chapter  7
16 Pages

Àsùnlé cannot be a man

A gendered analysis of Yorùbá Personal Names
ByAkinloyè Òjó

This chapter explores the categorization of Yoruba personal names, derived absolutely from works on Yoruba names and naming, including O. Adefunmi, C. L. Adeoye, M. Oduyoye, Adegbile Ojo, Akinloye Ojo, Adeboye Babalola and O. Alaba, A. Akinyem, and Joshua Abiodun Ogunwale. Following these categorizations, specifically, there are three most recurrent categories: oruko eni (birth names), oriki adani (personal praise names), and oruko inagije or adape (nicknames or aliases). The chapter provides a gendered descriptive exploration of these categories. It considers some of the semantics and gender markings inherent in these diverse categories, including conceivable cultural motives for names that are limited in their distribution along gender lines. The Yoruba people have resided in cities for many hundreds of years and are among the most urbanized people in Africa. The chapter presents the colouring and precincts determined by gender in the selection and referencing of the different categories of Yoruba names.