EXAMINING YORUBA NAMES: ORILE/TOTEM


ORILE/TOTEM

        According to Merriam Webster dictionary, Totem is something (such as animal and plant) that is the symbol of a family, clan and tribe. However, in the Yoruba race totem could also be an object or natural phenomenon such as rain, thunder which is a symbol peculiar to towns.&nbsp; The term <strong>ORILE</strong> (re mi do) according to the Yorubas also means origin or foundation; it is of huge importance in the tracing of a pedigree. Therefore the <strong>ORILE</strong> is not a name, it denotes the family origin. 
    Although, its real meaning is shrouded in obscurity, some believes its connotes descendant from the object- myth, while others say the object are or characterise the&nbsp; ancient gods of the family, giver of the child, earthly blessings, or that the family is connected to it. 
    The number of totems is large, as its represents every believable objects, from Opo *do mi* (pillar/post), Ojo *do do* (rain), Ogun *do mi* (god of war) Agbo *do do* (ram) etc 

As it is often the practice of a married woman to take the name of her husband, she is not allowed to take his totem, children takes the totem of their father except in rare case where they take that of their mother, this happen mostly when the child is being brought up by the mother’s family, or when the mother’s family totem is stronger or nobler than that of the father.

The following are some distinguished totems:- 

Erin – Elephant: the totem of the original line of the kings

Ogun – god of war: the totem of the original line of Basoruns

Opo – Pillar: the totem of the noble Oyo family

Okin do mi – love bird: totem of the Olofa and the Oloro

Ojo – (rain) Ologbin

Agbo – (ram) Ajagusi – father of Erinle

Eri Oloyan

Agbe or Ade Olukoyi

Iji Onigbeti

Edu Onigbayi

Iko Onigusun

Ogo Ijesa

The orile just like the oriki distinguish an individual, the orile however also helps in tracing the family line. The oriki is always used with orile, it helps express or understand admiration/endearment, as orile when used alone might sound meaningless.

Examples of how oruko(name), oriki(attributive name)  and orile(totem) are use in conjunction:-

MALE

Oruko Oriki Orile

Fagbemi akawo Ogo

Adegbite Isola Okin

Adegbola Ayinla Opo

FEMALE

Oruko Oriki Orile

Morenike Akanke Ade

Folakemi Asabi Iko

Adebisi Abebi Iji

Adejokeiyabadan’s blog

5 comments on “EXAMINING YORUBA NAMES: ORILE/TOTEM

  1. E ku ise o!

    Whao, am I Asabi Iko? :), Love that. Funny enough my actual oriki is quite close – Asani.

    Thank you Yeye, I haven’t thought of my oriki in ages, you sure have reminded me of the beauties of our names, the meaning always makes one smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeye MI! Adupe ooo. I hope you smiled to that, as expected.

    I can’t but agree with you on the beauty of our oriki, in fact I guard mine jealousy, there is this sensation that come with hearing of the name. as it is said its sure an endearing name.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s