This Yoruba worldview is vividly expressed as â€œiseniyan niserankoâ€? i.e. like humans, like animals. The Yorubas have many ways of comparing humans with animals in daily use of language. For example: Odara bi egbin (beautiful as a gazelle) O laya bi inaki (broad-chested/daring like a gorilla) Onika bi obo (cruel like a monkey) It also appears to throw overboard the theory that animal influences have disappeared from cosmopolitan human lifestyle. After all, that we domesticate animals show their compatibility with human lifestyle and their adaptability to meet our human needs. These can range from the physiological need of food to the safety need of protection (dogs, geese, and ostriches are examples). Animals are also valuable acquisitions of status symbol (peacocks, horses); providers of cheap labour (oxen, donkeys, camels); and direct sources of revenue at circuses, zoos, amusement and game parks. Human-animal compatibility and dependence therefore strengthen this worldview. According to sociological studies, language is an important component of culture. If in our use of language we find such ready reference to animals in describing human nature, we are upholding the theory of the leash of nature on culture as submitted by Edward Wilson. This cuts across cultures and civilizations. Let us now take a look at religion. In an attempt to define religion, Bamisaiye (1989), quoting Miller (1967) said: Religion is the effort to bring together all the disparities and even contradictory fragments of life so as to articulate the mystery of their mutual dependence â€Ś15 15
Remi Bamisaiye (1989) Sociological foundations of Nigerian education, Ibadan, AMD Publishers P. 65.
Published on Sep 1, 2009