The Yoruba people are an ethnic group of southwestern Nigeria and southern Benin in West Africa. The Yorùbá constitute over 35 million people in total; the majority of this population is from Nigeria and make up 21% of its population,making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language which is a tonal Niger-Congo language.
upe and Ebira in central Nigeria; and the Edo, the Ẹsan, and the Afemai in mid-western Nigeria. The Igala and other related groups are found in the northeast, and the Egun, Fon, Ewe and others in the southeast Benin. The Itsekiri who live in the north-west Niger delta are related to the Yoruba but maintain a distinct cultural identity. Significant Yoruba population in West Africa can be found in Ghana,Togo, Ivory Coast,Liberia and Sierra Leone (where they have blended in with the Saro and Sierra Leone Creole people).
As of the 7th century BCE the African peoples who lived in Yorubaland, were not initially known as the Yoruba, although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. The historical Yoruba develop in situ, out of earlier Mesolithic Volta-Niger populations, by the 1st millennium BCE.
Oral history recorded under the Oyo Empire derives the Yoruba as an ethnic group from the population of the older kingdom of Ile-Ife. Archaeologically, the settlement at Ife can be dated to the 4th century BCE, with urban structures appearing in the 12th century (the urban phase of Ife before the rise of Oyo, . 1100–1600, a significant peak of political centralization in the 12th century) is commonly described as a “golden age” of Ife. The oba or ruler of Ife is referred to as the Ooni of Ife.
In the Yoruba Kingdom Monarchies were a common form of government used in Yorubaland, but they were not the only approach to government and social organization. The numerous Ijebu city-states to the west of Oyo and the Ẹgba communities, found in the forests below Ọyọ’s savanna region, were notable exceptions. These independent polities often elected an Ọba, though real political, legislative, and judicial powers resided with the Ogboni, a council of notable elders. The notion of the divine king was so important to the Yoruba, however, that it has been part of their organization in its various forms from their antiquity to the contemporary era.
Some common Yoruba foods that you can find in the Yoruba tribe are iyan (pounded yam), Amala, eba, semo, fufu, Moin moin (bean cake) and akara. Soups include egusi, ewedu, okra, vegetables are also very common as part of diet. Items like rice and beans (locally called ewa) are part of the regular diet. Some dishes are also prepared for festivities and ceremonies such as Jollof rice and Fried rice. Other popular dishes are Ekuru, stews, corn, cassava and flours – e.g. maize, yam, plantain and bean, eggs, chicken, beef and assorted forms of meat (pumo is made from cow skin). Some less well known meals and many miscellaneous staples are arrowroot gruel, sweetmeats, fritters and coconut concoctions; and some breads – yeast bread, rock buns, and palm wine bread to name a few.