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Oduduwa's ChainLocations of Culture in the Yoruba-Atlantic$
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Andrew Apter

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226506388

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226506555.001.0001

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Ethnogenesis from Within

Ethnogenesis from Within

(p.122) Five Ethnogenesis from Within
Oduduwa's Chain

Andrew Apter

University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides a polemical counterpoint to “externalist” accounts of Yoruba ethnogenesis, in which the development of Yoruba identity in the late 19th century is attributed to Fulani perspectives on their Oyo neighbors, Christian missionaries and the politics of conversion, as well as to Afro-Brazilian merchants in diaspora reconnecting with their homeland. These externalist perspectives are both complemented and destabilized by focusing on the Yoruba logic of “home” and “house,” relating residence, genealogy and regional identities to their reconstituted ritual frameworks in Cuba and Brazil. Following Barber’s analysis of Yoruba praise-poetry and Verran’s work on Yoruba quantification, the semantics of the category ilé illuminates the racialized dialectics of ritual purity within Lucumí and Nagô houses to provide an “internal” counter-perspective on Yoruba ethnogenesis.

Keywords:   Yoruba ethnogenesis, Yoruba quantification, Lucumí houses, Nagô houses

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