The Yorubas are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa, with
majority from Western part of Nigeria. Research shows that Yoruba
communities are also established in Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas,
Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Cuba, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, ….Guyana,
Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leon, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo
and the USA.The naming of a child is a very important part of the
Yoruba culture. A child’s name is often derived from the circumstances
of birth – for example, if the child is one of twins – or from a
family trait or value. Names are typically selected by family elders
but modern practice had vested the powers on the parents.  The core
items used during the ceremony are –water, salt, honey and /or sugar,
palm oil, kola nut, bitter kola, pepper, and dried fish The Yoruba
people believe that people live out the meanings of their names. As
such, Yoruba people put considerable effort into naming a baby. Their
philosophy of naming is conveyed in a common adage, ile ni a n wo, ki
a to so omo l’oruko (“one pays attention to the family before naming a
child”): one must consider the tradition and history of a child’s
relatives when choosing a name.Some families have long-standing
traditions for naming their children. Such customs are often derived
from their profession or religion. For example, a family of hunters
could name their baby Ogunbunmi (Ogun gives me this) to show their
respect to the divinity who gives them metal tools for hunting.
Meanwhile, a family that venerates Ifá may name their child Falola
(Ifa), christians gives names such as jesutofunmi meaning Jesus is
enough for me and many more.




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