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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. (Goldstein, Hunt, and McCray) 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.


  1. ^ a b Philip M. Peek; Kwesi Yankah (2004). African Folklore: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 660. ISBN 978-1-135-9487-33. 
  2. ^ Alusine Jalloh; Toyin Falola (2008). The United States and West Africa: Interactions and Relations (Rochester studies in African history and the diaspora). 34. University Rochester Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-580-4630-89. 
  3. ^ Carl M. Hunt (1979). Oyotunji Village: the Yoruba movement in America. University Press of America (University of Michigan). ISBN 978-0-819-1074-80. 
  4. ^ Mary Cuthrell Curry (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 978-0-815-3291-90. 
  5. ^ Larry Murphy (2000). Down by the Riverside: Readings in African American Religion (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity). NYU Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-814-7558-08. 
  6. ^ Tony M. Kail (2008). Magico-Religious Groups and Ritualistic Activities: A Guide for First Responders. CRC Press. p. 41-42. ISBN 978-1-420-0518-72. 


  • Capone, Stefania. Les Yoruba du Nouveau Monde: religion, ethnicité et nationalisme noir aux Etats-Unis. Karthala, 2005.
  • Clarke, Kamari. Mapping Yorùbá Networks. Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Communities. Duke University Press, 2004
  • Davis, Rod. American Voudou: Journey into a Hidden World. Denton: University of North Texas, 1998.
  • Goldstein, Joshua. “A King in South Carolina.” The New Republic, 27 May 1978, 18.
  • Hunt, C.M. (1977). 'Oyotunji Village: Yoruba Movement in America.', PhD Dissertation, West Virginia University.
  • LeFever, Harry G. “Leaving the United States: The Black Nationalist Themes of Orisha-Vodu.” Journal of Black Studies 31, no. 2 (2000): 175-195.
  • McCray, Kenja. "Black Gods, Black Power: Life at Oyotunji Village, 1970-1990." M.A. Thesis, Clark Atlanta University, 2002.
  • Yemi D. Ogunyemi (Yemi D. Prince). Oyotunji African Kingdom: "Literatures of the African Diaspora". 2004.

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