Yoruba People Of Nigeria Essay

1449 words - 6 pages

Among the many tribes found in Africa, the Yoruba people of Nigeria are the most popular. These indigenous people were a part of Southwestern Nigeria and Benin. In addition, they’re one of the largest ethno-linguistic groups in Africa. A great percentage of Yoruba is populated by modern day Nigeria. Generally speaking, the Yoruba culture was an oral tradition, and majority of the people were native speakers of the Yoruba language. The native name of the Yoruba language is ‘Ede Yoruba’. The language originated in the Yoruba people, they believed to be descendants of Oduduwa, the son of a powerful god called Oludumare. They referred to themselves as ‘Omo Oduduwa’, meaning Oduduwa’s children. The Yoruba language is the pride of the Yoruba people and over 22 million people speak it. According to, (Kwintessential “The Yoruba Language” in 2014.) The Yoruba language has been spoken within other languages in neighboring countries such as Benin and Togo. As well as, traces of the language have been spoken in Sierra Leone, where it’s called ‘Oku’ and in Cuba where it’s called ‘Nago’.

Moreover, like many other African languages, the study of Yoruba language was conducted by missionaries. These missionaries were interested in translating the scriptures for evangelical purposes. As a result, of these studies this led to the emergence of writing and studying of the Yoruba language and culture. First, the development of written Yoruba language was led by Samuel Crowther, a fluent Yoruba speaker who published the first Yoruba grammar. In 1884, He translated the Holy Bible from the Standard English version into Yoruba dialect. Afterwards, his work was accepted as the standard for Yoruba language among a variety of dialects. His Yoruba-language Bible served as an example of the written Yoruba that was widely adopted by the majority of Yoruba dialects.
Before the abolition of slave trade, the Yoruba people were known as “Akus” by the Europeans. These people did pioneering work on the writing and studying of the language. Thus, Yoruba became one of the first African languages to have a written grammar and dictionary in 1849. The named was derived from a common word “Eku” often used when greeting in Yoruba language. For example, “eku’aro” means ‘Good Morning, and “eku’ale” means ‘Good Evening’. Due to, tribal variation among the Yoruba people, the language dialects varied as well. Particularly, speaking Yoruba has over ten dialects spoken among the various tribes in Nigeria. In the Republic of Benin, Yoruba dialects include Ketu, Nago, Ije, Ajase, Idaitsa, Tsabe. However, Yoruba is divided into three major dialect areas which includes; Northwest, Central, and Southeast. In North-West Yoruba were people from Lagos, Osun state, and through areas like Oyo. Central Yoruba were the western central areas of Nigeria in places like Ife, Igbomina, Ekiti and Akure. South-East Yoruba was in the mid southeastern parts of the country, in areas like Ondo, Owo and parts of...

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