Yoruba (Heritage Library of African Peoples West Africa) by Michael O. Anda

By Michael O. Anda

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In 1862 Ibadan destroyed the large Oyo city of Ijaye. The Egba, who were still defending themselves against repeated attacks from Dahomey, became involved in a succession of wars with Ibadan, Ijebu, Egbado, and Awori. These wars culminated in a sixteen-year war, Page 23 from 1877 to 1893, in which many of the Yoruba subgroups were involved in battles with Ibadan, which had only the support of Oyo. The Postwar Period, 1893-1960 The century of warfare left deep effects on Yorubaland. Political boundaries were redrawn to conform with the situation when peace was made, thus changing the size and shape of Yoruba kingdoms.

The babalawo knows all the verses by heart. When visited for spiritual advice, the diviner casts a set of sixteen palm nuts or a special divination chain several times. Like the throws of dice, many combinations can result. The babalawo marks the outcomes into the chalk spread on his divination tray, and this becomes the sign that refers to the verses he is required Page 32 Yoruba diviners play a crucial role in Yoruba religion. This babalawo wears the white robes typical of his profession. Whiteness symbolizes the purity and calm that are required to communicate effectively with the spiritual world.

Oba AYomba king. Ogboni Elders. ome ileEconomically dependent males. Oni The king of Ife. orisaDeities. polygyny Practice of having more than one wife. Page 60 For Further Reading Aboyade, B. Olabimpe. Yoruba Culture and Civilization: An Introductory Bibliography (1845-1976). Ibadan, Nigeria: Fountain Publications, 1991. Areje, Raphael Adekunle. Yoruba Proverbs. Ibadan, Nigeria: Daystar Press, 1985. Atanda, J. A. An Introduction to Yoruba History. Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press, 1980.

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