid ‹◌̄› (generally left unmarked). Benefits of this method include clearer underlining. computers. Crowther and others used a diacritical marking system to denote the tonalism that is prevalent in Yoruba language. Every syllable bears one of the three tones: high ‹◌́›. registered (r) and trademark (TM). The Yoruba thinker. the software widely used in websites. and computer. Secondly. or biological terms such as zygote and virus. or physics concepts such as quantum. and low ‹◌̀›. and improved ease of Yoruba language localisation: Àà Aa Áá Bb Dd Èè Ii Íí Jj Kk Ll Ee Éé Ḕḕ Ėė Ḗḗ Ff G g GB gb H h Ì ì Rr Ss @ © Mm Nn Òò Oo Óó Ṑṑ Ȯȯ Ṓṓ Pp Cc Qq Vv Xx Zz Ȼ Ṡṡ Tt Ùù Uu Úú Ww Yy ₦ Linguistic features Phonology The three possible syllable structures of Yoruba are consonant+vowel (CV). Many of these are in words in scientific context and do not have Yoruba direct translations.Yoruba language 24 Benin alphabet A B D E Ɛ F G Gb H I J K KP L M N O Ɔ P R S sh T U W Y a b d e ɛ f g gb h i j k kp l m n o ɔ p r s sh t u w y Modernising the Yoruba Writing System. In the age of typewriters. car. cyclone and revolver. For example. saxophone. and has brought a range of new alphabetical characters (c. x. quack. the English language is in wide use among the Yoruba. Thirdly. zoo. q. v and z) into the Yoruba mind-space. abbreviations for copyright (c).

gbọ̄gbọ̄ [ɡ͡bɔɡ͡bɔ] 'all'.[10] Orthographically. Oral vowels Front Back Close Close-mid Open-mid Open i e ɛ a u o ɔ Nasal vowels Front ĩ Back ũ ɛ̃ ɔ̃ The status of a fifth nasal vowel. ‹ẹn›. There are no diphthongs in Yoruba. ‹in›.Yoruba language Vowels Standard Yoruba has seven oral and five nasal vowels. sequences of vowels are pronounced as separate syllables. it is in free variation with [ɔ̃]. often.e.g. [ã].. e. nasal vowels are normally represented by an oral vowel symbol followed by ‹n› (i. inú 'inside. which is why /k͡p/ is written as ‹p›. pápá [k͡pák͡pá] 'field'. belly' is actually pronounced [īnṹ]. or in some varieties (notably Lagos Yoruba) as the alveolar approximant [ɹ]. Dialects differ in the number of vowels they have.[11] Consonants LabIal Alveolar Postalveolar/ Palatal Nasal Plosive Fricative Approximant Rhotic m b f t  d s l~n ɾ ɟ ʃ j w Velar plain labial ŋ ~ ŋ̍ k  ɡ k͡p  ɡ͡b h Glottal The voiceless plosives /t/ and /k/ are slightly aspirated. ‹un›. ‹ọn›). Oral vowels are marked by black dots. Yoruba has the labial-velar stops /k͡p/ and /ɡ͡b/. in some Yoruba varieties. while the coloured regions indicate the ranges in possible quality of the nasal vowels. Like many other languages of the region. It also lacks a phoneme /n/. 25 [9] Yoruba vowel diagram. it lacks the common voiceless bilabial plosive /p/. The rhotic consonant is realized as a flap [ɾ]. it strictly speaking refers to . is controversial. i. though the letter ‹n› is used for the sound in the orthography. see above. except in case of the [n] allophone of /l/ (see below) preceding a nasal vowel.e. Although the sound does occur in speech. /t/ and /d/ are more dental. several authors have argued it to be not phonemically contrastive. Notably.

see below). 26 Grammar Yoruba is a highly isolating language. unnatural speech. ‹n̄›). The bare verb stem denotes a completed action (often called perfect). ara 'body' • L: ó bẹ̀ 'he asks for pardon'. koríko → koóko 'grass'. Although Yoruba has no grammatical gender. at. a syllable containing a long vowel can have two tones. Position and direction are expressed by these prepositions in combination with spatial relational nouns like orí ‘top’. Examples: • H: ó bẹ́ 'he jumped'. except on syllabic nasals where it is indicated using a macron (‹a›. for example ó ń lọ [ó ń lɔ] 'he is going'. probably a remainder of the noun class system of proto-Niger–Congo. the latter encodes location/direction with movement (Sachnine 1997:19). Serial verb constructions are common.Yoruba language an allophone of /l/ which immediately precedes a nasal vowel.[15] Its basic constituent order is subject–verb–object (SVO). In the rare case where this results in two possible readings. There is also a syllabic nasal which forms a syllable nucleus by itself. Mid is unmarked. etc. Negation is expressed by a preverbal particle kò. síbí 'spoon' • M: ó bẹ 'he is forward'. The orthography here follows speech in that word divisions are normally not indicated in words that are contracted as a result of assimilation or elision: ra ẹja → rẹja 'buy fish'. and indeed only is absent in very slow. àdìrò → ààrò 'hearth'.e. tense and aspect are marked by preverbal particles such as ń 'imperfect/present continuous'. . In other cases its place of articulation is homorganic with the following consonant.09. ilẹ̀ ‘down’. etí ‘edge’.[14] In fact. inú ‘inside’. Rowlands 1969:45-6). fìlà Àkàndé 'Akande’s cap' or àpótí aṣọ 'box for clothes' (Bamgboṣe 1966:110.g. Plural nouns are indicated by a plural word. towards’.g.[12] ) Every syllable must have at least one tone. rising or falling tone melodies) are usually analysed as separate tones occurring on adjacent tone bearing units (morae) and thus have no phonemic status. and mid (the default tone. e. Many of these spatial relational terms are historically related to body-part terms.[18] There are two ‘prepositions’: ní ‘on. with an index of synthesis of 1. Contour tones (i. Sometimes however. the tone of the elided vowel is retained. the grave accent for low tone (‹à›. authors may choose to use an inverted comma to indicate an elided vowel as in ní ilé → n’ílé 'in the house'. since syllables in Yoruba normally end in a vowel. More than two nouns can be juxtaposed: rélùweè abẹ́ ilẹ̀ (railway under ground) ‘underground railway’.[17] it does have a distinction between human and non-human nouns. inú àpótí aṣọ 'the inside of the clothes box'. abẹ́ ‘under’. assimilation or deletion ('elision') of one of the vowels often takes place. disambiguation is left to the context. ó ń fò [ó ḿ fò] 'he is jumping'. ti 'past'. ‹ń›). this is a very common phenomenon. The associative construction (covering possessive/genitive and related notions) consists of juxtaposing nouns in the order modified-modifier as in inú àpótí {inside box} 'the inside of the box'. low. as in many other languages of West Africa. e. ‹ǹ›). Long vowels within words usually signal that a consonant has been elided word-internally. the distinction is only apparent in the fact that the two groups require different interrogative particles: tani for human nouns (‘who?’) and kini for non-human nouns (‘what?’). apá ‘side’.[13] Tones are marked by use of the acute accent for high tone (‹á›. and most nouns start with one. ọ̀kọ̀ 'spear'. When it precedes a vowel it is a velar nasal [ŋ]. In such cases. òtító → òótó 'truth'. Assimilation and elision When a word precedes another word beginning with a vowel. n ò lọ [ŋ ò lɔ] 'I didn't go'. in’ and sí ‘onto. The former indicates location and absence of movement. Tone Yoruba is a tonal language with three level tones: high.[16] as in ó nà Adé 'he beat Adé'.

Abu-Abdullah Adelabu used assertions like these to argue that Islam had reached Sub-Sahara Africa. and Missionary and Colonization in Africa. Al-Arbi'a ‫ )ﺍﻷﺭﺑﻌﺎء‬for Wednesday. Alaruba (Ar. Good.West African in Particular. ‫)ﺍﻟﺴﻤﺎء‬ Alubarika i. It's usually preferred to the unpleasant word for Friday.[21] Literature Yoruba has an extensive body of literature. ‫)ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻓﻴﺔ‬ Sanma i.e. ‫)ﺍﻟﺪﻋﺎء‬ Asiri i. Ath-Thulatha ‫ )ﺍﻟﺜﻼﺛﺎء‬for Tuesday. Libya and Morocco. in Amir Muavia and Yazid periods.e. the Nigerian Muslim academic Sheikh Dr. Fine Or Health(y) from derivative Al-Aafiah (Ar. Al-Khamis ‫ )ﺍﻟﺨﻤﻴﺲ‬for Thursday. onion as Al-Basal (Ar. ‫)ﻭﻗﺖ‬ Alubosa i. Tunisia. Secret or Hidden derivative of As-Sirr (Ar. as early as the first century of Hijrah through Muslim traders and expeditions during the reign of the Arab conquror. among commonly Arabic words used in Yoruba Language are names of the days such as Atalata (Ar. Oral literature • Odu Ifa • Oriki Written literature • • • • • • Wande Abimbola Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode. laziness or abandonment. Adelabu argued Islam has enriched African languages by providing them with technical and cultural augmentations with Ki-Swahili and Af-Somaali in East Africa and Turanci Hausa and Fula-Nyami in West Africa the most beneficiaries. Al-Jum'ah ‫ )ﺍﻟﺠﻤﻌﺔ‬for Friday. which means failure. The wide adoption of imported religions and civilizations such as Islam and Christianity has managed to lay impacts both on written and spoken Yoruba. In his Arabic-English Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Quran and Sunnah. blessing used as Al-Barakah (Ar. Aare Agbefaga of Yorubaland Adebisi Aromolaran.among many other common usages .the following words to be Yoruba's derivatives of Arabic vocabularies:[20] Some Loan Words • • • • • • • Alaafia i. By far Ojo Jimoh is the most favourably used. king of Ijesaland Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa Adebayo Faleti Akinwunmi Isola • Obo Aba Hisanjani • Duro Ladipo .e.Yoruba language 27 Islam Yoruba Language Relations Background In his works such as Islam in Africa . including the Yoruba Lands in West Africa. including present-day Algeria. ‫)ﺍﻟﺒﺮﻛﺔ‬ Wakati i. Sheikh Adelabu. ّ‫)ﺍﻟﺴﺮ‬ Meanwhile. prayer or supplication from Ad-du'a (Ar.[19] Sheikh Dr. Eti. spread all Northern Africa or the Maghrib Al-Arabi. Alamisi (Ar. and Jimoh (Ar. hour or time formed from Waqt (Ar. a Ph D graduate from Damascus cited . Uqba ibn al Nafia (622–683) whose Islamic conquests under the Umayyad dynasty.e.e.e. ‫)ﺍﺍﻟﺒﺼﻞ‬ Adua or Adura i. heaven or sky adopted for Samaa` (Ar.e.

Bamgboṣe 1966:6: The so-called glides […] are treated in this system as separate tones occurring on a sequence of two syllables. • Bamgboṣe. org/ issn/ 01) [20] DELAB International Newsmagazine. Akinlabi 1985).) This widely followed classification is based on Adetugbọ’s (1982) dialectological study — the classification originated in his 1967 PhD thesis The Yoruba Language in Western Nigeria: Its Major Dialect Areas. it causes a downstep (marked by ‹!›. P. org/ issn/ 1465-4814) [21] A lecture by Sheikh Dr. Yleinen kielitiede. Ade (1960). Odunjo Afolabi Olabimtan Sobowole Sowande Wole Soyinka. as cited in Fagborun 1994:25): "While the orthography agreed upon by the missionaries represented to a very large degree the phonemes of the Abẹokuta dialect. Ayọ (1965b). See also Adetugbọ 1973:183-193." (http:/ / www. In Afọlayan (ed. html) [8] Ralaran Uléìmȯkiri Institute (http:/ / www. [14] See Bamgboṣe 1965a for more details. pp. [11] Abraham in his Dictionary of Modern Yoruba deviates from this custom. English Universities Press: London. thus. worldcat. Adebisi (ed. Evan Colyn. the final vowel of the verb rí is deleted but its high tone easily attaches to the first syllable of aṣọ. November 2005 1465-4814 (http:/ / www. a lowering of subsequent tones. [10] Notably. [7] "Yoruba. explicitly indicating the nasality of the vowel. "Towards a Yoruba Dialectology". the Low tone of the first syllable of ọ̀bẹ is not as easily deleted.) (1982). Bamgboṣe 1966:9 (who calls the downstep effect 'the assimilated low tone'). gov/ rr/ amed/ afs/ NigerianSurveyTour2007/ NigerianSurveyTour. Ẹdo and Related Studies (8): 49–58. Cf. The Essentials of the Yoruba Language. worldcat. (See also the section Dialects. [15] Karlsson. [17] Ogunbowale. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press. Evan Colyn. [18] Rowlands. etc. [5] Adetugbọ 1973:185.. • Bamgboṣe. Yoruba Orthography. inú is found under inún. Fọlarin 1987. and Missionary and Colonization in Africa see Al-Arab Daily Newspaper. Teach Yourself Yoruba. org/ issn/ 1465-4814) References • Adetugbọ. com) [9] After Bamgboṣe (1969:166).F. worldcat. • Ajayi. for example the following remark by Adetugbọ (1967. [19] Sheikh Dr. with figures from 1993 Fagborun comments that '[i]t is definitely not morphologically indigenous' (1994:13).e. Abiọdun (1982)..F. ralaran.. Journal of West African Languages (2): 21–27. University of London Press: London. O. "Assimilation and contraction in Yoruba". . Ifẹ / Ibadan: University of Ifẹ Press / Ibadan University Press. Odu: A Journal of Yoruba. F. loc. "How Yoruba was Reduced to Writing". ("General linguistics") Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Ayọ (1965a). • Afọlayan. 1998. The ease with which the Mid tone gives way is attributed to it not being specified underlyingly.Yoruba language • • • • • J.West African in Particular. [16] Rowlands. [6] Cf. English Universities Press:London. but rather is assigned by a default rule (Pulleyblank 1986. In the second example. J. Yoruba language and literature. i. Ayọ Bamgboṣe (1966:8). Yoruba Language and Literature. contrasted with rí 'see' ọ̀bẹ 'knife' → rọ́!bẹ 'see a knife' In the first example. (1969). the morpho-syntax reflected the Ọyọ-Ibadan dialects". Adetugbọ 1973:192-3. See also Ward 1952:123–133 ('Chapter XI: Abbreviations and Elisions'). winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature Amos Tutuola 28 Notes and references Notes [1] [2] [3] [4] Ethnologue 2009. London July. 207–224. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu at Awqaf Africa Damascus titled: Islam in Africa . April 2003 1465-4814 (http:/ / www. Teach Yourself Yoruba. [13] Cf. [12] Several authors have argued that the mid-tone is not specified underlyingly. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu of Awqaf Africa London titled: The History Of Islam in 'The Black History' DELAB International Newsmagazine. the mid tone of which disappears without a trace.).written in a version of the Arabic script known as Ajami (or Ajamiyya). 1998 40-010X 01 40-010X (http:/ / www. (1969). (1970). Evidence includes examples like the following: rí 'see' aṣọ 'clothing' → ráṣọ 'see clothing'.

Akíntúndé & Buba. London. • Oyètádé. (1967). pp. In Elizabeth Dunstan (ed. • Adéwọlé. 1). J. The Early Study of Nigerian Languages. An introduction to the Yoruba language.YorubaForKidsAbroad. Paris: Karthala. • Law. Topics in Yoruba Dialect Phonology. Antonia & Schleicher. Sources of Yoruba History. (Studies in African Linguistics Supplement Vol. • Oyenuga. (ed. pp. ed. Cambridge: W. Awujọọla and Val Ọlayẹmi from a tape recording by R. Roy Clive (1958). LINCOM Linguistic Edition vol.com (2007). Michka (1997).O. Ibadan: Institute of African Studies. • Crowther. Cape Town: CASAS. 25–40. • Fresco. Robert L.). 6.) (1950[1937]).C. Yoruba For Kids Abroad .) (1973). 1825-1850".O. Malami (2000) 'Hausa Loan Words in Yorùbá'. In Biobaku. München/Newcastle: LINCOM Europe. pp. ISBN 3-929-07547-4.Learn Yoruba In 27 Days. (ed. London: University of London Press. "Traditional History". L.. Atúmọ̀ ede Yoruba [short dictionary and grammar of the Yoruba language]. ISBN. of Linguistics/ASC. Oloye Isaac (1958). London: The English Universities Press. Dictionary of Modern Yoruba. Grammars and sketches • Adéwọlé. "Yoruba". (2001). B. 9. (ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. in Wolff & Gensler (eds. "The Early Study of Yoruba.O. "Yoruba". (1973a). suivi d’un index français-yorùbâ. Soji www. • CMS (Canon C. • Yetunde. 10. Ida (1952). 166.O.W.C. Heffer & Sons. S.H. • Biobaku. (1969). Los Angeles: University of California. ISBN 0-8419-0031-0. 241-260. Cape Town: CASAS. pp. • Hair. 176–204. E.C.G. Sources of Yoruba History. In Soji and Titi Oyenuga.) Proceedings of the 2nd WoCAL. Armstrong. In Biobaku. Curt Wittig). Dictionnaire yorùbá-français. Monograph Series no.O. "The Yoruba Language in Yoruba History". Max (1970). (Transcribed and translated by R. History • Adetugbọ. R. Gbenga (1994). • Sachnine. Wakeman. • Bamgboṣe. Beginning Yorùbá (Part II).amazon. Sources of Yoruba History. • Rowlands. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe. University of Ibadan. [West African Languages Survey / Institute of African Studies]. The Yoruba Koiné – Its History and Linguistic Innovations (http://www.). — the first grammar of Yoruba.O. Twelve Nigerian Languages. (ed. Folarin (2006). New York: Africana Publishing Corp. • Fagborun. Ayọ (1969). (2000). 29 . • Ladipọ.). Ibadan: University Press. Duro (1972). Saskatoon. com/Yoruba-Koine-History-Linguistics-Innovations/dp/3929075474/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books& qid=1297920718&sr=8-1). S. A Grammar of Yoruba. Abiọdun (1973). S. Yoruba Grammar. Sources of Yoruba History.Yoruba language • Bamgboṣe. Canada: Gaptel Innovative Solutions Inc. Colloquial Yoruba. Beginning Yorùbá (Part I). 27 days. P. 9–24. London: Oxford University Press. • Ward. S. A Dictionary of the Yoruba language. Monograph Series no. Ayọ (1966).C. • Delanọ. Teach Yourself Yoruba. Leipzig 1997. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. R. L. pp. Oxford: Clarendon Press.). In Biobaku. "Contemporary Written Sources". Dictionaries • Abraham. Samuel Ajayi (1852).C. Ọba kò so (The king did not hang) — Opera by Duro Ladipọ. Dept. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd (Routledge). • Law. (1973b).E.

kasahorow.com/site/learnyorubafree) • kasahorow Yoruba Dictionary (http://dictionary. a dialect of Yoruba.sourceforge. Clergy Priests are commonly known as "olorishas" or owner of Orisa.[1] [2] Its liturgical language.omniglot. Considered to be highest in rank are priests of Ifá (ee-fah). which in santeria is an all male group. and if they function as diviners (using cowrie-shell divination known as Diloggun) of the Orishas they can be considered Italeros.panafril10n. "mothers of orisha" (for women). so the existence of the Iyanifa is likely to be of modern origin in Yorubaland and therefore does not appear in the Cuban variant. "fathers of orisha" (for men).php/PanAfrLoc/Yoruba) page for Yoruba • Yoruba in Russia (http://yoruba. Maupoil in his work in the early 20th century does note . is also known as Lucumi.google. the practice of traditional Yoruba Ifa priests (from Nigeria) has come to the diaspora of initiating women to be Iyanifa or "Mother of Destiny".mov).yorubanation. php?page=Yoruba) Santería Santería is a syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin. traditional religion.yorubadictionary. The foremost Western academic authority on Ifa. There is little evidence of Iyanifa existing in West Africa until very recently.org/) • USA Foreign Service Institute Yoruba basic course (http://www.org/wikidoc/pmwiki. La Regla Lucumi.Yoruba language 30 External links • Map of Yoruba language from the LL-Map project (http://llmap. traveled throughout Yorubaland studying the Ifa cult in a series of visits in 1937–1938. Wisdom and Knowledge. women are initiated as Apetebi Ifa (bride of Ifa) and are considered senior in Ifa to all but fully initiated Babalawos.Interactive Software for Yoruba Kids Abroad (http://www. Yoruba language lessons • Yoruba in North America (http://www. Ifa Priests are known by the title Babalawo or "Father Who Knows the Secrets".htm) • Yoruba dictionary (http://www. and never encountered a single Iyanifa nor was he told of their existence by any of his informants. Radio Abeokuta (2006). Any priest can commonly be referred to as Santeros and Santeras (depending on gender). • Ethnologue report for Yoruba (http://www.org/languages/yor.com/writing/yoruba. but Santeria or "Lucumi" practitioners do not accept this practice as dictated by the Odu Ifa Irete Untelu which states woman cannot be in the presence of Olofin or Igba Iwa Odu and so cannot be initiated as divining priestesses. This is a major difference between santeria Ifa practitioners.net/) . 1950–1951.all about yoruba culture. • Pan-African Localization (http://www. Ifá Priests receive Orunmila who is the Orisha of Prophecy. they are known as Oba or Oriate. they become known as babalorishas. com) • (http://sites. William Bascom. or if they go through training to become leaders of initiations.revver.ethnologue.html) • Yoruba For Kids Abroad .com/) • Sabere d'owo Yoruba video drama series (http://media.com/broadcast/28158/video. art.YorubaForKidsAbroad. Once those priests have initiated other priests.org/codes/yor.com/show_language. In the recent years.html) • Information on the Yoruba language from the MultiTree project (http://multitree.org/Content.promotes the digital presentation of proper Yorùbá orthography through the creation and modification of Opensource software. and as iyalorishas.com/all/yo) • Ọrọ èdè Yorùbá (http://oroede. Instead. 1960 and 1965. also known as Regla de Ocha. or Lukumi. and traditional Yoruba practitioners from Nigeria (though it should be noted that not all areas of Nigeria have this practice).asp?code=yor) • Omniglot: Yoruba orthography (http://www.fsi-language-courses.ru) .[3] However.

is a Nigerian born Iyanifa with several books considered to be academic worthy. When the Roman Catholic slave owners observed Africans celebrating a Saint's Day. A sense of hope was sustaining the internal essence of what today is called Santería. In Puerto Rico. Venezuela. including Cuba. This "veil" characterization of the relationship between Catholic saints and Cuban orisha. some are fully committed priests and priestesses.[7] In Cuba today. and even the United States.[6] but the number may be higher as some practitioners may be reluctant to disclose their religion on a government census or to an academic researcher. They were a sedentary hoe farming cultural group with specialized labor. "The colonial period from the standpoint of African slaves may be defined as a time of perseverance. The term Santería was originally a derisive term applied by the Spanish to mock followers' seemingly eccentric devotion to the saints and their perceived neglect of their deity. is somewhat undermined by the fact that the vast majority of santeros in Cuba today also consider themselves to be Catholics. their descendants.[2] These slaves carried with them various religious traditions. Panama. animal sacrifice and sacred drumming. Santería in Contemporary Cuba: The individual life and condition of the priesthood) As mentioned. In Cuba. in order to preserve their authentic ancestral and traditional beliefs. Dominican Republic. along with a rich variety of other Afro-American religions. however. the terms "saint" and "orisha" are sometimes used interchangeably. The orishas became known as the saints in image of the Catholic pantheon. business and community leaders all were enslaved in a foreign region of the world. the Lukumi people had no choice but to disguise their orishas as Catholic saints. Many are of Black Hispanic and Caribbean descent but as the religion moves out of the inner cities and into the suburbs. including a trance for communicating with their ancestors and deities. CLBA. Tribal kings and families. They were forced to become baptized and worship a god their ancestors had not known who was surrounded by a pantheon of saints. and often require initiates to be baptized. even though the disguise of Catholicism is no longer needed. the religion is extremely popular especially in the towns of Loiza and Carolina. have been baptized. Of those living in the US. has become a common name for the religion. and the faithful. there were an estimated 22.000 practitioners in the US alone. Puerto Rico. The traditional Lukumi religion and its Santería counterpart can be found in many parts of the world today. Their world quickly changed. a misnomer for the indigenous religion of the Lukumi people of Nigeria. and many are clients seeking help with their everyday problems.Santería the existence of Iyanifa[4] and Chief Fama. A very similar religion called Candomblé is practiced in Brazil. a pejorative term that characterizes deviant Catholic forms of worshiping saints. In 2001. Their religion based on the worship of nature was renamed and documented by their masters. others are "godchildren" or members of a particular house-tradition. Religious leaders. which was mainly the result of mostly Cuban and Puerto Rican migration. The early concerns during this period seem to indicate a need for individual survival under harsh plantation conditions. politicians. they were generally unaware that the slaves were actually worshiping their sacred orishas.[5] 31 History Santería is a system of beliefs that merges the Yoruba religion (brought to the New World by slaves imported to the Caribbean to work the sugar plantations) with Roman Catholic and Native Indian traditions. It was later applied to the religion by others. Santería. This is now being referred to as "parallel . this religious tradition has evolved into what we now recognize as Santería. were now slaves. a growing number are of African-American and European-American heritage. Many hold separate rituals to honor the saints and orisha respectively. they had a complex political and social order. Colonial laws criminalize their religion. "In the heart of their homeland. As a religion from Africa was recreated in the Americas it was transformed. Colombia. The term santero(a) is used to describe a priest or priestess replacing the traditional term Olorisha as an extension of the deities." (Ernesto Pichardo.

81 [4] Maupoil. com/ 2008/ aug/ 11/ nation/ na-santeria11). The New York Times: pp. archive. 2001 (http:/ / www. nytimes. 1998 in Sayville. "Santeria priest won't let religious freedom be sacrificed" (http:/ / articles. Retrieved 2007-07-26. Lukumi doctrine does not postulate the existence of demons. 20.[10] 32 Controversies and criticisms • In 1993. where these concepts exist. yet they belong to Catholic or mainline Protestant churches. pdf). [12] John T. org/ santeri. com) [10] Richard Fausset (2008-08-10).[11] the Yoruba practice of animal sacrifice has seen no significant legal challenges since then. 520 (http:/ / caselaw. htm) [8] Perez y Mena. New York. the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye became the first Santería church in the United States to become officially incorporated. the issue of animal sacrifice was taken to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. gc. 2005. amazon. Retrieved on 4 January 2009. [2] LUCUMI REL'GION (http:/ / web. orishanet. they have gained a certain popularity. cuny. Police found the women chanting and praying over the prostrate body. The mother. McQuiston (January 28. William.com (http:/ / www. htm) Religions of the World. after attempting an exorcism to free her of demons. the women had embraced Lukumi. [3] Bascom. [11] 508 U. org/ web/ 20080528053852/ http:/ / www. where 17-year-old Charity Miranda was suffocated to death with a plastic bag at her home by her mother Vivian. • There have been a few highly publicized cases where injuries allegedly occurred during Lukumi rituals. In 1974. com/ scripts/ getcase.Santería religiosity"[8] because some believers worship the African variant that has no notion of a devil and no baptism or marriage. Lukumi religiosity works toward a balance in life on earth (androcentric) while the Christian European religions work toward the hereafter. edu/ faculty/ research_studies/ aris. com/ s?ie=UTF8& keywords=Chief Fama& rh=n:283155. .org. There are now individuals who mix the Lukumí practices with traditional practices as they survived in Africa after the deleterious effects of colonialism. findlaw.k:Chief Fama& page=1) [6] American Religious Identification Survey. However.com. neworleansmistic. "La Geomancie L'ancienne Côte des Esclaves" [5] Amazon. Not long before. universalbances. com/ gst/ abstract. nor does its liturgy contain exorcism rituals. latimes. P. html?res=F70911FA345F0C7B8EDDA80894D0494D81& n=Top/ Reference/ Times Topics/ Subjects/ O/ Occult Sciences). pl?navby=CASE& court=US& vol=508& page=520) Full text of the opinion courtesy of Findlaw. B/5. [9] universalbances. . was found not guilty due to insanity. Bernard. htm) New Orleans Mistic. [7] (http:/ / www. . religioustolerance. 39. and is currently confined in a New York State psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Retrieved on 4 January 2009. SSSR paper. L. Retrieved 2008-08-10. A. ReigiousTolerance. and sister Serena. City of Hialeah. Haitian Vodou or Puerto Rican spiritualism (Afro-Latin religions) do not view a difference between saints and orishas. Some in Cuban Santería.[9] the ancestor deities of the Lukumi people's Ifa religion. org/ santeria. "Mother who called daughter possessed pleads not guilty to her murder" (http:/ / select. One such case reported by The New York Times took place on January 18. lp. Vivian Miranda.S. 1998).[12] References [1] Santeria (http:/ / www. Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa. Although most of these mixes have not been at the hands of experienced or knowledgeable practitioners of either system. Times. com/ spells/ primer/ santeria.com: Chief Fama: Books (http:/ / www. The Supreme Court ruled that animal cruelty laws targeted specifically at Yoruba were unconstitutional.

ISBN 978-0-89729-009-8. New York. Macmillan Publishing. Peter Lang Pub. Andres I. • Baba Raul Canizares. Yoruba Beliefs & Sacrificial Rites ISBN 0-9638787-3-5. • Baba Ifa Karade. Editor in Chief. Minnesota. Perez y Mena. Collegeville. Perez y Mena. Andres I. Andres I.tratadosifasanteria. 1999. No. IFA Y Los Orishas: La Religion Antigua De LA Naturaleza ISBN 1-46102-898-1 • Cabrera. The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts. Suite 350. Apetebii: The Wife of Orunmila ISBN 0-9638787-1-9. Lydia (1995). Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America. Wade Clark Roof. Sixteen Cowries: Yoruba Divination from Africa to the New World. Perez y Mena" Speaking With The Dead: Development of Afro-Latin Religion Among Puerto Ricans in the United States" AMS — Press 1991 ISBN 0-404-19485-0.com/orisha1/ libros_tratados_ifa. • • • • • • • Robert Farris Thompson. • John Mason. Ewe Orisha/Vititi Nfinda. Perez y Mena. Santería: in "Contemporary American Religion". California. 91101. Vol 7 No. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Miguel R. Bances. an encyclopedia.) Andres I. 1995. Nature's Ancient Religion ISBN 978-1-4404-1733-7 • Charles Spencer King. De La Torre. 131 North El Molino Avenue. February 2000. • J." 2000 Edited by Salem Press. Houk. 1. "Socialization by Stages of Development into a ‘Centro Espiritista’ in the South Bronx of New York City. "Understanding Religiosity in Cuba" in Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology. California.tratadosifasanteria. Omosade Awolalu. • • • • • • • . Macmillan Reference. • James T. Orin Orisa: Songs for selected Heads ISBN 1-881244-06-7. New York. Columbia University. Pasadena. Gottesman Libraries Archive Historical Dissertations. Benedict.) & 0-9657839-1-X (pbk. Flash of the Spirit. Crucial Issues in Caribbean Religions. New York. Mitchell." 1997. Olokun: Owner of Rivers and Seas ISBN 1-881244-05-9. 1982. Santería: El Nuevo Manual del Oba u Oriaté (http://www. Tratado Encilopedico de Ifa (http://www. Animal Sacrifice: in "Contemporary American Religion". Religious Syncretism.com/). • William Bascom. "Cuban Santería. John Paul II Visits Cuba. Puerto Rican Spiritualism: A Multicultural Inquiry Into Syncretism. 1996. Spirits. in "Great Events of the Twentieth Century. Wade Clark Roof. Anthony M. an encyclopedia. Macmillan Reference. Animal Sacrifice and Religious Freedom: Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. Perez y Mena. New York. Stevens Arroyo & Andres I. 1999. 3 Copyright: The Order of St.Santería 33 Further reading • John Mason and Gary Edwards. Editors "Enigmatic Powers: Syncretism With African and Indigenous Peoples'Religions Among Latinos" Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies 1995 ISBN 0-929972-11-2 (hbk. Miguel A. "The Latino Encyclopedia" by Salem Press. • Chief Priest Ifayemi Elebuibon. Andres I. 1985. City of Hialeah. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 978-1-881244-02-8 • John Mason. Blood. Haitian Vodun. O'Brien. Perez y Mena. El Monte: Igbo — Finda. Ediciones Universal. Andres I. 37. Cuban Santería. Fall. Black Gods — Orisa Studies in the New World. Fall. Yoruba Theological Archministry. 2006.html). • Charles Spencer King. Editor in Chief. Andres I. Andres I. Mozella G.. Teachers College. and Drums: The Orisha Religion of Trinidad. Perez y Mena. Vol. Pasadena. 1980 • David M. Baba Esù Onàrè. Perez y Mena." Special Collections. Temple University Press. Perez y Mena.

Ifa divination. Jamaica. This religion has found its way throughout the world and is now expressed in practices as varied as Candomblé. Guyana. Eleda and Olofin-Orun). Even though in the basics of things. Trinidad and Tobago.Santería 34 External links • OrishaNet (http://www. Eledumare. Winti. Lucumí/Santería.[3] Beliefs The Yoruba belief in Orisha is meant to consolidate not contradict the terms of Olódùmarè. Uruguay and Venezuela among others. Vodun and a host of others.[2] Oriṣa(s) are more like "animistic entities" and have control over specific elements in nature and are better known as the divinities. Haiti. Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico. Obeah. Togo. Cuba. Adherents of the religion appeal to specific manifestations of Olódùmarè in the form of those whose fame will last for all time. some scholars estimate there could be more than 100 million adherents of this spiritual tradition worldwide.org/) — In depth Santería page written by a Babalawo (High Priest) • Furius Santería DB: A database of the rhythms and chants found in recordings (http://furius. Ancestors and culture-heroes held in reverence can also be enlisted for help with day-to-day problems. as well as in some aspects of Umbanda. Suriname. is the process through which an adept (or even a lay person skilled in oracular affairs) attempts to determine the wishes of God and His Servants. the Republic of Benin.orishanet. Anago and Oyotunji. (Olodumare is also known by various other names including Olorun. Some believers will also consult a geomantic divination specialist. The term is often translated as "deities" or "divinities". an important part of Yoruba life. Shango in Trinidad. known as a babalawo (Ifa Priest) or Iyanifa (Ifa's lady). the United States. to mediate in their problems. the term Oriṣa is often used to describe either of these entities it is mainly reserved for the former. Yòrùbá Oriṣas (translated "owners of heads") are often described as intermediaries between man and the supernatural. Brazil. While this may vary.ca/santeriadb) Orisha An Orisha (also spelled Orisa or Orixa) is a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of Olodumare (God) in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system. and yet there are also the Oriṣa that are more like ancient heroes and or sages[3] and are best addressed as dema deities. The cultural and scientific education arm of the United Nations.[1] Etymology An entity that possesses the capability of reflecting some of the manifestations of Olódùmarè. . As interest in African indigenous religions (spiritual systems) grows. declared Ifa a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. Orisha communities and lineages can be found in parts of Europe and Asia as well. These varieties or spiritual lineages as they are called are practiced throughout areas of Nigeria.

Oshun. the abyss.[4] migrationists believe Oduduwa was a local emissary from an all too earthly place. and also a phallic and fertility Undergod (an Embodiment of Life) and the deliverer of souls to the underworld (an Embodiment of Death). or what others might call inner peace or satisfaction with life. represents male power and sexuality . which is also spelled “Axe. Oshun is the beautiful and benevolent Orisha of love. Jemanja.guardian of the deep ocean. Imanja. Yemaya. Yemana. Undergod of duality. Agayu) . Oko. • Shango (Shangó. Yemayá. Exú.arch-divinity.” or “Ache. or our heads and inner Orisha. Ifá) . however. Olorun. Nana Buluku. Olokun. Irumole. Oxossi/Ochosi/Osoosi. Elegba. destiny. Oshumare. the world capital of twins is the Yoruba town of Igboora. Osun and Oshun are different Orishas. In fact. Eshu is recognized as a trickster and is child-like. Yemalla. with an average of 150 twins per 1 000 birth. Ozain. living and inanimate. • Ochumare (Oshumare. Partial list of Orishas • Olokun . and the desert. Ase. Eshu/Elegba. divinity of movement and activity. divinity of the sea and loving mother of mankind. • Aganju (Aganyu.” “Axé. Obalu Aye.Father of Shango. said to recount the coming of Oduduwa from the east. and Shango. La Sirène. Ori literally means the head. Obatala.Eshu is the messenger between the human and divine worlds. and moral uprightness • Orunmila (Orunla. Nago Shango) . Obà. Orunmila. Mami Wata) . Oxalá.” “Ashe. sky father. the female thought of the male creator Ashe and the effective cause of all further creation. divination. divinity of thunder. but in spiritual matters it is taken to mean an inner portion of the soul which determines personal destiny and success. Ashe is the power to make things happen. Legbara. all of the Yoruba traditionally believe that daily life depends on proper alignment and knowledge of one's Ori. It is an affirmation which is used in greetings and prayers. Gelede and Ibeji. LaSiren. Oxumare) . spiritual purity.rainbow deity. this includes: Aganju. life. but more likely signifying the region of Ekiti and Okun sub-communities in northeastern Yorubaland/central Nigeria. as well as a concept about spiritual growth. Erinle. sex and money while Osun is the protector of the Ori.warrior deity .divinity of wisdom. and foresight • Eshu (Eleggua. Orixalá. and signifies unfathomable wisdom. Yemaya.[5] Whatever the case may be. Changó. daughter of Obatala and wife of Aganju. while Eleggua is Eshu under the influence of Obatala. Yemoja. Aganju is said to be the orisha of volcanoes. Papa Legba) . mountains. The Yoruba also venerate their ancestral spirits through Egungun masquerades. he is also said to be Shango's brother in other stories. fire. among countless others. divinity of light. Orisha devotees strive to obtain Ashe through Iwa-Pele or gentle and good character. crossroads and beginnings.Orisha 35 Oduduwa Oduduwa is considered as the first of the contemporary dynasty of kings of Ife. Pantheon The Yoruba theogony enjoys a Pantheon of Orishas. cosmicists believe Oduduwa descended from the heavens and brought with him much of what is now their belief system. • Obatala (Obatalá. and in turn they experience alignment with the Ori. Oya. Chango. Orisainlá) . Orò. [1] • Iemanja (Yemaja. Nanã. Yemayah. guardian of children and associated with the umbilical cord • Nana Buluku as Yemaja. Ymoja. most usually depicted as her child or children. the orisha of Twins (which is no wonder since the Yoruba are officially known to have the world's highest rate of twin births of any group). Sometimes considered to be the same as the Fon Mawu-Lisa who is. father of humankind. marriage. Esu. Ogun/Ogoun/Ogunda.divine mother. Yemanja. Osun. sometimes understood by some sources as the "vicinity" of Mecca. In the Lucumi tradition. Olofi. Xango.” is the life-force which runs though all things.

and now AIDS). a powerful sorceress and primary lover of Shango • Ogoun (Ogun. Yansá.warrior deity. Osoosi. healing.divinity of rivers. Orixá of wind. Oxossi) . Ogou) .Orisha • Oba (Obba) . also one of Shango's lovers and beloved of Ogoun • Ibeji . divinity of the wind.divinity of disease and illness (particularly smallpox. labour.hunter and the scout of the orishas. and technology (e. Shonponno. The oldest Orixá in Candomblé Pair of Ibeji Babalu Aye/Omolú Iansan/Iansã . Ogúm. Iansã. represent youth and vitality • Ochosi (Oxósse. Osun. Oxum. physician to the gods • Oko (Okko) . Shakpana) .orisha of agriculture and the harvest • Ori (Yoruba) . • Babalu Aye (Omolu. son of Iemanja • Erinle (Inle) . and art.orisha of medicine. hurricanes.Orisha of the forest.the sacred twins. Ochun.g. Ozain is the keeper and guardian of the herbs. fertility. railroads) • Oshun (Oshún. and is a natural healer. Sakpata. Soponna. Iansan. Oiá. daughter of Iemanja • Oya (Oyá. he owns the Omiero. also orisha of healing and the earth. politics. sacrifice. and comfort. Ọṣun. divinity of iron. war. He sometimes appears as a beautiful wood sprite when in female form. love. divinity of marriage and domesticity. the liquid through which all saints and ceremonies have to proceed.Ruler of the head 36 Eshu/Eleggua Iansan/Iansã. Obaluaye. and underworld gates. Osanyin) . change Nanã. a holy liquid consisting of many herbs. feminine beauty.Shango's jealous wife. leprosy.warrior deity. deity of the accused and those seeking justice or searching for something • Ozain (Osain. Yansan) . sudden change. Oschun) . Ocshosi.

New Jersey: Africa World Press. Temple University Press. Black Gods . The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts.Orisha 37 References [1] Kevin Baxter (on De La Torre). htm) for the acceptability of the translation [3] J. IFA Y Los Orishas: La Religion Antigua De LA Naturaleza. ISBN 0-9638787-3-5 William Bascom. Animal Sacrifice and Religious Freedom: Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. Weiser Books. 1994. uncfsu. stm). • • • • • • • . The Manly Woman. Bolaji Idowu Olódùmarè: God in Yoruba Belief (http:/ / www. S. New York. ISBN 0-9638787-1-9 Fakayode Fayemi Fatunde (2004) Osun. Ikunle Abiyamo: It is on Bent Knees that I gave Birth. ISBN 0-963-87878-6 [4] E. Ozzie Guillen secure in his faith (http:/ / www. El Monte: Igbo-Nfinda. Chief Priest Ifayemi Elebuibon. Sixteen Cowries. 2007. Flash of the Spirit. Blood. Apetebii: The Wife of Orunmila. post-gazette. 1995. Olumide Lucas. Spirits. Nature's Ancient Religion: Orisha Worship & IFA. 1996. Jo Anna Hunter. edited by Toyin Falola. In Orisa Yoruba God and Spiritual Identity in Africa and the Diaspora. “Oro Pataki Aganju: A Cross Cultural Approach Towards the Understanding of the Fundamentos of the Orisa Aganju in Nigeria and Cuba”. Lydia Cabrera. Yoruba Beliefs & Sacrificial Rites. Olokun: Owner of Rivers and Seas. com/ pg/ 07182/ 798519-63. 1994 ISBN 1-886-83200-5 [5] Article: Oduduwa. John Mason (Author). York Beach. com/ Olodumare-Yoruba-Belief-Bolaji-Idowu/ dp/ 1886832005) (ed Hardcover) Wazobia. Athelia Henrietta PR. Los Angeles Times. ISBN 0-89729-009-7 Charles Spencer King. Asefin Media Publication Robert Farris Thompson. James T. and Drums: The Orisha Religion of Trinidad. Baba Ifa Karade. ISBN 1-46102-898-1 Raul Canizares. The Ancestor Of The Crowned Yoruba Kings (http:/ / www. New York: Athelia Henrietta Press. amazon. ISBN 1-881244-06-7 David M.Orisa Studies in the New World . com/ profile/ 120-nigeria-news/ 592-oduduwa-the-ancestor-of-the-crowned-yoruba-kings. 2007 [2] Cf. Orin Orisa: Songs for selected Heads. City of Hialeah. Inc. coastalnews. Ewe Orisha/Vititi Nfinda. edu/ ncrsa/ journal/ v03/ johnsonoyinade_yoruba. Houk. The Religion of the Yorubas. O'Brien. Omosade Awolalu. Cuban Santeria. ISBN 0-877-28789-9 Gary Edwards (Author). html) Further reading • • • • • • • • • • • Awo Fa'Lokun Fatunmbi Orisas J. ISBN 1-881-24408-3 John Mason. ISBN 1-881244-05-9 John Mason. 2006. Solagbade Popoola. 1998. The Concept of God: The People of Yoruba (http:/ / organizations. ISBN 1-44041-733-4 Charles Spencer King. Ann Genova.

NielsenGW. Alecskandhara. Slightsmile. The Thing That Should Not Be. Cubaking. WhisperToMe. Neutrality. ONUnicorn. WereSpielChequers. Delirium. Btrain11. AlphaPyro. Ripley. Grafen. Gryffon5147. Sam Spade. Grapelli. Woohookitty. Huhsunqu. Livajo. Pigman. Neuman. Alansohn.org/w/index. ZyXoas. Andonic. Hu12. Badagnani.wikipedia. Quebec99. Koavf. Ultraexactzz.php?oldid=449857594  Contributors: Ankimai. Toiletboy99. MacedonianBoy. Slysplace. Mikerock. A12n. Jonnysonthespot. Streetsanto. Tarawneh. Cit vësco. GorillaWarfare. Barefact. Gtrmp. Woohookitty. Talu42. Interlingua. Lukmonadigs. Kwamikagami. LilHelpa. Fxo. Crazytales. Otelemuyen. RodC. Iankain. Kmoksy. Richard Arthur Norton (1958. KnightRider. Michael Atwood Mason. Craig Pemberton. Esprit15d. DOSGuy. Ytfc23. Jurema Oliveira. Bwjsmartdude. Masterpiece2000. Irishguy. Shenme. Jersey Devil. Pariah. John of Reading. Dantadd. Cinder fan. Abajetiti. Omorisa. Zigmaphi. Fullstop. Chuppakabra76. Demmy. Nyttend. 223 anonymous edits . Lotje. Anthony. Husond.ﻧﮕﻮﻧﺒﺎﻧﮕﻮﻧﯽ‬anonymous edits Santería  Source: http://en. Rob Kennedy. NHRHS2010. MiguelR. Germuska. Dlae. Mzajac. Iwindara. Auntof6. Kwamikagami. Gr8opinionater. Calton. Midnightblueowl. Ruby. Ricadelide. Tonnijohnson2. Jedsundwall. Dekimasu. Mgbomgbo. Lightmouse. Kungfuadam. Joannawlodar. Tide rolls.php?oldid=452142223  Contributors: 5 albert square. Cobi. MeltBanana. Yellowfiver. Edgar181.60. Open Research. Wiki alf. Mr Tan. Elipongo. Angr. NeoFreak. Toussaint. HamburgerRadio. Denise Oliver-Velez. I do not exist. Nigeriamajor. JHunterJ. Iyaalata. Jackelfive. Alan McBeth. Mcartero. Tasiel. PTJoshua. Pickingapples. Pfortuny. Saidi Umaru. 47 anonymous edits Yoruba people  Source: http://en. Ekotkie. Matthew Stannard. Tabletop. Graham87. Btolawoyin. Charles Matthews. Mcmachete.php?oldid=443808022  Contributors: Belovedfreak. Neparis. Koavf. Circular. Mikaey. Imbelieve. Aristophanes68. Toussaint. Tayo. Timwi. Nohat. Romanm. Ifadivination. King of Hearts. MK8. The Anome. 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