The Yoruba Religion Reader

The Yoruba traditional religion is one of few African religious systems that are known worldwide and have adherents outside of the African Continent. Perhaps, as a result of its popularity outside of the Continent, this African religious system has been the subject of many scholarly articles and books. So much has been written about the traditional belief system of the Yorubas that it almost borders on redundancy to attempt to write something new. For this reason, rather than attempt to create something where so much has been said and done, I have chosen instead to share a list of some articles and books which might be useful to anyone who is curious about the Yoruba belief system.

This list will be updated with new material on the subject periodically. Additionally, if there are any books and scholars you would like to see listed here, please send an email to

List of Resources

Abimbola, Wande. Ifá: An Exposition of Ifá Literary Corpus. Oxford University Press, 1976.

Beier, Ulli. Yoruba Myths. CUP Archive, 1980.

Epega, David Onadele. The Mystery of Yoruba Gods. Imọlẹ Oluwa Institute, 1931.

Falola, Toyin, and Ann Genova, editors. Orisa: Yoruba Gods and Spiritual Identity in Africa and the Diaspora. Africa World Press, 2005.

Idowu, E. Bolaji. Olódùmarè: God in Yoruba Belief. Longmans, 1962.

Karade, Ifa. The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts. Weiser Books, 1994.

Olupona, Jacob K. “The Study of Yoruba Religious Tradition in Historical Perspective.” Numen, vol. 40, no. 3, 1993, pp. 240–73. Brill, doi:10.1163/156852793×00176.

Olupona, Jacob K., and Rowland O. Abiodun, Editors. Ifa Divination, Knowledge, Power, and Performance. Indiana University Press, 2016.

Olupona, Jacob K., and Terry Rey, editors. Orisa Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yoruba Religious Culture. University of Wisconsin Press, 2007.

Omosade Awolalu, J. “Yoruba Sacrificial Practice.” J Religion Afr, vol. 5, no. 2, 1973, pp. 81–93. Brill, doi:10.1163/157006673×00069.

Oyèláràn, Ọlásopé O. “Èṣù and Ethics in the Yorùbá World View.” Africa, vol. 90, no. 2, Cambridge University Press (CUP, pp. 377–407, doi:doi: 10.1017/s0001972019001098.

Pemberton, John. “Eshu-Elegba: The Yoruba Trickster God.African Arts, vol. 9, no. 1, Oct. 1975, p. 20. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/3334976.

Staewen, Christoph. Ifa–African Gods Speak: The Oracle of the Yoruba in Nigeria. Edited by Friderun Schönberg, Lit Verlag, 1996.