I know the Yorùbá culture were exported to foreign lands, especially Brazil, during the time of slave trading but to Cuba? I didn’t see that one coming (maybe because I didn’t read much about slave trade).
We’ve been told that a version of Yorùbá known as Lukumi/Lucumi continues to thrive in Cuba, and some parts of Latin America, till this day.
The Lukumi/Lucumi shares attributes with standard Yorùbá in phonology and lexicography with mild differences in spelling and tone.
Since its mission is to preserve and document all Yorùbá names in a multimedia format, YorùbáName.com has commenced the inclusion of Yorùbá-Lukumi names in its dictionary.
“…we are adding all Yorùbá-Lukumi names in pursuit of our desire for a comprehensive work useful for all Yorùbá speakers, descendants, and enthusiasts everywhere,” Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún said in a blog post.
The names, expectedly, will be strange to Yorùbá speakers from these parts (I mean you’ll basically roll eyes when you see names like Obbá, Oddualá, Echudiná, Oyeboddé, etc) but they’ll make perfect sense to the Cubans and others who bear them.
In the YorùbáName.com dictionary, Lukumi/Lucumí names will be identified by their spelling and peculiar tone (accent) marking, and also by the geolocation tag foreign-general.
The inclusion of Lukumi/Lucumi names in the dictionary was done with help from Nathan Lugo, a scholar of the language (and a practitioner of Yorùbá religion).
“What our lexicographers are doing along with Cuban scholar Nathan Lugo is to ensure that variants of the name in Nigerian Yorùbá are also listed, for the benefit of both diaspora users as well as Nigerians. This complementary exchange will, hopefully, improve the quality of interaction between the two communities separated by hundreds of years of history, and a large body of water,” Túbọ̀sún added.
Aside Lukumi/Lucumi names, the YorùbáName.com team plans to include all variants of Yorùbá there are, from Francophone West Africa (Benin, Togo) to Anglophone West Africa (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana) to Latin America (Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, etc) and even to Arabic.
Already, names from Benin Republic are already being added through the help of Laila Le Guen and Dr. Moufoutaou Adjeran.