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|Cultural Affinity, Language, DNA And Etc by lawani: 9:46am On Jul 11, 2023
Cultural affinity, Language, DNA and etc.
Relations do not need to share much DNA. Infact people from the same compound in Yoruba land sometimes have no idea how they are related but they know they share a common paternal or institutional ancestor, more rarely a common maternal ancestor because of sons in law that were admitted into the family. Similarity in DNA make up among extended family is always negligible. Heritage is more important and that is the affinity they share. Wives are taken by men only from families to which any common descent from any side can not be traced. If you want to marry a lady and you discover in her family tree, one of your own ancestors, then according to Yoruba custom at least, the marriage will be cancelled. Therefore the average Yoruba person is considerably genetically removed from anybody they marry. It is like that in most parts of the world.
From the above, it can be seen that being genetically distant as a nation from another nation does not mean there is no affinity. Just like genetic distance between people from the same Yoruba compound is not an indication that they are unrelated. Affinity being by heritage and heritage includes language and culture. Using language metrics, the Yoruba share considerable affinity with the Igboid and Edoid groups. The Igboid is more significant because Igbos were not known to the Yoruba before colonization while the Edoid groups are neighbors to the Yoruba. The most significant component of the Yoruba language however is the Kemitic Egyptian conponent because Egypt is faraway. Another very significant component of the Yoruba language is the Bantu component. Yoruba is the only language in Southern Nigeria with a Bantu component. The most prominent Bantu language is Swahili. Yoruba is also classified as semi bantu and the people of the Bantu expansion could only have been proto Ife people. Not modern Yoruba of course because the Egyptian component was yet to be added at the time of the Bantu expansion. The language spoken then would be unintelligible today. However in all Bantu languages, iku is the word for death just like it is in Yoruba, Baba, Bantu or a similar word is the word for man just like it is the word for old man in Yoruba. All these Bantu features and more, compelled linguists to separately classify Yoruba of all Southern Nigerian languages as semi Bantu being similar to South African languages. These are evidences that the Bantu expansion to South Africa may have been via the Atlantic from the Yoruba coast thousands of years ago. However it must have also happened from different directions including from the Cameroon area. Similarity in language is a clear indication of affinity even if similarity in DNA does not accentuate it. As a matter of fact, you don't need any DNA similarity to be family as shown by the example of people from the same Yoruba compound but when you hear similar language, that is a clear evidence of affinity even if no significant DNA evidence. The pre colonial Yoruba vocabulary have words from all over including the languages of the old Roman and Persian empires and it is also an indication of affinity. The study of languages is an interesting academic endeavor which needs more scholarly work like other sectors of human endeavor. Majority of our earliest ancestors were North Africans who could understand themselves without hitches but we now have more than seven thousand distinct languages on Earth today. Some languages have common ancestors like Spanish and French, English and German, some are totally different, some are a fusion of adjacent languages in structure and vocabulary, some are totally unexplainable isolates and other categories.
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