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date: 15 October 2019

Yoruba musiclocked

  • Akin Euba


The Yoruba people live predominantly in the western state of Nigeria, Federal Republic of, but there is also a considerable Yoruba population in the central and southern areas of neighbouring Benin, and a lesser population in Togo. The Yoruba of the western state, who acknowledge Ile-Ife as their ancestral and cultural home, are grouped into the subcultures of Oyo, Egba, Egbado, Ijesha, Ife, Ijebu, Ekiti, Ondo and Akoko. At the height of the Oyo empire in the 18th century, most of these groups owed allegiance to the Oyo, a unity that was broken with the collapse of the empire in the 19th century. A more comprehensive and lasting unity developed under British administration and the term ‘Yoruba’, originally used to refer only to the Oyo, became the name for all Yoruba-speaking peoples.

Yoruba traditional music is marked by an impressive variety of genres, forms, styles and instruments. While this variety is partly a result of the diverse subcultures, much of it is common to Yoruba culture as a whole. The dominant music today is that known as ...

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