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Yoruba name: Wikis

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Yoruba names are primarily used by the Yoruba people and Yoruba language-speaking individuals in both Nigeria and the Nigerian diaspora.

Naming ceremonies

By custom, Yoruba children are named in a ceremony that takes place seven days after the birth of the children. The names of the children are traditionally taken from the father, but names can also come from those of other ranking members of the family, including the mother, grandparents or next of kin. Both the mother and father and other next of kin can give their own favorite names to the child or children. Baby names often come from the grandparents and great grandparents the namers.

Composition and importance of names

Yoruba names are often carefully considered during the week prior to the naming ceremony, as great care is placed upon selecting a name that would not reflect any sort of negativity or disrepute; in other words, selecting a name that previously belonged to a thief or criminal for a Yoruba child is not considered as a wise idea, as it (according to the Yoruba folklore) could result in the child growing up to become a thief or criminal.

Yoruba names are traditionally classified into two categories:

  • Destiny Names ("brought from heaven" or derived from a religious background)
  • Acquired Names ("given on earth" or granted by next of kin)

One of the most common destiny names among the Yoruba are Taiwo and Kehinde, which are given primarily to twins.

Acquired name may signify the position of the family in the society (e. g "Adewale" a typical royal family name)it may also signify the family work (e. g "Agbede" the blacksmith).

Yoruba also have "Oriki" a kind of praise name used to emphasize the achievements of the ancestors of the family; "Oriki" could be a one word like "Adunni" it could also be a verse or verses.


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