The progenitor of the Yoruba race, the warrior king, the mystic creator, the man turned god. Oduduwa. This is what custodians of Yoruba history will tell you. From Oduduwa descended every Yoruba living today. Deep probing will reveal that there was an indigenous population in place before Oduduwa arrived in Ile Ife, it will also reveal that within a generation or two afterwards Oduduwa had produced heirs from almost every community, and these princes ruled and had their own heirs. And on and on until every present day Yoruba town has a genetic claim to the great Yoruba deity.
Joseph Chang, a statistician at Yale University published a paper in 1999 that came up with this model.
Yes, me too! I don’t understand it at all either…
But what Chang is saying is, within a specific community (for example Yoruba ), “all individuals who have any descendants among the present-day individuals are actually ancestors of all present-day individuals.” Meaning the fact that Oduduwa has just ONE descendant (Alaafin of Oyo, Onisabe of Sabe etc) among modern day Yoruba’s proves that ALL Yoruba are his descendants. That’s what that diagram is saying!
Using a European example Steven Olson a journalist said in his 2002 article “In other words, all Europeans alive today have among their ancestors the same man or woman who lived around 1400. ” Doesn’t that completely tie in with our oral history that says Oduduwa of the 10th or 11th Century is the common ancestor of up to 50 million people (maybe more) of Yoruba descent today? Amazing!
My Aborisha brothers and sisters won’t be too impressed by all these exclamations..It’s like saying the science of Ifa and the oral tradition was in question before Chang came up with his mathematic oracle…. But , it’s good to see orthodox science confirming what our traditionalists always knew.
For those of us who have no stomach for quadratic equations and Almighty Formulas , the beautiful and mystical Yoruba creation story “Oduduwa -The Story” is available in enchanting verse spoken to very spiritual sounds here.
For the children and the young at heart, this lovely illustrated Kindle book ” Oduduwa” provides the oral history and the creation story.