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Biography Critique Essay History Nonfiction Social Sciences

Same-Sex Relationships in Yorùbá Culture and Orature

By George Olusola Ajibade PhD, 2013

It is widely believed that lesbianism and homosexuality are foreign concepts and colonial imports to Sub-Saharan Africa. This popular view is not unconnected with hegemonic heterosexual orientation of the society. The pitfall of heterosexual orientation, which hinges on politics of sexual representation, is worth an academic investigation. Therefore, this study seeks to close the analytical gap by examining Yorùbá oral literature, which is regarded as the repertoire of their traditional and cultural beliefs and nuances, to unravel the subject of lesbianism and homosexuality from a sociological approach. Drawing on interviews and oral literature, this article examines the vital ideas of lesbianism and gay culture among the Yorùbá people of southwestern Nigeria. This article argues that the preconceived obscenity of lesbianism and homosexuality among the Yorùbá hinges on the culture of silence within the cultural milieu of the people. The study concludes that the representation of lesbianism and gay in diverse oral literature, as the repertoire of people’s experiences and worldview, rubberstamped its presence and practices in the Yorùbá society. Keywords: culture, homosexuality, lesbianism, oral literature, Yorùbá

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