Arts of Being Yoruba

Arts of Being Yoruba

Divination, Allegory, Tragedy, Proverb, Panegyric
Adélékè Adéèkó
Distribution: Global except Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Bu
Publication date: 08/18/2017
Format: Paperback 13 b&w illus., 3 tables
ISBN: 978-0-253-02649-1
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There is a culturally significant way of being Yorùbá that is expressed through dress, greetings, and celebrations—no matter where in the world they take place. Adélékè Adéèkó documents Yorùbá patterns of behavior and articulates a philosophy of how to be Yorùbá in this innovative study. As he focuses on historical writings, Ifá divination practices, the use of proverbs in contemporary speech, photography, gendered ideas of dressing well, and the formalities of ceremony and speech at celebratory occasions, Adéékó contends that being Yorùbá is indeed an art and Yorùbá-ness is a dynamic phenomenon that responds to cultural shifts as Yorùbá people inhabit an increasingly globalized world.

Author Bio

Adélékè Adéèk is Humanities Distinguished Professor in the English and African American and African Studies departments at Ohio State University. He is the author ofProverbs, Textuality, and Nativism in African Literature andThe Slave's Rebellion: Literature, History, Orature(IUP).


“Adeleke Adeeko articulates how people act Yoruba through the retention of traditional cultural practices, like naming ceremonies, kneeling down to greet, lineage praise poetry, and even in writing and art. All of these are part of the Yoruba "art of being," and thus, are a configuration of culture.”
 — Akintunde Akinyemi, author of Yoruba Orature and Riddles

“This book is bound to change how we think about and perhaps how we study what it is to be Yoruba. More importantly, it opens new vistas for contestations, interpretations, characterizations, and idenitification of what being Yoruba means or entails.”
 — Olufemi Taiwo, author of Africa Must Be Modern

“This book will remain an unparalleled prestigious excavation of the very best in Yorùbá artistic, literary, cultural, and philosophical studies for many years to come. It belongs in every Yorùbá household as well as in the archives of Yorùbá social and cultural history.”
 — Research in African Literature

Arts of Being Yorùbá is a needed contribution to Yorùbá studies and a welcome rejoinder to a more culturally essentialist understanding of what it means to be – or not be – Yorùbá.”
 — Journal of Modern African Studies

“In uniting various themes and topics, the book creates a tool and methodology to rethink interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, hybridity, and modernity. Recommended.”
 — Choice

Arts of Being Yoruba is timely and strategic. It is a commendable output, which makes pronouncements that further rekindles hope and sustained interest in African cultural studies generally.”
 — African Studies Quarterly

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Table of Contents

1. "Writing" and "Reference" in Ifaì Divination Chants
2. Culture, Meaning, Proverbs
3. Reading, Writing, and Epistemic Instability in Faìguìnwa’s Novels
4. Sex, Gender, and Plot in FaìguìnwaÌ’s Adventures
5. Lost in Translation: IÌsòoÌòlaì’s Eòfuìnsòetaìn AniìwuìraÌ and YoruÌbaì Woman-Being
6. From Orality to Visuality: Photography and the Panegyric in Contemporary YoruÌbaì Culture
Conclusion: Book Launching as Cultural Affirmations

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