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"kawa oma ranti, ranti ile o, isedale baba awa"

[we will always remember the roots of our parents]

--Orlando Julius as featured in Going Back to My Roots

"The musical styles of various African areas are not yet fully documented or differentiated, though important work is in progress. The West Coast area, from which the slaves were taken, concerns us, particularly the related musics of Dahomey, the Ashanti, and the Yoruba. According to Herskovits, a large proportion of the slaves in New Orleans were of Dahomean provenance, brought there directly from Africa or from the Caribbean islands, particularly Haiti."--Shining Trumpets, a History of Jazz (1946) by Rudi Blesh, p. 34

"We decided to put a secret message in the song, so he brought in a group of South African singers to chant in the African Yoruban dialect."--How Sweet It Is (2019) by Lamont Dozier and Scott B. Bomar

Fela Kuti, Olatunji, Jùjú music, Tony Allen, Koro Koro, Shakara (Oloje), King Sunny Adé.

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The Yoruba (Yorùbá in Yoruba orthography) are a large ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in Africa; the majority of them speak the Yoruba language (èdèe Yorùbá; èdè = language). The Yoruba constitute approximately 21 percent of Nigeria's total population.



Yorubaland is the homeland and cultural region of the Yoruba people in West Africa. It spans the modern day countries of Nigeria, Togo and Benin, and covers a total land area of 142,114 km2 or about the same size as the combined land areas of Greece and Montenegro, of which 106,016 km2 (74.6%) lies within Nigeria, 18.9% in Benin, and the remaining 6.5% is in Togo. The geocultural space contains an estimated 55 million people, the overwhelming majority of this population being ethnic Yorubas.

Yoruba music

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The music of the Yoruba people of Nigeria is best known for an extremely advanced drumming tradition, especially using the dundun hourglass tension drums. Yoruba folk music became perhaps the most prominent kind of West African music in Afro-Latin and Caribbean musical styles. Yorùbá music left an especially important influence on the music used in Lukumi practice and the music of Cuba.

Yoruba language

Yoruba (native name èdè Yorùbá, 'the Yoruba language') is a dialect continuum of West Africa with over 25 million speakers. The native tongue of the approximately 40 million [oruba people, it is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and traces of it are found among communities in Brazil , Sierra Leone (where it is called Oku), and Cuba (where it is called Nago). Yoruba is an isolating, tonal language with SVO syntax. Apart from referring to the aggregate of dialects and their speakers, the term Yoruba is used for the standard, written form of the language. Yoruba is classified as a Niger-Congo language of the Yoruboid branch of Defoid, Benue-Congo. Yoruba is the third most spoken native African language.

The traditional Yoruba area - currently comprising the southwestern portion of Nigeria, the republics of Benin and Togo and mideastern Ghana - is commonly called Ìlẹ-Yorùbá or Yorubaland. The Nigeria component comprises today's Ọyọ, Ọṣun, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Lagos states as well as the western part of Kogi state. Geophysically, Yorubaland forms part of a plateau (elevation 366 m) bordered to the north and east by the Niger River. A large part of it is densely forested; the northern part however, including Ọyọ, lies in the savanna to the north of the forest.

Yoruba religion

The Yorùbá religion comprises the traditional religious and spiritual concepts and practices of the Yoruba people. Its homeland is in Southwestern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo, a region that has come to be known as Yorùbáland. Yorùbá religion is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. It has influenced or given birth to a host of thriving ways of life such as Lucumí, Umbanda and Candomblé. Yorùbá religious beliefs are part of Itan, the total complex of songs, histories, stories and other cultural concepts which make up the Yorùbá society.

Yoruba art

The Yoruba of West Africa (Benin, Nigeria and Togo, with migrant communities in parts of Ghana and Sierra Leone) are responsible for one of the finest artistic traditions in Africa, a tradition that remains vital and influential today.

Much of the art of the Yoruba, including staffs, court dress, and beadwork for crowns, is associated with the royal courts. The courts also commissioned numerous architectural objects such as veranda posts, gates, and doors that are embellished with carvings. Other Yoruba art is related shrines and masking traditions. The Yoruba worship a large pantheon of deities, and shrines dedicated to these gods are adorned with carvings and house an array of altar figures and other ritual paraphernalia. Masking traditions vary regionally, and a wide range of mask types are employed in various festivals and celebrations.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Yoruba" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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