Child Naming Ceremony Among The Yoruba's
The arrival of a new baby into s family among the Yoruba's is usually greeted with joy. The reason is that the Yoruba people believe that the family which has the new born baby is expanding and prosperous. They regard the gift as a child from Oduduwa, but their progenitor, as a mark of the fact that the family is not forgotten by its forefathers.
Immediately a child is born, a message is sent to all the relatives who are around in the village or town and to those who have gone to farm to come home for the naming ceremony of the baby. The reason for this is that the Yoruba people believe that a man has nine bones while a woman has eight. So, those relations at home and those in the farm know the day a new born baby will be named due to the sex of the new born baby.
Before the naming commences, the baby must have being bathed very early in the morning by the wives of the members of the family. The baby is carried to the house of the head of the wives of the family who is usually the oldest among the wives. She is to carry the baby to the house of the head of the family for the naming ceremony and while the ceremony lasts, she is the one to carry the baby before handing him over to his mother after the ceremony.
During the naming ceremony, a lot of prayer are offered for the new baby using the following items: orogbo (bitter cola), sugar, honey, sugarcane and palm oil. These items must be presented by the father of the baby and they are in praying for the baby. The items are taken one after the other with a little bit of each put in the mouth of the baby which people attending the ceremony will eat the rest, with the parts remaining to be offered at the family shrine.
The naming ceremony is not complete without taking the baby to the family shrine. The baby is given to the head of the family who is also the custodian of the family shrine for the remaining part of the ceremony. He would carry the baby to the shrinr, offer him to the idols for guidance throughout his life and use the remaining items to appease the god abfy offer prayer. If the baby comes from the family of those with tribal mark, he is branded with his family's tribal mark.
After this, the baby I'd then handed over to the eldest wife of the family amidst singing and dancing. At the end of the ceremony, the child is handed over to his mother.