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
- 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
Thu, 11 Jun 2015 06:53:22 -0700
As mentioned, the West African dashiki gained prominence stateside during the 1960s and 70s after Ofuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi — née Walter Eugene — began manufacturing the ornately designed traditional garments after a trip to Haiti in the ...
Thu, 04 Jun 2015 02:22:30 -0700
Lagos – There is a new dimension in the operation of taxi in Lagos as the state government make it mandatory for all taxi operators in the State, to ensure that their cars used for business have working air conditioners for the comfort of their passengers.
Tue, 02 Jun 2015 05:46:46 -0700
On her part, Adefunmi Tejuosho argued that implementing the regulation was important for security and safety. Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who approved the regulations after a voice vote by members, said the state cannot afford operations below standard ...
Charleston City Paper
Mon, 01 Jul 2013 06:59:33 -0700
The Oyotunji African Village, a small community off of Highway 17 near Beaufort, will host its second annual Pan-African Grassroots Assembly July 4-7. Speakers at the event will include Oyotunji's King Oba Adefunmi II, Gullah/Geechee Head of State ...
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:46:51 -0700
LAKELAND | A Tampa man was in grave condition Tuesday after a drag-racing crash Saturday at Lakeland Motor Speedway. Waldemar Vazquez, 42, was traveling about 90 mph at the track at 8100 State Road 33 in North Lakeland when he crashed a 1981 ...
The Times-Picayune (blog)
Wed, 28 May 2014 04:34:49 -0700
Other graduates were Kuforiji Adefunmi, George Aidoo Jr., Terrell Allen, Tyson Alvarez, Hal Amos Jr., Marseth Andry, Donovan Aubert, Aarin Barnes, David. Bartholomew IV. Ervin Batiste III, Anthony Bennett, Jabari Bonner, Erin Bringier, Blaise Brown ...
Sat, 08 Feb 2014 09:03:45 -0800
During his visit to Chattanooga culminating in his appearance in Chattanooga's Black History Month Parade on Saturday, His Royal Majesty Oba Adefunmi also visited schools on Friday including Washington Alternative School and The Howard School, ...
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 17:11:15 -0700
The group's leader Oba Adefunmi II said he enjoyed the trip to Selma — his first ever — but was more concerned with sharing new ideas. “It's not about beating the same old drum,” Adefunmi said. “Many times we think about money and politics, but it's ...
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