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Oba Efuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi (born Walter Eugene King, 5 October 1928 – 11 February 2005) was an African-American initiated into the priesthood of the Yoruba religion.

King was born in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up with an interest in African culture and began African studies at the age of 16. King left the Baptist faith that he had been baptized into at the age of 12. At the age of 20, King traveled to Haiti in 1954 to study Vodou and, in 1955, to Europe and North Africa, often as a part of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company. Finally, in 1959 just before the Cuban revolution, he traveled to the Matanzas region of Cuba to be initiated into the Yoruba priesthood of Obatala, where he was named Efuntola Oseijeman Adefunmi. Efuntola means "the whiteness (of Obatala) is as good as wealth (or honor)." Adefunmi means "the crown has given me this (child)."

Upon his return to the United States, he founded the Order of the Damballah Hwedo, then the Shango Temple, and later incorporated the African Theological Archministry. That organization would come to be called the Yoruba Temple. In 1970, King created the Oyotunji Village in Beaufort County, South Carolina.

King's Black Nationalist stance drew large criticism from within the ranks of the Cuban Santería priests because of his strident opposition to certain aspects of their religion.



  • Ancestors (Tribal origins) of the African-Americans, Yoruba Temple, (1962)
  • Tribal origins of the African-Americans, Yoruba Temple, (1962)
  • Olorisha: A guidebook into Yoruba religion, Orisha Academy (1982)
  • The African state: An outline of the philosophy and organization of the ancient Yoruba kingdom of West Africa, pre-European period, Yoruba Temple, (1962)
  • Lewis, James R. The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 1998. ISBN 1-57392-222-6.

Additional Books and Articles[edit]

  • Oyotunji village: The Yoruba movement in America, Carl M Hunt
  • The Joseph E. Holloway Papers Cornell University Library
  • African gods in South Carolina Essence Magazine
  • An African kingdom in America American Visions Magazine

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adefunmi — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

60 news items

Capital Public Radio News

Capital Public Radio News
Fri, 04 Dec 2015 13:23:08 -0800

Third-year Sacramento State student Natalie Adefunmi considers herself food insecure. She recently lost some of her financial benefits and has been paying for food with money she had set aside for bills. Adefunmi visited the pantry for the first time ...


Wed, 29 Jul 2015 21:05:18 -0700

This outpost is the Oyotunji African Village, founded by a man known as His Royal Highness Oba Oseijeman Adefunmi I, who in the late 60s was inspired to leave New York, purchase land in the Deep South, and establish a community born from the idea that ...

GOOD Magazine

GOOD Magazine
Thu, 13 Aug 2015 19:10:18 -0700

According to Adefunmi II, these newcomers are “damaged by the American experience” and curious about life in Oyotunji. They describe a creeping sense of alienation that mirrors the experience of the first generation. From the Ferguson riots to the ...

Charleston City Paper

Charleston City Paper
Thu, 24 Sep 2015 14:03:02 -0700

Circle Unbroken — A Gullah Journey from Africa to America, a local film produced by Ron Small, will air on PBS on Mon. Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The film is what Small describes as a "musical documentary," with a historical narrative framing moments of singing ...

Atlanta Black Star

Atlanta Black Star
Fri, 11 Dec 2015 12:23:10 -0800

Those who have it to give should give large amounts. In the upper ranges of $250.00 one time. If we can get 10,000 people to give $250 that would be $2.5 Million to complete , His Royal Majesty Oba Adefunmi II's 7 year plan, all in month. So give now!

Entertainment Tonight

Entertainment Tonight
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 16:55:38 -0700

Janet Jackson has responded to her fans after some of their Instagram accounts were deleted for uploading videos of her performances on her Unbreakable tour. The 49-year-old singer took to the social media site on Wednesday to let them know she is ...

Atlanta Black Star

Atlanta Black Star
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:01:27 -0700

Mary Church Terrell was born in Memphis in September of 1863, to former slaves, Robert Church and Luisa Ayers. Her mother was a hair salon operator and her father was a successful businessman. Education. Terrell earned a bachelor of arts in classical ...

Atlanta Black Star

Atlanta Black Star
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 12:48:23 -0800

Atlanta Blackstar recently spoke to animator, educator, and entrepreneur David Heredia about his new project Heroes of Color, that aims at teaching young people about the rich history of Black, Native American and Asian people throughout history.

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