The Yoruba people are one of the ethnic groups of southwestern Nigeria and southern Benin in West Africa. The Yorubas are a distinctive people who are bound together by a common language with various different dialects. They also share a rich history and culture.
Here are 7 facts about the Traditional Yoruba Culture:
1. According to Yoruba mythology, all Yoruba people are descendants of Odua or Oduduwa. And today, there are over fifty individuals who claim kinship as descendants of Odua/Oduduwa.
2. According to encyclopedia.com, the Yoruba traditional marriage entails six steps:
-The seeking of a potential spouse (Igba ifojusode);
-Approval from the oracle-divinity (Ifa f’ore);
-Release of the young woman’s voice (Isihun);
-Requesting for the young woman’s hand in marriage from her family (Itoro);
-Creation of the marital bond (Idana); and
-Transferring the wife to the husband’s lineage (Igbeyawo).
3. The language of the Yorubas, known as Yoruba, belongs to the Congo-Kordofanian language family. Yoruba as a language has many dialects, but most of its speakers are able to understand each other.
4. The Yoruba constitute over 35 million people in total with majority of this population from Nigeria. The Yorubas make up 21% of the Nigerian population.
5. According to the CIA World Fact book, the Yoruba are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa.
6. Traditional childbirth in Yorubaland does not support anyone younger than the mother to be present at the birth.
7. When a child is born in a traditional Yoruba society, the infant is taken to the backyard with the umbilical cord bound tightly with thread before it is cut. The placenta is then buried in the backyard. The child is bathed with a loofah sponge and rubbed with palm oil on the placenta burial spot. Then the child is held by the feet and given three shakes to make him/her strong and brave. A naming ceremony is held after 8 days.