The History of the Yorubas
From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate
By Samuel Johnson
Edited by Obadiah Johnson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:July 2011
Original Publication Year:1921
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511702617.010
Subjects: African history
The naming of a child is an important affair amongst the Yorubas; it is always attended with some ceremonies. These of course differ somewhat, amongst the different tribes.
The naming usually takes place on the 9th day of birth if a male, or on the 7th if a female; if they happen to be twins of both sexes, it will be on the 8th day. Moslem children of either sex are invariably named on the 8th day.
It is on that day the child is for the first time brought out of the room, hence the term applied to this event—Ko omo jade (bringing out the child). The mother also is supposed to be in the lying-in room up to that day.
The ceremony is thus performed:—The principal members of the family and friends having assembled early in the morning of the day, the child and its mother being brought out of the chamber, a jugful of water is tossed up to the roof (all Yoruba houses being low-roofed), and the baby in the arms of the nurse or an elderly female member of the family, is brought under the eaves to catch the spray, the baby yells, and the relatives shout for joy. The child is now named by the parents and elderly members of the family, and festivities follow; with presents, however trifling, for the baby from every one interested in him.
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