|196,000 (estimate) |
|Regions with significant populations|
|Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston and Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Florida, Louisiana, California and most Southern States.|
|English (American English), Yoruba, Nigerian English), French, Spanish and Nigerian Pidgin.|
|Christianity, Islam, and Yoruba religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
|African Americans, Beninese Americans, Black Canadians, Nigerian Americans, Nigerian Canadians, Yoruba Canadians, Yoruba people|
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Yoruba Americans (Yoruba: Àwọn ọmọ Yorùbá Amẹrika) are Americans of Yoruba descent. The Yoruba people are a West African ethnic group that predominantly inhabits southwestern Nigeria, with smaller indigenous communities in Benin and Togo.
The first Yoruba people who arrived to the United States were imported as slaves from Nigeria and Benin during the Atlantic slave trade. This ethnicity of the slaves was one of the main origins of present-day Nigerians who arrived to the United States, along with the Igbo. In addition, native slaves of current Benin hailed from peoples such as Nago[note 1], Ewe, Fon and Gen. Many of the slaves imported to the modern United States from Benin were sold by the King of Dahomey, in Whydah. [note 2]
The slaves brought with them their cultural practices, languages, cuisine and religious beliefs rooted in spirit and ancestor worship. So, the manners of the Yoruba, Fon, Gen and Ewe of Benin were key elements of Louisiana Voodoo. Also Haitians, who migrated to Louisiana in the late nineteenth century and also contributed to Voodoo of this state, have the Yoruba Fon, and Ewe among their main origins.
Cuban immigrants brought with them the Santería religion, a child of the Yoruba religion and Catholicism.: 1150 In New York City Santería was founded by Oba Ifa Morote.: 1150 Born in 1903 in Cuba, he immigrated to NYC in 1946, took the name Padrino, and began practicing as a babalawo.: 1150
On May 23, 1980, the city's animal health authorities raided the apartment of one of Padrino's followers on East 146th Street in the Bronx.: 1150 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) had complained about Santería's practices of animal sacrifice.: 1150 Three goats and eighteen chickens were removed from the dwelling.: 1150
The Yoruba, and some northern Nigerian ethnic groups, had tribal facial identification marks. These could have assisted a returning slave in relocating his or her ethnic group, but few slaves escaped the colonies. In the colonies, masters tried to dissuade the practice of tribal customs. They also sometimes mixed people of different ethnic groups to make it more difficult for them to communicate and bond together in rebellion. Today, most African Americans share ancestry with the Yoruba people.
After the slavery abolition in 1865, many modern Nigerian immigrants of Yoruba ancestry have come to the United States starting in the mid-twentieth century to pursue educational opportunities in undergraduate and post-graduate institutions. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which allowed for a significant number of Nigerians of Yoruba ancestry to immigrate to the United States. During the 1960s and 1970s, after the Nigerian-Biafran War, Nigeria's government funded scholarships for Nigerian students, and many of them were admitted to American universities. While this was happening, there were several military coups and brief periods of civilian rule. All this caused many Nigerians to emigrate. Most of these Nigerian immigrants are of Yoruba, Igbo and Ibibio origins.
Yoruba have often found American habits of pet keeping very strange, culturally unfamiliar.: 18
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|By US state|
|By ethnicity or nationality|
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