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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The sanctity of the 'white skin' in Yoruba belief system
Authors:Omobowale, Ayokunle OlumuyiwaISNI
Olutayo, Akinpelu Olanrewaju
Year:2009
Periodical:Journal of environment and culture (ISSN 1597-2755)
Volume:6
Issue:1-2
Pages:112-122
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:albinism
African religions
Yoruba
Abstract:Guided by the theory of sacredness and profanity of E. Durkheim, and based on key informant interviews, a literature review and Yoruba oral philosophy, this paper shows how the Yoruba precolonial belief system was able to preserve a physically different and hence potentially endangered group in the earlier stages of Yoruba cultural development. They achieved this by creating notions of sacredness around the 'afin' (albino). Because 'afin' were sacred, they were set apart and surrounded with notions of reverence, respect, aura, mystery and mythological attributes. 'Afin' were presented as messengers of Obatala - the Yoruba head god, who was (is) regarded as the god of whiteness and righteousness. 'Afin' were also equated to the concept of 'Oyinbo', the 'zenith' of all values. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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