Popular traditionalist and the Araba of Osogbo, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon has said before any contact with the Hausa/Fulani, the Yoruba race was called “the people of Ife.”
According to him, it is very sad that the people failed to give the race a name before they met the Hausas. He said Yorubas were known as “aku” in the very early stage because of how the people greeted each other.
He added that later on, the race was named Yariba before it eventually became Yoruba. However, the earliest leaders of the race failed to come up with a collective name.
His words, “We are Ife people, it is rather unfortunate that we didn’t have one word to comprise all Yoruba before Fulani or Hausa gave us yariba to become Yoruba ‘aku’ is the words they used for us in beginning because we used to greet each other by saying ‘aku owuro’, ‘Aku asaale’ it is aku people or anago that other Africans referred to us”.
“Actually since Yoruba origins is at Ile Ife ‘Eni fe abi ara Ile Ife Loye ka ma je’, we are indigenous people of Ootu Ife.”
Do you agree?
The Yorùbá people (Yoruba: Ìran Yorùbá) are an African ethnic group that inhabits western Africa. The Yoruba constitute about 120 million people in total. The majority of this population is from Nigeria, where the Yorùbá make up 21% of the country’s population, according to the CIA World Factbook, making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Most Yoruba people speak the Yoruba language, which is the Niger-Congo language with the largest number of native, L1 or first language speakers.
The Yorùbá share borders with the very closely related Itsekiri to the south-east in the North West Niger delta, Bariba to the north in Benin and Nigeria, the Nupe also to the north and the Ebira to the northeast in central Nigeria. To the east are the Edo, Ẹsan and the Afemai groups in mid-western Nigeria. Adjacent to the Ebira and Edo groups are the related Igala people found in the northeast, on the left bank of the Niger River. To the southwest are the Gbe speaking Mahi, Gun, Fon and Ewe who border Yoruba communities in Benin and Togo. To the southeast are Itsekiri who live in the north-west end of the Niger delta. They are ancestrally related to the Yoruba but chose to maintain a distinct cultural identity. Significant Yoruba populations in other West African countries can be found in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone.
The Yoruba diaspora consists of two main groupings; one of them includes relatively recent migrants, the majority of which moved to the United Kingdom and the United States after major economic and political changes in the 1960s to 1980s. The other dates to the Atlantic slave trade and has communities in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Brazil, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago, and other countries.
The music of the Yoruba people is perhaps best known for an extremely advanced drumming tradition, especially using the dundun hourglass tension drums. The representation of musical instruments on sculptural works from Ile-Ife, indicates, in general terms a substantial accord with oral traditions. A lot of these musical instruments date back to the classical period of Ile-Ife, which began at around the 10th century A.D. Some were already present prior to this period, while others were created later. The hourglass tension drum (Dùndún) for example, may have been introduced around the 15th century (1400s), the Benin bronze plaques of the middle period depicts them. Others like the double and single iron clapper-less bells are examples of instruments that preceded classical Ife. 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 of Trinidad, the Lukumi religious traditions, Capoeira practice in Brazil and the music of Cuba.
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