Yoruba: Tongues with Fetishes

In Harvey’s work, there is a section that speaks on Yoruba, which is a tribe in western Nigeria. The tribe spoke in tongues to appease various deities. This makes me wonder whether the modern-day practice of speaking in tongues was derived from this Nigerian practice. I watched videos on YouTube of native Yoruba tribesmen speaking in tongues, and it is verbatim how Christians now speak in tongue. The Yoruba language could be mistaken for tongues; it’s that close in style. In my opinion, the only logical reasoning behind the similarities is that the Yoruba tribe’s practice was spread during slavery.

A video of Yoruba tribesmen speaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYHmDRpFgCI

Additionally, the work includes the idea of fetishes being a major part of African religions. Gods used their powers to manipulate material fetishes. Africans used their fetishes to ward off evil. Fetishes, now, have a negative connotation. Currently, if you have a fetish, you are deemed as a nymphomaniac or have a psychological problem. Also, fetishes are viewed as being demonic in many current practices of Christianity. Accordingly, based on Christian beliefs, having a fetish is the devil’s way of interfering in your life. I find it interesting how fetishes made a 360 switch, and I wonder how people who originated from the African ideas handled it. Was the discrimination of fetishes sudden or did it gradually happen over time due to the expansion of psychological knowledge?

DISCLAIMER: All of the assumptions I made were based on the fact that Harvey’s work is the history of African American Christianity. My focus was geared towards comparing modern-day Christianity, within my level of knowledge and exposure, to the African traditions that were written, in hopes of creating a Venn Diagram type of post.

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