Yoruba, one of the three largest ethnic groups of Nigeria, concentrated in the southwestern part of that country. Much smaller, scattered groups live in Benin and northern Togo. The Yoruba numbered more than 20 million at the turn of the 21st century.
The Yoruba people (Yoruba: Ìran Yorùbá, Ọmọ Odùduwà, Ọmọ Ilẹ̀ Káàárọ̀-oòjíire) are a Sub-Saharan African ethnic group who inhabit West Africa and mainly reside in the parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo that constitute Yorubaland.
The Yoruba people and descendant are black people who occupies the south-western area of Nigeria in Africa. The origin and existence of the Yoruba race can be traced to their ancient father ODUDUWA who migrated from the ancient city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Followers of the Yoruba religion believe that a single omnipotent deity named Olodumare (or Olorun) rules over the universe. Olodumare is also referred to by other names, including Oluwa (Lord) and Orise (the source of all things), but has no gender.
Yoruba came from the term Yariba which the earliest Hausa/Fulani that had contact with Oyo people called the Oyos. Then, they saw Oyo people as very cunning and not straightforward. In Awde’s dictionary of Hausa, Yariba means cunning and deceitful.
Since the Nubians descended from the Egyptians, the Ijebu, and by extension, all Yoruba customs, derived from the Egyptian as well. Many traditional Yorubas have always claimed Egypt as their place of original abode, and that their monarchical tradition derives from the Egyptians.
The Yoruba traditional religion believes that all human beings pass through what is known as Ayanmo which translate to destiny or fate. God is an all-powerful being who is not limited by gender and is the supreme deity among the Yoruba community.
In the late 1880s, with the help of a British mediator, a treaty was signed between the various warring factions. Yorubaland was officially colonized by the British in 1901, but a system of indirect rule was established that mimicked the structure of Yoruba governance.
Yoruba communities traditionally live in agricultural compounds, and many practice their native religion featuring a vast pantheon of deities. The Yoruba are also famed for their music, define by one of the most complex drumming cultures in the world.
Oduduwa was not only the first ruler of a unified Ife, but also the progenitor of various independent royal dynasties in Yorubaland, and is today venerated as “the hero, the warrior, the leader, and father of the Yoruba race”.
The Supreme God or Supreme Being in the Yoruba pantheon, Olorun is also called Olodumare. Humans do not worship Olorun directly; there are no sacred areas of worship or ordained person.
Many Yoruba are now Christians or Muslims, but aspects of their traditional religion survive. The traditional Yoruba religion has an elaborate hierarchy of deities, including a supreme creator and some 400 lesser gods and spirits, most of whom are associated with their own cults and priests.
The Yoruba people believe that the orishas were sent by Olodumare, who is considered the Supreme God, to populate the Earth. Oshun, being one of the original 17 sent to Earth, was the only female deity. The other gods, all male, failed at their attempts to revive and populate the Earth.
Standard Yoruba has its origin in the 1850s, when Samuel A. Crowther, the first native African Anglican bishop, published a Yoruba grammar and started his translation of the Bible.
In what part of Africa do the Yoruba live? The Yoruba live in cities in Central Africa, which is much different from most primal religions.
The Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, has reaffirmed his position on the family ties between Yoruba and Igbo nations, saying the two ethnic groups are inseparable members of the same family.