Interesting Facts About The Yoruba People Of Nigeria

The Yorubas are one of the most popular ethnic groups in west Africa and Africa at large. They are predominantly found in Nigeria and in some parts of Benin Republic and Togo.

Origin and Language

Interesting Facts About The Yoruba People

The Yoruba kingdoms were a part of the British Protectorate during the imperial era in Africa. The Yorubas believe they descended from Oduduwa. They speak the Yoruba language, which is a myriad of different dialects.

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Family and Culture

Alafin of Oyo and his wives
Alafin of Oyo and his wives

The family is patrilineal, every child is born into the clan of their father. Ancient Yorubas practised polygyny, the men were allowed to marry more than one wife, while also treating them equally, although competitions were evident among wives in order to secure preference for their children. Some Yorubas still practice this act, with the most popular being the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Dr. Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, who is currently married to four wives.

In Yorubaland, kinship is important, as well as friendship. They are also very protective of their culture, and most Yorubas continue to give their children traditional names rather than English and would speak their language at any given opportunity. The Yorubas are stereotypically described as the “lively bunch” for their enthusiasm for parties.

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Yoruba Food

Amala and Ewedu
Amala and Ewedu soup

Yoruba people are popular for a number of dishes eaten in Nigeria. Some of them include Amala and Ewedu soup, Gbegiri soup, Ewa Aganyin, among others.

Crafts and Works

A nigerian couple wearing aso-oke
A Nigerian couple wearing aso-oke

The Yorubas are known for being good at weaving, embroidering, pottery making, woodcarving, leather and bead working, and metalworking.

An Ife bronze head
An Ife bronze head

The Yorubas craft skill is especially evident in sculpture. The popular Ife “bronze” heads which were found in 1938 also testify to the craftsmanships of the Yoruba people.

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Yoruba women wearing Adire
Yoruba women wearing Adire

Other popular arts and craft works by the Yorubas include the Adire, an indigo-dyed cloth made using resistant-dye techniques, different genres of music including Akpala, fuji, afro juju, Afro beats, as well as the popular Aso-Oke (Aso-Ebi) which has become a symbol of Nigerian marriages, among others.