The Origin of 'Orin ìbejì' in Yorùbáland

  • Babatunji Dada Department of Music, University of Ibadan
  • Ọmọlabakẹ Dada Music Technology Department, The Polytechnic, Ibadan
Keywords: Ifá corpus, multiple births, orin ìbejì, trado-spiritual, Yorùbá


The Yorùbá people of southwest Nigeria have shown a high prevalence of instances of multiple births, especially twins. This has, inadvertently, led to the development and adoption of a vibrant musical tradition known as orin ìbejì, which loosely translates as ‘twins songs’ in their society. In orin ìbejì, personality-themed songs are written and performed for twins. However, this tradition, which is a critical ethnomusicological element in the socio-cultural landscape of the Yorùbá, has not received adequate scholarly attention. This paper  investigates the origin of the orin ìbejì tradition in Yorubaland using ethnographic and historical sources. It argues and conclude that Ifá corpus, a core trado-spiritual repository of Yorùbá history and spiritualism, clearly expressed canonical and philosophical bases that can be deductively regarded as the origin of the Yorùba orin ìbejì tradition.