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Yoruba Americans

Yoruba Americans are Americans of Yoruba descent. The Yoruba people (Yoruba: Àwọ̀n ọ́mọ́ Yorùbá) are an ethnic group originating in southwestern Nigeria and southern Benin in West Africa.

The first Yoruba people who arrived to the United States were imported as slaves from Nigeria and Benin during the Atlantic slave trade.[2] [3] This ethnicity of the slaves was one of the main origins of present-day Nigerians who arrived to the United States, along with the Igbo and Hausa. In addition, native slaves of current Benin hailed from peoples such as Nago (Yoruba subgroup,[4] although exported mainly by Spanish,[5] when Louisiana was Spanish) -, Ewe, Fon and Gen. Many of the slaves imported to the modern United States from Benin were sold by the King of Dahomey, in Whydah.[4] [6] [note 1]

The slaves brought with them their cultural practices, languages, cuisine[8] and religious beliefs rooted in spirit and ancestor worship.[9] So, the manners of the Yoruba, Fon, Gen and Ewe of Benin were key elements of Louisiana Voodoo.[10] Also Haitians, who migrated to Louisiana in the late nineteenth century and also contributed to Voodoo of this state, have the Yoruba[11] and Ewe as their main origins. The Yoruba, and some northern Nigerian ethnic groups, had tribal facial identification marks. These could have assisted a returning slave in relocating his or her ethnic group, but few slaves escaped the colonies. In the colonies, masters tried to dissuade the practice of tribal customs. They also sometimes mixed people of different ethnic groups to make it more difficult for them to communicate and bond together in rebellion.[12]

After the slavery abolition in 1865, many modern Nigerian immigrants have come to the United States to pursue educational opportunities in undergraduate and post-graduate institutions. This was possible because in the 1960s and 1970s, after the Biafra War, Nigerias government funded scholarships for Nigerian students, and many of them were admitted to American universities. While this was happening,

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