Cultural Memories, Performance, and Meanings in Indigenous Festivals and Celebrations among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Religious Studies


This project investigates indigenous festivals and celebrations as important elements in understanding how identity is defined, constructed, and reinforced among the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria. The Yoruba have several towns that are distinct from one another in terms of their migration origin, ancestral lineage and clan, and kingship institution. Each of these towns creates its own meaning in the wider Yoruba cosmos through festivals that are linked to myth, ritual, and religion. The study shows (1) how people celebrate their common unity through performance of festivals; (2) the relevance of festivals in contemporary multi-religious communities; and (3) how indigenious identity continues to be relevant in the face of modernity.