Oyeladun - Life before capture
After several hard years things were getting better for my people, the Yoruba. The cocoa and yams were flourishing and there was plenty for us all to do in the fields around our village.
Shortly before I was taken I was betrothed to a man from my village, Babatunde. He makes sculptures and masks and other beautiful things from wood. I was very happy to be his wife. We held a great celebration, a tambor. We rejoiced with drums and dancing, and I played my stickadao. It was a wonderful, hopeful day and I look back to that time and those people with great joy and longing.
A gelede or dance mask from the Yoruba people of Nigeria.
The Yoruba people are from southwest Nigeria. They are a group of sixteen tribes who over the years have often waged war against other each other. Yorubaland has several densely populated towns and cities, each with its own leader. The fields surrounding the towns are used for farming, where cocoa and yams are grown as cash crops.
The Yoruba are known for their beautiful sculptures in wood, brass and sometimes terracotta. There is also a rich mask making tradition.
A vegetable like a potato.
Engaged to be married.
A tambor is a Yoruba ceremony that gives thanks for the good things in life. It involves singing, dancing and bata (ceremonial) drums.
A string instrument.