Oríkì Àjọbí, Àṣà Yorùbá ti ó nparẹ́ lọ – Family Lineage Odes, a Dying Yoruba Culture

Oríkì* jẹ ọ̀rọ̀ ìwúrí ti Yorùbá ma nlò lati fi sọ ìtàn àṣà àti ìṣe ìdílé lati ìran dé ìran.  Ninú oríkì ni a ti lè mọ ìtàn ìṣẹ̀dálẹ̀ ẹbí ẹni àti ohun ti a mọ ìdílé mọ́, bí i irú iṣẹ ti wọn nṣe ni ìdílé, oriṣiriṣi èdè ìbílẹ̀ Yorùbá, oúnjẹ ti wọn njẹ àti èyí ti wọn ki i jẹ, ẹ̀sìn ìdílé, àdúgbò ti wọ́n tẹ̀dó si tàbi ìlú ti a ti ṣẹ̀ wá, àṣeyọrí ti wọn ti ṣe ni ìran ẹni àti bẹ́ ẹ̀ bẹ́ ẹ̀ lọ.

Ni inú oríkì ti a ó bẹ̀rẹ̀ si i kọ, a ó ri àpẹrẹ ohun ti Yorùbá ṣe ma a nsọ oríkì pàtàki fún iwuri nigbati ọkùnrin, obinrin, ọmọdé àti ẹbí ẹni bá ṣe ohun rere bi ìṣílé, ìgbéyàwó, àṣeyorí ni ilé-iwé, oyè jijẹ tàbi ni ayé òde òni, àjọyọ̀ ọjọ́ ìbí.

Oríkì jẹ ikan ninú àṣà Yorùbá ti ó ti nparẹ́, nitori ọ̀pọ̀lọpọ̀ ọmọ Yorùbá bẹ̀rẹ̀ si kọ èdè àti àṣà wọn sílẹ̀ fún èdè Gẹ̀ẹ́sí.  Ẹ ṣe àyẹ̀wò àpẹrẹ oríkì ti ìyá Olùkọ̀wé yi sọ fún ni ibi ayẹyẹ ọjọ́ ìbí rẹ̀ ni ojú ìwé yi.  A ó bẹ̀rẹ̀ si kọ oríkì oriṣiriṣi ìdílé Yorùbá.

Ọmọ ẹlẹ́ja ò tú mù kẹkẹ
Ọmọ a mẹ́ja yan ẹja
Ọmọ ò sùn mẹ́gbẹ̀wá ti dọ̀ ara rẹ̀
Ọmọ gbàsè gbàsè kẹ́ ṣọbinrin lọyin
Ọmọ kai, eó gbé si yàn ún
Ọmọ a mú gbìrín eó b’ọ̀dìdẹ̀
Ìṣò mó bọ, òwíyé wàarè
Ọmọ adáṣọ bù á lẹ̀ jẹ
Ọmọ a má bẹ̀rẹ̀ gúnyán k’àdó gbèrìgbè mọ mọ̀
Ọmọ a yan eó meka run
Ọmọ a mẹ́ kìka kàn yan ẹsinsun t’ọrẹ
É e ṣojú un ríro, ìṣẹ̀dálẹ̀ rin ni
Ọmọ a mi malu ṣ’ọdún ìgbàgbọ́
Ọmọ elési a gbàrùnbọ̀ morun
Ọmọ elési a gbàdá mo yóko
Èsì li sunkún ètìtù kọ gbà àrán bora li Gèsan Ọba
Ọmọ Olígèsan òròrò bílẹ̀
Ọmọ alábùṣọrọ̀, a múṣu mọdi
Àbùṣọrọ̀ lu lé uṣu, mọ́ m’ẹ́ùrà kàn kàn dé bẹ̀
Kare o ‘Lúàmi, ku ọdún oni o, è í ra ṣàṣe mọ ri a (Àṣẹ)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Yoruba lineage odes are a way of passing down the family oral tradition from past generations to younger generations, as a means of inspiring them.  Through these odes, one can identify one’s family roots, trades associated with one’s family, various types of Yoruba dialect, types of food consumed or forbidden in the family, religious practices, the town where the family is established or originated, successes recorded in the past etc.

As we begin to publish Yoruba odes to family lineages, it is hoped readers will understand why these odes are used, particularly when a man, woman, children and family members are celebrating during house warming, marriage, educational laurel, being honoured with titles or in recent times, birthday celebrations.

The lineage ode is a part of Yoruba culture that is fast disappearing, because many Yorubas are abandoning their language and culture in pursuit of English language and culture.  Check out the example of lineage ode published above, from the writer’s mother to inspire the daughter during her birthday celebration.

* Editor’s note: we had a hard time coming up with the English word for “oríkì”.  After extensive discussions, we agreed that the Yoruba word “oríkì” is a type of ode.  At the same time, a simple translation of the word Oríkì to Ode, does not do the Yoruba word justice.  As such, we agreed that the word “oríkì” is a particular type of ode that generally addresses familial lineage.  Hence the translation, “lineage ode”.

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