A new book, “Who’s Who in the Yoruba Pantheon”, written by Peju Akande, Jahman Anikulapo and Toni Kan with illustrations by Abdulkareem Baba Aminu has hit the shelves.
The book captures, celebrates and hopes to re-appropriate the Yoruba Orisas who have been demonized and characterized as animist personages especially Esu who has been mis-characterized as the devil.
Focusing on 16 orisas, “Who’s Who in the Yoruba Pantheon”, attempts to define who the orisas are by focusing on their characteristics and essences while illuminating the crucial role they play as custodians of cultural ethos and beliefs. It captures the primacy of the orisas as agents of communal and cultural cohesion.
Commenting on the book and the process that led to its production, Toni Kan noted that “The process of writing this book provided an insightful and educational excursion into Yoruba cosmology and culture.”
On her part, Peju Akande affirmed that “Working on this book, I learned a lot about my Yoruba culture.”
For Abdulkareem Baba Aminu who brought the gods to life through his illustrations, “I felt so honoured when I was asked to come on board the project because I’ve always had a keen interest in the Yoruba orisas. Most importantly, projects like this will present the orisas to a whole new generation of Nigerians and non-Nigerians, inspiring pride, restoring a sense of history and culture for the coming decades.”
Jahman Anikulapo’s comment addressed the place of the book as a contemporary guide and educational tool. “Who’s Who in the Yoruba Pantheonis a significant contribution to the deepening of cultural understanding among the races of our collective humanity, in particular between Europe and Africa, which often appear far apart in terms of racial relationship. As father of a teenage African-German daughter, who is highly curious about African cultural and historical virtues, I appreciate the educational value of this publication, hence my gladness at contributing to the writing and production of the book.
“Who’s Who in the Yoruba Pantheon”, published by Iwalewa books is now available in bookshops.