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By: Omobode Ayanda




Every tribe, clan and race on Earth has it own cultural taboo and the tribe Yoruba is no an exception. Of course, every clan & family has it’s own distinct taboos, here are some of the collective taboos.

1. No King in the whole of Yorubaland must ever set his eyes inside the crown of his head.

2. If someone dies in a river, he must be buried beside the river. His corpse must never be returned home for burial to avoid mass death in that house. Even the whites know about this, yeah, Mungo Park.

3. Used cotton bud that’s got ear wax on it must never find it ways to the private part of both sexes.

4. Okètè (Grasscutter) It is believed that once it stands on it hinds leg, you must never kill it. Why? well, A child born to the killer of this weird animal will die the day he/she makes the first attempt to walk on his/her two legs.

5. Igbeti, OYO State- Iyamopo mountain(Rock) No visitor must climb this mountain on “Ajakuta day”(the day after Igbeti’s market day).

6. The DunDun Drum also known as Gangan a very popular two-sided drum in yoruba land. Very popular for its unique sound, it can be used to pass across messages(talking drum). But, no matter how angry or offended the hearer is about the message being passed across, he must never pierce this drum with a knife in the midst of a crowd or gatherings. The one who does will end up with diseases and sicknesses that will eventually end his life.

7. The Cry of a Chameleon, there’s a belief in Yorubaland that an ear that hears the cry/wail/sound made by this animal will forever go deaf.

8. Onikoyi clan/family of OYO State must never taste the meat of a Okete(grasscutter). There is a story behind this.

9. Oyan & Iresi towns of Osun state- Isoko River An Oyan born person must never drink from the waters of “Isoko River”.

Here’s the story: many years ago, an Oyan born lady went to Iresi town to marry. And after a very long years of childlessness, she gave birth to a boy. On a fateful day, the boy was easing himself when a dog came along and ate up the boy’s you-know-what and the boy died. The woman cried and wailed “Ko sí oko ni idi omo mi mo o”(my boy’s joystick is gone) “Aja ti ja oko ni’di omo mi”(the dog has cut off my boy’s joystick). The pain and agony of this is what got the woman angry and she turned into a river(the river was named after the word the woman kept shouting that day “Kos’oko” years of contraction of words gave birth to the word “Isoko”. And it became a taboo for anyone born in Oyan town to drink from that water.

10. Otun-Ekiti- Ekiti State Once a King(OORE) is crowned in this town, he must never set his eyes on his parents henceforth

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