CHILD NAMING IN YORUBA TRADITION ( Àsà Ìsòmò Lokùkò Nì Ilè Yorùbà)

CHILD NAMING IN YORUBA TRADITION ( Àsà Ìsòmò Lokùkò Nì Ilè Yorùbà)

By Iyalode Tolani Salawu

Naming a child is a serious business in Yoruba culture. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. This is because of the belief that any name given to a child will ultimately affect him/her throughout the entire life. This, then, accounts for the adage in Yoruba which says that Oruko a maa roni; Àpeje a sì maa ronìyan: meaning that a person’s name directs his actions and behaviours. Therefore they tend to give names that will bring prosperity and goodness to the child.

After a child is born, the oracle is consulted to know the future of the child. This will enable the parents know and monitor the child’s career, marriage partner, travel, vocation and job, and any other plan. The naming ceremony usually takes place after the 9th day if it’s a boy and if it’s a girl it is 7th day. For a set of twins, it is usually on the 8th day.

However, with the advent and influence of Christianity and Islamic religions, naming ceremonies now take place on the 8th day. It is usually early in the morning with a lot people in attendance. These include the parents of the child, grand parents, relations, neighbors, friends and well-wishers.

Since it is generally believed that names are like spirits which would like to live out their meanings, parents do a thorough search before giving names to their babies. Naming ceremonies are performed with the same meticulous care, generally by the oldest family member. Symbolic of the hopes, expectations and prayers of the parents for the new baby, honey, kola, bitter kola, atare (alligator pepper), water, palm oil, sugar, sugar cane, salt, and liquor each have a place and a special meaning in the world-view of the Yoruba. For instance, honey represents sweetness, and the prayer of the parents is that their baby’s life will be as sweet as honey.

Each of those present at the occasion will carry the baby and then give him/her a name after putting money in a bowl. A child can have as many names as those presents at the ceremony depending on their perception of the circumstances that surround the birth.

….. To be continued with types of name and reasons for them.

Same Queen with loads of love for everyone❤️
IYALODE with Glamour
YEYE ASA with Pleasant Flavours

Have a glorious week ahead and stay safe.

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