As a Yorùbá living outside Yorubaland, I was losing my connection to the language and culture, and I soon found out it was a general problem.
Like other migrant groups abroad, a when Diaspora Yorùbá stops speaking their birth language, their children may never learn or speak it. In one generation of a family, the language dies. This book is my effort to preserve a living language, Yorùbá.
Ìtàn ati Àsà Ìbíle Yorùbá: The Yorùbá Narrative in Words and Images started out as a masters thesis at Vermont College of Fine Arts. As part of my research, I interviewed real Yorùbá people from all walks of life, both in Nigeria and in the diaspora. It led to the creation of a set of educational poster panels, pronunciation keys, modified typefaces, and a beautiful 220-pages photographic book. The study of the Yorùbá alphabet, words, phrases, idioms, and stories, led to the creation of a working typeface with complete accents and diacritics, a necessary step in the preservation of a people's oral tradition as digital expressions.
I hope that this book would find its way into the hands of those interested in language, culture, and ethnic studies anywhere in the world.