Culture is the totality of the life of a particular group of people and the concept of Yoruba culture relates to the totality of Ways of life of the Yoruba people. Thus, the Yoruba culture and society from 1800 -2000 would involve the discussion of language religion, dressing, job, marriage, music, sport, education, festivals, food, folklore, ceremony etc. practiced in the globalized world.
First and foremost, globalization is the process whereby increased proportion of economic social and cultural activities is carried out across national boundaries ( a Whole World becoming a single village which leads to exchange of ideas and culture etc.
Yoruba culture was introduced and spread into the globalized World through the slave trade that took place from the l6th – l9th century. The Yoruba people and their unique culture were carried into the new World and Europe.
The Yoruba culture in the diaspora faced several challenges such that the culture was not needed and it was also been influenced by the foreign culture and this brought about a need to preserve the culture due to the challenges.
According to Nina Rodriguez in Bahia “The Yoruba’s separated themselves to preserve their language, that traditions and belief also through customary feast on Sunday and free days (Cuba, Brazil) they come together interpreting their various cultures, also through fraternities (in Brazil) negros de gambo the Yoruba’s come together in order to communicate when working.
Also, Yoruba cuisine was preserved through mixing of Yoruba space with the female cook for masters, most importantly, syncretism was also a major Way the Yoruba’s preserved their cultural practices and society. This was done through making the black gods with the men believes (culture). This Yoruba culture was and is still integrated to Brazil, Trinidad, Bahia, U.S.A, North America, Cuba, Jamaica, Europe etc.
The Yoruba culture is now been practiced and this have led to massive spread an example of this is the Yoruba language, which is globalized such that it has and still been spoken by foreigners e.g. Susan Wenger. Also the Yoruba Culture is taught in French, German, Russian, in Nigerian Universities. E.g. University of Ibadan and Yoruba and Ifa studies (divinities are been practiced) in Birgman centre at West African Centre shows in U.K. Also Osaka University of foreign studies Japan, University of Florida, and University of Texas.
Additionally, religion as an important part of culture is a set of belief concerning supernatural or sacred entities towards which man has to develop a relationship which gives meaning to his life. Yoruba religious practices have been adopted in the Christian religion to suit the cultural practice; Example is the orthodox Christianity with its doctrine of one man in which the Yoruba culture broke out and formed churches with the same practices except marriage e.g. Aladura church 1920s. Also in clapping, drumming and dancing was introduced e.g Cherubim and Seraphim, Pentecostalism, the Celestial.
Also the gods which were practiced by the Yoruba people is being practiced in Cuba and Brazil, e.g Ela, Obatala, Yemoja, Egungun, Sango etc. been worshiped etc. this gods have been recognized like Osun became the deity of fresh water in Brazil, Aba, Haiti and Batia. Yemoja became deity of sea in Brazil, Oya became Yansan in Brazil. Osun festival also became a worldwide festival in which Over ten thousands of people visit the Susan Wenger Osun Osogbo groove.
More so, Yoruba dressing such as iro and buba, sokoto, agbada, Dansiki became prominent in the globalized world especially during ceremony. The Yoruba are known for weaving, iron smelting, dress making, hair dressing etc. and this has become apparent in foreign countries e.g. tailoring service in Liverpool, hair dressing in Brazil is majorly done by Yoruba women e.g Irunbiba, Irun kiko, Irundidi. Making of Eko and akara is an occupation in Brazil and African Kitchen in abroad .Eg. Amina’s fare Restaurant in London, African kitchen Gallery, London, 102, Drummond Street, Euston Linen, jewelry maker’s e.g J .J.C in U.K.
Additionally, marriage which is between parents is still Aone almost the same way with few changes e.g. in Haiti, U.S.A, Cuba etc. A formal letter of application for betrothal written by parents or relative of the man. Example of this was the marriage of Abiola’s daughter.
Furtherance, Yoruba dancing style have been incorporated and enjoyed far and wide. E.g. the Bata Dance that involves beating of drum.
In the aspect of music, fuji type of music an Oriki has been incorporated.
For sport, Ayo which is a Yoruba game was played in Olympics.
Also Yoruba foods have been introduced to foreign cuisine e.g. akara and Eko, fufu in Brazil, Abula, Ewedu and Gbegiri and gbokortu in the UK and U.S.A
Folklore, that is, African stories are being taught to children e.g. African turtle, ljapa and the rabbit Ehoro in Cuba, U.S.A etc.
I am ending with a statement the Yoruba culture is indeed a surviving culture that is integrated and is still practiced in the globalized world. E.g language, religion, music, sport, food, aro system. Now, more than ever, it is critical to improve the understanding of the Yoruba culture and society that is been practiced in other not to lose its original form. it is visible that the Yoruba culture and society in the globalized World plays a Wide and varied role in promoting development and social advancement in Africa. Yoruba society now occupies an indispensable strategic position that links Nigeria and Africa with the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, despite all the above note advantages, Yoruba culture and society undergo the fear of foreign domination of their culture e.g. language, some aspects of the culture has been modified, discarded as a result of globalization.
Olurole Olusanya: Nigeria History
Klen Debra: Yoruba Bata Goes Global, University Of Chicago Press, 2007
Yerima Ahmed: Yemoja,Kraft Books; Bilingual edition,2002
Jacob Kehinde: Orisa Devolution as World Religion,Univ of Wisconsin Press
Lawal Babatunde: Yoruba: Visions of Africa, 5Continents, 2012
Probst Peter: Osogbo and the Art Heritage Monuments, Deities and Money, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011.
Lawure Olubay: Cultural ethos of the Yoruba’s, Ibadan: University Press Plc.
Toyin Falola and Ann Genova (eds), Yorùbá Identity and Power Politics. Rochester NY: University of Rochester Press
Falola (ed ): The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic world
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