Thursday, December 14, 2023

Names In Yoruba Land

Names In Yoruba Land 

Yoruba names are much more than mere identification tags, much more than mere "luggage labels"; each has a reason (a) for being just what it is; and (b) for being given to a particular individual. 

Yoruba names embody circumstances of birth, history, family, religion, or some other equally pertinent facts relevant to that particular individual bearing the name. 

Yoruba names are, in fact, in most cases contractions of whole sentences.

 "Atoloye," for example [see above list], is but the shortened form of
A to ni oye," and could be amplified into "Eniti o to lati fi je oje= He to whom a Chieftancy is but right and proper".

"Atoloye" is perhaps more properly amplified into "A to ni oye", i.e ‘’Eniti o to ni oye", where "to" is a verb that means "to be durable"

 The only question here is, can this apply to a person on his accession to the Chieftaincy, at which time nobody could possibly know what the future held in sure for the new Chief?" 

On the other hands, the salutation to a Yoruba chief, from the moment of his accession, is "Ade a pe l'ori, Bata a pe l'ese, olori a sise ebi, Esin oba a ma j'oko!-which is to say-

"Long will the crown remain on the chief's head; long will the shoes remain on the chief's feet; the chief's wives will bear children; the chief's virile member will always be fully active (literally: the chief's horse will eat fodder), "at a time when no one knows what the gods have planned for the chief. 

By the same token, the derivation of "Atoloye" as "He who is durable as Chief" (with 'durable' being used in the sense outlined abive), is perhaps to be preferred

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