Yoruba People


Yoruba (yō´rōōbä), people of SW Nigeria and Benin, numbering about 20 million. Today many of the large cities in Nigeria (including Lagos, Ibadan, and Abeokuta) are in Yorubaland. The old Yoruba kingdom of Oyo was traditionally one of the largest states of W Africa, but after the mid-1700s its power slowly waned. At the beginning of the 19th cent., Fulani invasions, slave raids from Dahomey, and the growing contact with Europeans divided the Yoruba into a number of small states. In the second half of the 19th cent. the Yoruba gradually fell under British control, and they were under direct British administration from 1893 until 1960. Yoruba religion includes a variety of gods. Vestiges of Yoruba culture are also found in Brazil and Cuba, where Yoruba were imported as slaves.

See G. J. A. Ojo, Yoruba Culture (1967); E. Krapf-Askari, Yoruba Towns and Cities (1969); R. S. Smith, Kingdoms of the Yoruba (1969); H. Courlander, Tales of Yoruba Gods and Heroes (1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Yoruba People: Selected full-text books and articles

Yoruba Land Law By P. C. Lloyd Oxford University Press, 1962
Trinidad Yoruba: From Mother Tongue to Memory By Maureen Warner-Lewis University of Alabama Press, 1996
The Use of Human Images in Yoruba Medicines(1) By Wolff, Norma H Ethnology, Vol. 39, No. 3, Summer 2000
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Church in Africa: 1450-1950 By Adrian Hastings Clarendon Press, 1996
Librarian's tip: "Yoruba Christianity" begins on p. 349
Religion in a Changing World: Comparative Studies in Sociology By Madeleine Cousineau Praeger, 1998
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "From West Africa to Brooklyn: Yoruba Religion among African Americans"
African Market Women and Economic Power: The Role of Women in African Economic Development By Bessie House-Midamba; Felix K. Ekechi Greenwood Press, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Gender, Business, and Space Control: Yoruba Market Women and Power"
Cloth, Dress, and Art Patronage in Africa By Judith Perani; Norma H. Wolff Berg, 1999
Librarian's tip: Part 2 "The Department of Hausa, Nupe, and Yoruba Cloth and Dress Traditions"
Playing with Identities in Contemporary Music in Africa By Mai Palmberg; Annemette Kirkegaard Nordic African Institute, 2002
Librarian's tip: "Big Man, Black President, Masked One: Models of the Celebrity Self in Yoruba Popular Music in Nigeria" begins on p. 19
Credit, Currencies, and Culture: African Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective By Endre Stiansen; Jane I. Guyer Nordic Africa Institute, 1999
Librarian's tip: "Kose-e-mani: Idealism and Contradiction in the Yoruba View of Money" begins on p. 152
Essays on African Population By K. M. Barbour; R. M. Prothero Praeger, 1962
Librarian's tip: Chap. 14 "Yoruba Towns"
Social Networks of Children, Adolescents, and College Students By Suzanne Salzinger; John Antrobus; Muriel Hammer Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1988
Librarian's tip: Chap. 13 "The Social World of the Yoruba Child"
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