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African religion is expressed in the names of people and places. Most African names of people and places have symbolic meanings that are religious in nature. Names are chosen for their special meaning, power, and source. Names are often circumstantial, and historical narratives are woven around them. Newborns are named on the basis of specific situations surrounding their birth, and the names may be related to the feeling of the parents, time of birth, description of the child, or his or her background. Naming a child is taken seriously because it is believed that a name can make or mar a person. For example, a child born outside Yorubaland, particularly abroad, is often named Tokunbo, which literally means “coming from across the seas.” A child ...

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