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Offline naijatowns

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History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« on: October 03, 2016, 03:40:46 AM »
History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land

The Yoruba people (Yoruba: wọn ọmọ Yorb) are an ethnic group of Southwestern and North central Nigeria as well as Southern and Central Benin, together known as Yorubaland.

 The Yoruba constitute over 40 million people in total. The majority of this population is from Nigeria and make up 21% of its population, according to the CIA World Factbook,making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language, which is tonal, and is the Niger-Congo language with the largest number of native speakers.

The Yoruba share borders with the Borgu in Benin; the Nupe and Ebira in central Nigeria; and the Edo, the Ẹsan, and the Afemai in mid-western Nigeria. The Igala and other related groups are found in the northeast, and the Egun, Fon, Ewe and others in the southeast Benin.

The Itsekiri who live in the north-west Niger delta are related to the Yoruba but maintain a distinct cultural identity. Significant Yoruba populations in other West African countries can be found in Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast,Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Yoruba diaspora consists of two main groupings, one of them includes relatively recent migrants, the majority of which moved to the United States and the United Kingdom after major economic changes in the 1970s; the other is a much older population dating back to the Atlantic slave trade.

 This older community has branches in such countries as Cuba, Saint Lucia, Brazil, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« on: October 03, 2016, 03:40:46 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 03:41:58 AM »
As an ethnic description, the word "Yoruba" was first recorded in reference to the Oyo Empire in a treatise written by the 16th-century Songhai scholar Ahmed Baba.

 It was popularized by Hausa usage and ethnography written in Arabic and Ajami during the 19th century, in origin referring to the Oyo exclusively. The extension of the term to all speakers of dialects related to the language of the Oyo (in modern terminology North-West Yoruba) dates to the second half of the 19th century.

 It is due to the influence of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first Anglican bishop in Nigeria. Crowther was himself a Yoruba and compiled the first Yoruba dictionary as well as introducing a standard for Yoruba orthography.

The alternative name Ak, apparently an exonym derived from the first words of Yoruba greetings (such as Ẹ k rọ? "good morning", Ẹ k alẹ? "good evening") has survived in certain parts of their diaspora as a self-descriptive, especially in Sierra Leone

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 03:41:58 AM »

Offline Isaac Adeniran

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 03:45:01 AM »
Yoruba Language

The Yoruba culture was originally an oral tradition, and the majority of Yoruba people are native speakers of the Yoruba language. The number of speakers is roughly estimated at about 30 million in 2010.

 Yoruba is classified within the Edekiri languages, which together with the isolate Igala, form the Yoruboid group of languages within the Volta-Niger branch of the Niger-Congo family. Igala and Yoruba have important historical and cultural relationships.

The languages of the two ethnic groups bear such a close resemblance that researchers such as Forde (1951) and Westermann and Bryan (1952) regarded Igala as a dialect of Yoruba.

The Yoruboid languages are assumed to have developed out of an undifferentiated Volta-Niger group by the 1st millennium BCE.

There are three major dialect areas: Northwest, Central, and Southeast. As the North-West Yoruba dialects show more linguistic innovation, combined with the fact that Southeast and Central Yoruba areas generally have older settlements, suggests a later date of immigration for Northwest Yoruba.

 The area where North-West Yoruba (NWY) is spoken corresponds to the historical Oyo Empire. South-East Yoruba (SEY) was probably associated with the expansion of the Benin Empire after c. 1450. Central Yoruba forms a transitional area in that the lexicon has much in common with NWY, whereas it shares many ethnographical features with SEY.

Literary Yoruba, the standard variety learnt at school and spoken by newsreaders on the radio, has its origin in the Yoruba grammar compiled in the 1850s by Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who himself was a creole from Sierra Leone. Though for a large part based on the Oyo and Ibadan dialects, it incorporates several features from other dialects.

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 03:45:01 AM »

Offline Isaac Adeniran

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 03:46:42 AM »
As of the 7th century BCE the African peoples who lived in Yorubaland were not initially known as the Yoruba, although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. By the 8th century, a powerful Yoruba kingdom already existed in Ile-Ife, one of the earliest in Africa south of the Sahara-Sahel.

The historical Yoruba develop in situ, out of earlier Mesolithic Volta-Niger populations, by the 1st millennium BCE. Oral history recorded under the Oyo Empire derives the Yoruba as an ethnic group from the population of the older kingdom of Ile-Ife. The Yoruba were the dominant cultural force in southern Nigeria as far back as the 11th century.

The Yoruba are among the most urbanized people in Africa. For centuries before the arrival of the British colonial administration most Yoruba already lived in well structured urban centers organized around powerful city-states (l) centered around the residence of the Oba.

 In ancient times, most of these cities were fortresses, with high walls and gates. Yoruba cities have always been among the most populous in Africa.

Archaeological findings indicate that y-Il or Katunga, capital of the Yoruba empire of Oyo (fl. between the 11th and 19th centuries CE), had a population of over 100,000 people (the largest single population of any African settlement at that time in history).

For a long time also, Ibadan, one of the major Yoruba cities, was the largest city in the whole of Sub Saharan Africa. Today, Lagos (Yorb: k), another major Yoruba city, with a population of over twenty million, remains the largest on the African continent.

Archaeologically, the settlement of Ile-Ife showed features of urbanism in the 12th14th century era. In the period around 1300 CE the artists at Ile-Ife developed a refined and naturalistic sculptural tradition in terracotta, stone and copper alloy - copper, brass, and bronze many of which appear to have been created under the patronage of King Obalufon II, the man who today is identified as the Yoruba patron deity of brass casting, weaving and regalia.

 The dynasty of kings at Ile-Ife, which regarded the Yoruba as the place of origin of human civilization, remains intact to this day. The urban phase of Ile-Ife before the rise of Oyo, c. 11001600, a significant peak of political centralization in the 12th century)[34][35] is commonly described as a "golden age" of Ile-Ife. The oba or ruler of Ile-Ife is referred to as the Ooni of Ife.

NaijaSky

Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 03:46:42 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 03:48:23 AM »
Oyo and Ile-Ife

Ife continues to be seen as the "Spiritual Homeland" of the Yoruba. The city was surpassed by the Oyo Empire[38] as the dominant Yoruba military and political power in the 17th century.

The Oyo Empire under its oba, known as the Alaafin of Oyo, was active in the African slave trade during the 18th century. The Yoruba often demanded slaves as a form of tribute of subject populations, who in turn sometimes made war on other peoples to capture the required slaves. Part of the slaves sold by the Oyo Empire entered the Atlantic slave trade.

Most of the city states were controlled by Obas (or royal sovereigns with various individual titles) 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 kingships and the chiefs' councils. Some, such as Oyo, had powerful, autocratic monarchs with almost total control, while in others such as the Ijebu city-states, the senatorial councils held more influence and the power of the ruler or Ọba, referred to as the Awujale of Ijebuland, was more limited.

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 kingdoms or states.
    The "second generation" consists of settlements created by conquest.
    The "third generation" consists of villages and municipalities that emerged following the internecine wars of the 19th century.

NaijaSky

Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 03:48:23 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2016, 03:50:46 AM »
Pre-colonial government of Yoruba Kingdom

Monarchies were a common form of government in Yorubaland, but they were not the only approach to government and social organization. The numerous Ijebu city-states to the west of Oyo and the Ẹgba communities, found in the forests below Ọyọ's savanna region, were notable exceptions.

These independent polities often elected an Ọba, though real political, legislative, and judicial powers resided with the Ogboni, a council of notable elders. The notion of the divine king was so important to the Yoruba, however, that it has been part of their organization in its various forms from their antiquity to the contemporary era.

During the internecine wars of the 19th century, the Ijebu forced citizens of more than 150 Ẹgba and Owu communities to migrate to the fortified city of Abeokuta. Each quarter retained its own Ogboni council of civilian leaders, along with an Olorogun, or council of military leaders, and in some cases its own elected Obas or Baales.

These independent councils elected their most capable members to join a federal civilian and military council that represented the city as a whole. Commander Frederick Forbes, a representative of the British Crown writing an account of his visit to the city in the Church Military Intelligencer (1853),described Abẹokuta as having "four presidents", and the system of government as having "840 principal rulers or 'House of Lords,' 2800 secondary chiefs or 'House of Commons,' 140 principal military ones and 280 secondary ones." He described Abẹokuta and its system of government as "the most extraordinary republic in the world

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2016, 03:50:46 AM »

Offline Isaac Adeniran

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 03:52:07 AM »
Gerontocratic leadership councils that guarded against the monopolization of power by a monarch were a trait of the Ẹgba, according to the eminent Ọyọ historian Reverend Samuel Johnson.

Such councils were also well-developed among the northern Okun groups, the eastern Ekiti, and other groups falling under the Yoruba ethnic umbrella.

In Ọyọ, the most centralized of the precolonial kingdoms, the Alaafin consulted on all political decisions with the prime elector or president of the House of Lords (the Basọrun) and the rest of the council of leading nobles known as the Ọyọ Mesi.

Traditionally kingship and chieftainship were not determined by simple primogeniture, as in most monarchic systems of government.

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, and the selection is then confirmed by an If oracular request. The Ọbas live in palaces that are usually in the center of the town.

 Opposite the king's palace is the Ọja Ọba, or the king's market. These markets form an inherent part of Yoruba life. Traditionally their traders are well organized, have various guilds, officers, and an elected speaker. They also often have at least one Iyaloja, or Lady of the Market, who is expected to represent their interests in the aristocratic council of oloyes at the palace.

NaijaSky

Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 03:52:07 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 03:53:28 AM »
The monarchy of any city-state was usually limited to a number of royal lineages. A family could be excluded from kingship and chieftaincy if any family member, servant, or slave belonging to the family committed a crime, such as theft, fraud, murder or rape. In other city-states, the monarchy was open to the election of any free-born male citizen.

In Ilesa, Ondo, Akure and other Yoruba communities, there were several, but comparatively rare, traditions of female Ọbas. The kings were traditionally almost always polygamous and often married royal family members from other domains, thereby creating useful alliances with other rulers.

Ibadan, a city-state and proto-empire founded in the 18th century by a polyglot group of refugees, soldiers, and itinerant traders from Ọyọ and the other Yoruba sub-groups largely dispensed with the concept of monarchism, preferring to elect both military and civil councils from a pool of eminent citizens.

 The city became a military republic, with distinguished soldiers wielding political power through their election by popular acclaim and the respect of their peers. Similar practices were adopted by the Ijẹsa and other groups, which saw a corresponding rise in the social influence of military adventurers and successful entrepreneurs. The gbmn were renowned for their agricultural and hunting prowess, as well as their woodcarving, leather art, and the famous Elewe masquerade.

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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 03:53:28 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2016, 03:55:03 AM »
Groups, organizations and leagues in Yorubaland

Occupational guilds, social clubs, secret or initiatory societies, and religious units, commonly known as Ẹgbẹ in Yoruba, included the Parakoyi (or league of traders) and Ẹgbẹ Ọdẹ (hunter's guild), and maintained an important role in commerce, social control, and vocational education in Yoruba polities.

There are also examples of other peer organizations in the region. When the Ẹgba resisted the imperial domination of the Ọyọ Empire, a figure named Lisabi is credited with either creating or reviving a covert traditional organization named Ẹgbẹ Aro.

This group, originally a farmers' union, was converted to a network of secret militias throughout the Ẹgba forests, and each lodge plotted and successfully managed to overthrow Ọyọ's Ajeles (appointed administrators) in the late 18th century.

Similarly, 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, Ijẹsa, gbmn and Okun Yoruba in order to resist various imperial expansionist plans of Ibadan, Nupe, and the Sokoto Caliphate.

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2016, 03:55:03 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 03:57:37 AM »
Yoruba Culture, Religion and Mythology

In the city-states and many of their neighbors, a reserved way of life remains, with the school of thought of their people serving as a major influence in West Africa and elsewhere.

Today, most contemporary Yoruba are Christians and Muslims. Be that as it may, 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, Benin and Togo.

Religion and mythology


The Yoruba faith, variously known as Aborisha, Orisha-Ifa or simply (and erroneously) Ifa, is commonly seen as one of the principal components of the African traditional religions.

Orisa'nla, also known as Ọbatala,[49] was the arch-divinity chosen by Olodumare, the Supreme God, to create solid land out of the primordial water that then constituted the earth and populating the land with human beings

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Offline naijatowns

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Traditional religion of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2016, 04:02:18 AM »
Traditional  religion of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land

The Yorb religion comprises the traditional religious and spiritual concepts and practices of the Yoruba people.

 Its homeland is in Southwestern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo, a region that has come to be known as Yorubaland. Yorb religion is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder.

 Yoruba religious beliefs are part of itan, the total complex of songs, histories, stories and other cultural concepts which make up the Yorb society.

One of the most common Yoruba traditional religious concepts has been the concept of Orisha. Orisha (also spelled Orisa or Orixa) are various godly forms, that reflect one of the various manifestations / avatars of God in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system.

 Some widely known Orisha are Ogun, (God of metal, war and victory), Shango or Jakuta (God of thunder, lightning, fire and justice who manifests as a king always wielding a double-edged axe which conveys his Ashe or divine authority & power), Esu/Eshu elegbara (The trickster and sole messenger to the pantheon, who conveys the wish of men to the gods. He understands every language / tongue spoken by humankind, and is also the guardian of the crossroads, Orta mta in Yoruba).

 Eshu has two avatar forms which are manifestations of his dual nature- positive and negative energies; Eshu Laroye, a teacher instructor and leader, and Eshu Ebita, jesty, deceitful, suggestive and cunning,Orunmila, The god of Infinite Knowledge, divination, wisdom and fortune-telling, who reveals the past, solution to problems in the present, and the future, consulted through the Ifa divination system by oracles called Babalawos.

NaijaSky

Traditional religion of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2016, 04:02:18 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2016, 04:04:01 AM »
Olorun is one of the manifestations / avatars of the Supreme God of the Yoruba pantheon, the owner of the heavens, and is associated with the Sun known as Orn in the Yoruba language.

The other two avatar forms of the supreme God are; Olodumare, the supreme creator and Olofin, who is the conduit between runn (Heaven) and Ay (Earth), Oshumare a god that manifests in the form of a rainbow, also known as smr in Yorb, Obatala god of clarity and creativity Etc.

This religion has found its way throughout the world and is now expressed in practices as varied as Candombl in Brazil, Lucum/Santera in Cuba and North America,] orisha or ifa in Trinidad (Trinidad Orisha), Kl in Saint Lucia, Anago and Oyotunji, as well as in some aspects of Umbanda, Winti, Obeah, Vodun and a host of others.

These varieties, or spiritual lineages as they are called, are practiced throughout areas of Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Togo, Brazil, Cuba, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Uruguay, Argentina and Venezuela, among others.

As interest in African indigenous religions grows, Orisha communities and lineages can be found in parts of Europe and Asia as well. While estimates may vary, some scholars believe that there could be more than 100 million adherents of this spiritual tradition worldwide.

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Offline naijatowns

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Mythology of Yoruba people
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2016, 04:08:04 AM »
Mythology of Yoruba people



Oral history of the Oyo-Yoruba recounts Odduw to be the Progenitor of the Yoruba and the reigning ancestor of their crowned kings.

His coming from the east, sometimes understood by some sources as the "vicinity" true East on the Cardinal points, but more likely signifying the region of Ekiti and Okun sub-communities in northeastern Yorubaland/central Nigeria. Ekiti is near the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers, and is where the Yoruba language is presumed to have separated from related ethno-linguistic groups like Igala, Igbo, and Edo.

After the death of Oduduwa, there was a dispersal of his children from Ife to found other kingdoms. Each child made his or her mark in the subsequent urbanization and consolidation of the Yoruba confederacy of kingdoms, with each kingdom tracing its origin due to them to Ile-Ife.

After the dispersal, the aborigines became difficult, and constituted a serious threat to the survival of Ife. Thought to be survivors of the old occupants of the land before the arrival of Oduduwa, these people now turned themselves into marauders.

They would come to town in costumes made of raffia with terrible and fearsome appearances, and burn down houses and loot the markets.

Then came Moremi on the scene; she was said to have played a significant role in the quelling of the marauders advancements. But this was at a great price; having to give up her only son Oluorogbo. 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. The Edi festival celebrates this feat amongst her Yoruba descendants

NaijaSky

Mythology of Yoruba people
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2016, 04:08:04 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Philosophy of Yoruba
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2016, 04:14:00 AM »
Philosophy of Yoruba


Yoruba culture consists of folk/cultural philosophy, religion and folktales. They are embodied in Ifa-Ife Divination, known as the tripartite Book of Enlightenment in Yorubaland and in its diaspora.

Yoruba cultural thought is a witness of two epochs. The first epoch is a history of cosmogony and cosmology. This is also an epoch-making history in the oral culture during which time Oduduwa was the king, the Bringer of Light, pioneer of Yoruba folk philosophy, and a prominent diviner.

He pondered the visible and invisible worlds, reminiscing about cosmogony, cosmology, and the mythological creatures in the visible and invisible worlds.

His time favored the artist-philosophers who produced magnificent naturalistic artworks of civilization during and pre-dynastic Yorubaland.The second epoch is the epoch of metaphysical discourse, and the birth of modern artist-philosophy.

 This commenced in the 19th century in terms of the academic prowess of Bishop Dr. Ajayi Crowther (1807-1891.) Although religion is often first in Yoruba culture, nonetheless, it is the philosophy, the thought of man that actually leads spiritual consciousness (ori) to the creation and the practice of religion.

 Thus, it is believed that thought (philosophy) is an antecedent to religion. Today, the academic and nonacademic communities are becoming more interested in Yoruba culture. More research is being carried out on Yoruba cultural thought as more books are being written on the subject.

NaijaSky

Philosophy of Yoruba
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2016, 04:14:00 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2016, 04:23:11 AM »
Islam and Christianity in Yoruba Land  CLICK HERE



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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2016, 04:39:32 AM »
Traditional art and architecture of Yoruba  CLICK HERE


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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2016, 05:00:35 AM »
Festivals in Yoruba land   CLICK HERE

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Re: History of Yoruba people and Yoruba Land
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2016, 05:13:47 AM »
The Music of the Yoruba People CLICK HERE

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