Coordinates: 32°36′34.51″N 80°48′10.24″W / 32.6095861°N 80.8028444°W / 32.6095861; -80.8028444 Oyotunji African Village is a village located near Sheldon, Beaufort County, South Carolina that was founded by Oba Efuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi I in 1970.[1][2]

Oyotunji village is named after the Oyo empire, and the name literally means "Oyo returns" or "Oyo rises again".[1][3] Oyotunji village covers 27 acres (11 ha) and has a Yoruba temple which was moved from Harlem, New York to its present location in 1960.[4][5][6] During the 1970s, the era of greatest population growth at the village, the number of inhabitants grew from 5 to between 200 and 250.[7][8][9] The population is rumored to fluctuate between 5 and 9 families as of the last 10 years. It was originally intended to be located in Savannah, Georgia, but was eventually settled into its current position after disputes with neighbors in Sheldon proper, over drumming and tourists.

Since Adefunmi's death in 2005, the village has been led by his son, Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II. The village is constructed to be analogous to the villages of the traditional Yoruba city-states in modern-day Nigeria, although modernization of the village's public works have been carried out under Adefunmi II.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Peek, Philip M.; Yankah, Kwesi (2004). African Folklore: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 660. ISBN 9781135948733. OCLC 7385565477.
  2. ^ Jalloh, Alusine; Falola, Toyin (2008). The United States and West Africa: Interactions and Relations (Rochester studies in African history and the diaspora). Vol. 34. University Rochester Press. p. 32. ISBN 9781580463089. OCLC 166379802.
  3. ^ Hunt, Carl M. (1979). yotunji Village: the Yoruba movement in America. University Press of America (University of Michigan). ISBN 9780819107480. OCLC 5625761.
  4. ^ Curry, Mary Cuthrell (1997). Making the Gods in New York (The Yoruba Religion in the African American Community). Taylor & Francis, Garland series (Studies in African American history and culture). p. 7. ISBN 9780815329190. OCLC 925262399.
  5. ^ Murphy, Larry G (2000). Down by the Riverside: Readings in African American Religion (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity). NYU Press. p. 257. ISBN 9780814755808. OCLC 44727724.
  6. ^ Kail, Tony M. (2008). Magico-Religious Groups and Ritualistic Activities: A Guide for First Responders. CRC Press. p. 41-42. ISBN 9781420051872. OCLC 941224974.
  7. ^ Goldstein 1978.
  8. ^ Hunt 1980.
  9. ^ McCray 2002.

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