Yoruba’s Tribute in Iconic Beyonce

Beyonce is from Houston Texas and has grown up struggling through what it means to be an African American woman. She pays tribute to both where she grew up (Texas) and her cultural heritage of the Yoruba peoples. Yoruba religion and culture spread through the Americas with the transatlantic slave trade and provides rich culture for South America and the Caribbean.

Yoruba peoples are known to have the largest birth rate of twins in the world. Twins are honored and seen as powerful within the Yoruba. When Beyonce announce that she will be having twins in July, 2017 she paid tribute to a Yoruba goddess Oshun in a photoshoot. Oshun is the goddess of love, beauty, prosperity, order, and not so surprisingly, fertility. (Oshun) She is the protector of the poor, the mother of all orphans, she is the one who brings you what you need in this life through periods of weakness or strength. Oshun is also know as Yalode, the mother of things outside the home ie. wealth. Due to being a prominate business women, as Beyonce is.

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Beyoncé would make the connection once more, using Warsan Shire’s poem “I Have Three Hearts” to tell the story of her maternity album, since twins are believed to be magical in the Yoruba culture. Often times, you can find twin figures that have been made to honor twins that did not make it during childbirth in order for the women to continue taking care of them even after they have passed. (see below)


Picture provided by the Art Institute of Chicago

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