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The Yorb are the largest ethnic group in Nigeria, comprising approximately 26 percent of that country's total population, and numbering about close to 50 million individuals throughout the region of West Africa. While the majority of the Yorb live largely in the south-west of Nigeria, there are also substantial Yorb communities in Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone, Cuba and Brazil.

The Yorb are the main ethnic group in the states of Ekiti, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Kogi, Edo (Akoko Edo), and Oyo; they also constitute a sizable proportion of the citizens of the Republic of Benin. The majority of Yorb people are Christians, with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican), Catholic, Pentecostal, Methodist, and Indigenous churches having the largest memberships. Muslims comprise about a quarter of the Yorb population, with the traditional Yorb religion accounting for the rest.

The chief Yorb cities are Lagos, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Akure, Ilorin, Ijebu Ode, Ogbomoso, Ondo, Ota, Shagamu, Iseyin, Osogbo, Ilesha, Oyo and Il-If.

Sport: Yorbland stadia include the National Stadium, Lagos (55,000 capacity), Teslim Balogun stadium (35,000 capacity), Liberty Stadium, Ibadan (40,000 capacity).


The Yorb were the most urbanized sub-saharan Africans in the pre-colonial era, and have a history of town-dwelling that goes back to 500 A.D. The wealth of the Yorb came from controlling the important trade routes to the coast. The pre-colonial Yorb had recently been forced further south by the Fulani who made extensive use of cavalry. The Yorb lost the northern portion of their region, retreating to the latitudes where tsetse flies made horses unable to survive.

The Yorb were a loose confederacy that often saw wars between the city states. In theory all Yorb acknowledge the leadership of the ancient city of Ife in religious matters and the rule of the recently risen rulers of Oyo as political leader. The ruler of Oyo held the power to confirm or reject the leaders of the other cities, but this power could not always be executed.

Most of the city states were controlled by heriditary monarchs and councils made up of nobles, guild leaders, and merchants. Different states saw differing ratios of power between the two. Some had an autocratic monarch with almost total control, in others the councils were supreme and the king little more than a figurehead.

See also

External links

fr:Yoruba pt:Yoruba tr:Yoruba


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