My Yoruba Culture ๐ŸŒบ

The Yoruba tribe is one of the most unique and well known tribes in West Africa and Africa in general. It is an Ethnic group with rich and ancient customs and traditions. They are found in the Southwestern and North-central region of Nigeria. 

In this article, Iโ€™m going to share with you some of the rich cultures and traditions of the Yorubas and also the funniest part of what makes the Yoruba culture unique and distinct.

Origin โ˜˜๏ธ

       Letโ€™s briefly go through the origin of the Yoruba Ethnic group. 

โšก๏ธ The Yoruba tribe reportedly constitute over 40 million people generally, including those in Southern and Central Benin.

โšก๏ธ According to research, the Yoruba group boasts of 21% of the population in Nigeria, making them a major tribe and one of the largest ethnic groups in the western African country. 

โšก๏ธThere are two major groupings of Yoruba people in the diaspora; the first group is known as recent migrants and they are made up of Yorubas who migrated to the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1960s to 1980s as a result of major economic and political changes. The second group consists of Yorubas who were part of the Atlantic slave trade.

โšก๏ธAccording to history, The Yoruba kingdoms were a part of the British Protectorate during the imperial era in Africa. They strongly believe they descended from Oduduwa.

โšก๏ธAncient Yoruba practised polygyny, the men were allowed to marry more than one wife, while also treating them equally, although competitions were evident among wives in order to secure preference for their children.


โšก๏ธAs in 2010, records had it that about the number of Yoruba language speakers was put at 30 million. While we are yet to confirm if this figure actually increased or dwindled over the years, we make bold to affirm that the majority of Yoruba people are native speakers of the Yoruba language.

โšก๏ธInterestingly, many Yoruba words are used in the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblรฉ and in many other Afro-American religions in the Americas and the Caribbean.

Funny ๐Ÿ˜„ facts. Try not to laugh or you lose ๐Ÿ˜…

โšก๏ธMode of Greetingโšก๏ธ

Boys; They lay down flat on the ground when greeting the elders. It is believed that respect is very essential to the elders and aged. Unlike our present day society, we use a handshake or just โ€œHollaโ€ at someone.

Boy laying down to greet his mom

Girls; The females of the Yoruba ethnic group also have a high sense of morals. They are well brought up by their parents, especially their mothers, who train them to be submissive to their husbands and be 100% loyal. Their mode of greeting is by kneeling on the ground (their two knees touching down)

Girl kneeling to greet her father

โญ๏ธEating Habitsโญ๏ธ

Iโ€™m pretty sure that you eat your food with a fork,spoon or knife, or maybe both. But can you imagine some set of people eating their food without using any of these cutleries? 

The Yoruba natives literally eat their food with their hands! Imagine the hot food thatโ€™s straight from the steaming pot, being handled by the hand! Funny, isnโ€™t it? Well, Iโ€™ve done it before anyways…lol, and Iโ€™m still going to do it time after time after time, because itโ€™s culture! Itโ€™s my tradition! And Iโ€™m going to teach my children that. 

Source: Nairaland forum

You wanna know something? 

      When the food is ready in my Yoruba culture, we bring a large bowl to put the food in. We donโ€™t share different portions to individual plates, like you do. We just put the whole food in a large bowl and scoop it up from there. P.S; all family members (extended) surround the 

   So you can imagine how big the bowl would be, how big the family would be and how big the food would be!! 

One time, my mum was eating from the big bowl, like everyone else, in my family. Then, her elder brother had a runny nose, and as he was eating, Phlegm actually came out from his nose and dropped in the big bowl of food!  But guess what?? They didnโ€™t stop eating. They continued eating like that! 

When itโ€™s time for the sharing of meat, the parents cut the meat into smaller sizes, and the eldest sibling is allowed to pick first. Then it comes down, by age, to the youngest sibling.

โ˜˜๏ธlessons to learn from this

This eating habit promotes Unity amongst members. The family members, eating from the same bowl, means that they get to live with each other and accept each otherโ€™s flaws by the power of togetherness. Also, the division of meat means Respect among the siblings. Maybe thatโ€™s why I have so much respect for everyone…hahaโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜…


Okay, we have a unique and exciting game and I would share it with you, in case you have interest or you want to teach your children to play it, donโ€™t worry, if you have any trouble in the game, you can contact me right away. 

โšก๏ธThe AYO gameโšก๏ธ

Source: YouTube 

Ayo Olopon is a traditional game played by the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It is a game that requires a lot of brain power and mathematical skill. Ayo is played in a carved wooden box, containing twelve holes (six holes on each side), and forty-eight Ayo seeds (four seeds in each hole).

Ayo game, is a game played in a carved wooden box, containing twelve holes (six holes on each side), and forty-eight Ayo seeds (four seeds in each hole). Two individuals take turns playing this game, which runs anti clockwise.

The first player begins by moving seeds from his right hand side to the opponentโ€™s side. If the seed-movement terminates in a hole with three or less Ayo seeds, this player picks up the seeds, and seeds from preceding holes, if any.

Players take turns until the seeds are exhausted. The player with the upper hand is called แปŒta, and the weak or the losing player is called Ope. Spectatorsโ€™ comments on the direction of the game add colour to the game.

If a player records three straight wins, he becomes a champion (แปŒta meaning bullet), the loser (Ope meaning ‘knowledgeable’) quits; a new player takes over. 

Ayo game requires deep thought, and good strategy to move seeds with the ultimate aim to win. Ayo, a relaxation game is played by everyone (originally only men); the meeting point is usually under a big tree with shade or restaurant.

Source; Scorum


Just like every culture, the Yoruba culture has its own folktales and itโ€™s often emotional and fun. I will share some with you, letโ€™s get popping!

1. The daughter of Adenike โ˜˜๏ธ

Adenike was a woman with the spirit of a Lioness. She was so energetic at doing things that even the warriors of the land feared her greatly. It was because of her hard work that she accumulated riches and favour from people in and around her town. But in spite of all these attributes, Adenike was barren. Her husband died years ago from a rare disease, and she brought herself up from her low status to someone of reputation in her society. Meanwhile, Adenike had a female servant. She did all her daily routines with her maid but it didnโ€™t match the actual feeling of owning a biological child. 

One day, as Adenike was preparing to go to her Cocoa farm, she hit a jar of palm oil and she couldnโ€™t behold what she saw! 

She saw the palm oil spill on the ground and out of the oil, formed a beautiful young girl. The girl was so pretty and beautiful. Adenike took this girl by the hand and vowed to keep her as her(Adenike) own daughter. She cried for joy and named her Tinuoluwa. 

Adenike was foolish because she made her daughter (Tinuoluwa) spoilt and made the servant do all the house chores, especially the tasks of her daughter. 

Adenike would leave her daughter at home and take the servant to the farm to do the tedious tasks. She would instruct the servant to cook and take care of Tinuoluwa, like sheโ€™s a five years old. 

Of course, these all made the servant unhappy and jealous. 

One day, when Adenike had carried her tools to go to the farm, the servant saw it as an opportunity to make her daughter do some house chores. She told Tinuoluwa to come and blow the firewood for the preparation of food. But Tinuoluwa hesitated bluntly. She claimed that if she moved near the fire, she would melt and turn back to palm oil. 

The servant didnโ€™t believe her and she told Tinuoluwa that she was just being lazy and spoiled.

The servant got hold of Tinuoluwa and dragged her towards the fire (with Tinuoluwa crying for help) when Tinuoluwa got near the fire, she began to melt. 

     The servant was scared and she took to her heels. Tinuoluwa was gone. Dead. Turned back to palm oil. 

       Meanwhile, a bird which witnessed all that happened, flew down and dipped his tail into the palm oil (Tinuoluwaโ€™s palm oil) and flew to meet Adenike at her farm. As the bird was approaching Adenike, the bird was singing

 โ€œcome and see, come and see. Your daughter has turned back to oil. She is no more. The beautiful Tinuoluwa is no moreโ€ฆ..โ€ 

Adenike, on hearing this, left all that she was doing and ran to her home, but it was too late, all she found was black oil on the ground. Her beautiful Palm oil daughter is no more.

Moral lesson ๐ŸŒบ

  • When you spare the rod, you spoil the child. Discipline your children to do what they ought to.
  • Do not be jealous of another person. Whatever you do, do it with a clean heart. Whatever is worth doing, worth doing well. Donโ€™t envy anyone badly. You can put the person in trouble and you might hate yourself for doing that.

2. The Story of Oluronbi โ˜˜๏ธ

A long time ago, there was a village where the majority of the women were barren; these women wanted children desperately. In the village, there was a big Iroko tree with a powerful spirit living in it. The women gathered together and decided to ask the Iroko tree spirit for assistance.

One after the other, they visited the Iroko tree and asked for help. The Iroko tree said heโ€™d help out if the women gave something in return for the child. Each woman promised the Iroko tree spirit different things like goats, yams, chickens, clothes and whatever they could afford.

A woman named Oluronbi also asked the Iroko tree for help. When the Iroko tree spirit asked her what she would give in return for a child, out of desperation, she offered her first child. 

After nine months, many of the women who approached the spirit began to bear children so they returned to the Iroko tree to fulfill their promises. But when it was time for Oluronbi to fulfill her promise, she realized she couldnโ€™t give away her first born.  So she went to the Iroko tree to plead her case. She told the Iroko tree spirit she was ready to offer anything and everything but not her child. However, the tree spirit refused to be implored by her pleas and took Oluronbiโ€™s child.

This saddened Oluronbi greatly and the villagers sang a song as a reminder of the event.

The song goes thus:

Onรญkรกlukรบ jรจjรฉ ewรบrรฉ

Others offered sheep

Onรญkรกlukรบ jรจjรฉ ร gรนtร n, ร gรนtร n bรฒlรฒjรฒ

Others offered goats

Olรบrรณnbรญ jรจjรฉ omo re

Oluronbi offered her child

Omo re a pรณn bรญ epo

Her beautiful child

Olรบrรณnbรญ รฒ jo jo

รŒrรณkรฒ jo jo.

Moral Lesson: Think carefully before you make a promise to anyone. Make sure you can and will fulfill your promise when the need arises. 

Source: connect Nigeria

3. The Story Of Creation โ˜˜๏ธ

Every culture has its own creation story, which is its belief of how the world and everything came to be.

For the Yorubas, in the beginning, the gods originally lived in the sky and the only thing below them was water. The Sky God, Olorun, gave the God of Whiteness, Orisala, a chain, a bit of earth in a snail shell, and a five-toed chicken. He then instructed Orisala to go down and create the earth.

On Orisalaโ€™s way to create the earth, he approached the gate of heaven and witnessed some divinities having a party so he stopped to greet them. The divinities offered him palm wine which he accepted; he drank too much and fell asleep.  His younger brother, Odua spotted him sleeping so he took the materials and went to the edge of heaven. Odua was accompanied by Chameleon (Oga). Odua let down the chain he had taken from Orishala and descended on it with the Chameleon (Oga). Odua then tossed the piece of earth on the water and placed the five-toed chicken on it. The chicken began to scratch the earth, dispersing it in all directions. Then, Chameleon tested the firmness of the earth; when it was firm enough, Odua stepped down. And the earth was therefore formed. 

Source :  connect Nigeria 

Conclusion โญ๏ธ

The Yoruba culture is very broad and wide. Itโ€™s so wide that I can write and publish a book on it. I just wanted you to know that thereโ€™s a unique culture and tradition of some people in the African continent.

I want you to know more about my culture, I know that you must have been fascinated, excited, and relatively shocked at the facts that youโ€™ve just read about the Yoruba culture. Well, I also marveled when I got to know some of my Ethnic groupโ€™s (Yoruba) customs.

The Yoruba custom is something that Iโ€™m proud to be a part of. I have many folktales in my head. And if you contact me, I can entertain you with them. You will laugh, cry and learn valuable life lessons.

So what do you think?! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Tell me a little about your own culture. Tell me something that you so much love about your culture. โ˜˜๏ธโ˜˜๏ธโ˜˜๏ธ You can share and reblog if you want to. ๐Ÿ˜Š

And thanks for your time in reading this post. I hope you really enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

Published by Vincent Ehindero

I'm here for my family. My wordpress family. I love you all so much and I promise never to leave you โค๏ธ

77 thoughts on “My Yoruba Culture ๐ŸŒบ

      1. I especially enjoyed learning about the way of greeting. It shows immense respect. But is it done always when you meet someone elder, or only on occasions like when guests come to homes etc?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I really love your Yoruba culture every aspect has a beautiful learning in it. I wasn’t surprised by the fact that you eat your food with hands a lot of the people in South India their food with their hands too. I enjoyed the folktales they had some strong moral values, if you ever get time you should explore about the Hindu mythology its pretty vast & full of folktales. Thanks for sharing about your culture.๐Ÿ‘

    PS. Hope to play Ayo with you someday bro. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Iโ€™m glad you enjoyed it. Iโ€™m very happy you learnt some lessons also. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… itโ€™s nice knowing that some other people other than my culture, eat with their hands.

      Itโ€™s nice that you enjoyed the folktale๐Ÿ˜Š. Iโ€™m happy you pulled out the moral values in them. I will make out time to explore the Hindu Mythology. Thanks for enlightening me.

      And yeah, donโ€™t worry, I believe one day, I will come to your side of the world and we will play the Ayo game ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing, Iโ€™ve found it so interesting! I love how so many cultures across the world donโ€™t use cutlery, and how you encourage unity through sharing the bowl. Also, Iโ€™ve definitely played a form of Ayo, itโ€™s so interesting to hear it came from Yoruba culture.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I really enjoyed this! Thank you for sharing this!

    Overall, I learned that loyalty is so important to y’all! I want it to be that important in America. It sounds like y’all are loyal in all you do. You are loyal to your family, your friends, everyone! That is so rich! Even in things like food (that people here take for granted) you guys are taking that opportunity to love each other and grow closer! People here in the USA need that! A lot of people go through life without that. I wish everyone would read this! It’s important, inspirational, interesting, and so much more! God bless you, your family, your friends, and everything you put your hands on!
    Thank you, this is such an eye opener!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ๐Ÿ˜ฑI didnโ€™t know why this went to the spam section. WordPress should do something about this.

      Iโ€™m so so so so so so happy to hear that.
      Loyalty is something that I grew up with. And most people in my country.

      I do watch American movies, so I understand what you mean.

      When you give birth to your kids, try to train them up in the way they should go. And they wonโ€™t depart from it.

      Thatโ€™s what everyone should do. We should teach the young ones loyalty and values of life so that they will be responsible and happy in the future.

      Even with what I wrote, there are still some people in my country that donโ€™t have respect. You will see kids shouting and abusing the elderly.

      But like micheal Jackson will say โ€œHeal the world we live in. Save it for our childrenโ€ ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      Thanks so much for commenting. Iโ€™m glad you loved the post

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s ok. I figured that’s what happened. But your seeing it now ๐Ÿ™‚

        I love that! I feel like the first thing people teach there kids here is fear. “Be careful of that!” “Watch out for that!” They train there kids to be afraid overall!?! My heart brakes for our country… our foundation used to be on God and now it’s based on money, popularity, and power.


        That’s so remarkable. You may know this but that’s a Bible verse.. I think it’s Proverbs 22:6.

        Yah, it’s almost like people here train there kids in the way they were trained which is why we have so many generational curses. Where as, people there train there kids in the way they were trained which is the cause of so much good! America claims to be the country of freedom and yet most of us are so stuck in a broken system.

        It’s sad, but in every place there is bad habits.

        I could go on forever about this… it’s such a passionate subject for me!?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ๐Ÿ˜ƒI understand your concern Ruthie.

        I know how passionate you are about this. I think you are right about the fear stuff.

        Most of the American films I watch, the parents are always shouting and warning.

        But I guess itโ€™s everywhere.

        Yeah, you got it! Itโ€™s a Bible verse.

        We just have to change using our own ways. And Iโ€™m very certain that very soon, people will restore the normal practices to the way it was from the beginning ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m so happy you understand. ๐Ÿ˜„


        True, it really is everywhere.

        Yay! That’s one of my favorite verses. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Yah, we have to be the beginning. That’s my hopes! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

        Liked by 1 person

      1. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

        Iโ€™m glad heโ€™s doing great

        ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚my chicken is angry with me, but they are all fine

        (I forgot to feed them) they wanted to peck me ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much.

      Even with the culture, some people are still respectful, while others are disrespectful.

      But we canโ€™t certainly compare. I would say your country is good in its own way, and my country is good in its own way.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the yoruba culture and since I’m studying history I get to dive in deeply into it especially the stories of creation with Ile-Ife and their history and stories. They are quite fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haaa! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ The Yoruba culture is very interesting to learn. Especially the parts of the Pre colonial erasโ€”-the gods and other funny events ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

      You should have heard of Moremi? Have you?


  5. Nice to read about the culture, I am familiar with some of the things you mentioned because of movies. I am obsessed with Nigerian movies yes as long as they are! Part 1 to 15 hahaha I am present!. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Iโ€™m so happy to know your interest in the culture and the country in general.

      ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚Sorry to ask, please which country are you from?

      ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚Iโ€™m so curious

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Niceeee!
    I’m not Yoruba but, I love the culture so much. Their food too, Oh my God, it’s amazing! The way they greet, they old ones love too much respect. I literally roll my eyes most times.

    I actually thought you were a Cameroonian or something else at first, your surname doesn’t sound Yoruba to me at all…it shocked me.

    About my culture and where I’m from, I have no idea… hoping to travel to my village in a couple of years. So, yeah. I claim English as my language and nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
      Wow! Okay..firstly, your face looks like Yoruba..specifically from Oyo tribe ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚or wait… letโ€™s say Ekiti (because of your smile)

      My favorite food is Gbegiri and Amala๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚with Saki ๐Ÿ˜‚or Pomo ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      The adults do love too much respect. Even the ones that use just months to โ€œseniorโ€ you, will be demanding respect like Kini ๐Ÿ™„

      My full name is Fisayomi Vincent Ehindero. And Iโ€™m from Ondo state ๐Ÿ˜‚

      โ€œIt shock you!!!???โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Donโ€™t worry, life will bring your culture to you one day and you will be happy to happy to embrace it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      You studied zoology! Thatโ€™s great ๐Ÿ˜ƒ maybe you will lecture me on Dinosaurs one day ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

      Ps. I found an large egg at my backyard. I think itโ€™s a Dinosaur egg ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my…Damn!!! (Mad ooo).
        Guy, this is too much ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. Easyyy.๐Ÿ˜‚

        Yeah, I agree with you thinking I’m Yoruba. Like, the whole planet has given me a tribe, lmaooo.

        Ikr! We have the same test of food. When I got to the university for the first time, I literally bought the food and it tastes so goodโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ. Yoruba people amaze me with their cooking abilities and their pepper. Jesus…My roommate almost killed me with it๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ.

        Ondo state? Wow! You’ve definitely shocked me๐Ÿ˜ฒ. “Life will bring my culture to me”๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. Amen.๐Ÿคฒ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿคฒ๐Ÿฝ

        Guyyyy, I can’t stop laughing ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚.

        Nice to meet you(on the internet), Vin!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚โ€mad oooโ€๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


        When I buy the food, the taste hits differently ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚especially when โ€œIya Shukuraโ€ cooks the food ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

        And the pepper is very true. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚I donโ€™t know why. But I think I canโ€™t do without pepper๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚even in Indomie๐Ÿ˜‚


        ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚I cant find the large egg again. So…it got me thinking….Iโ€™m wondering if I saw that egg in my dream or in reality. (It always confuse me

        Nice to meet you too!!

        (Lemme whine you small)

        Boss!!!! Lady!!!!๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ

        I hope you have a wonderful day aheadโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

    1. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚Edo bawo ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Iโ€™m very good at Ayo ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜ŒI Dey beat people to stupor ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


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