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
Social Networks of Children, Adolescents, and College Students By Suzanne Salzinger; John Antrobus; Muriel Hammer Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1988
Encyclopedia of the Yoruba By Tóyìn Fálọlá; Akíntúndé Akínyẹmí Indiana University Press, 2016
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