The People of Yoruba
The Yoruba people live in the southwestern part of Nigeria. There are 20 million people who speak Yoruba as their mother tongue. The Yoruba are not bound by state borders but in fact occupy land mostly in Nigeria but are bound in the surrounding states of Benin and Togo as well.

 

The main occupation of the Yoruba people is farming. The Yoruba that are farmers live in villages that are surrounded by high fences. Their farms are outside of town and the farmers travel to their farms daily to work. Yoruba farm crops are yams, corn and cocoa. Cocoa has become an important cash crop for the Yoruba people. Some Yoruba live in large cities and work in factories. Many Yoruba specialize in crafts such as weaving, carving, leather work and brass work.

 

The artwork of the Yoruba people has been found to date back thousands of years. Their art has religious symbolism. The modern Yoruba religions are Christianity and Moslem. The Yoruba are a religious people and many still believe in their old gods. Listed are some of their gods: Olorun (the owner of the sky), Olodumare ( the almighty), and Shango (creator of thunder and lightning). Because of their religiousness the Yoruba have many ceremonies. One of the most important ceremonies is the naming ceremony of their children. A child's name is not chosen until after he or she is born. Then the names are chosen to represent important people or events that occurred at the time of the child's birth. The ceremony has many symbolic facets to it. Money is used to represent wealth, meat for nature's bounty and the cola nut to represent longevity of live.

 

For more information about the Yoruba people visit www.Africapolicy.org/bp/ethyor.htm or www.tchj.edu/-afamstud/diaspora/yoruba.html.

 

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