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Iroko Tree African Folklore Story

The Iroko Tree African Folklore Story

African traditional storytelling customs
The Iroko Tree African Folklore story reveals African traditional customs and art forms preserved among her people.

Hallowed Forest of Kpasse Benin Africa

The Iroko Tree African Folklore Story


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




The Yoruba are one of the three largest ethnic groups of Nigeria and one of the most popular languages spoken outside of Africa. The Iroko tree is one of the most popular Yoruba folklore stories.



The Iroko Tree African Folklore Story

In the forest, there is a giant tree called by the Yoruba’s the “Iroko,” which is shunned by all people, for in it lives the spirit of an old man who prowls about at night with a little torch and frightens travelers.

Anyone who sees the Iroko-man face to face goes mad and speedily dies.

Seeing the thick branches and mighty trunk of the Iroko, woodcutters are often tempted to cut the tree down and make use of the wood, but this is very unlucky, as it rouses the displeasure of the Iroko-man and brings misfortune on the woodcutter and all his family.

In any house which contains furniture made of Iroko-wood, there can be heard at night strange groaning and creaking noises; it is the spirit of the Iroko, imprisoned in the wood, who longs to wander about again through the forest with his little torch. 

The Iroko Tree African Folklore
Translated into the Yoruba language


Ninu igbo, nibẹ ni omiran nla kan ti awọn eniyan Yorùbá pè ni "Iroko," eyi ti o jẹ ti gbogbo eniyan, nitori pe ninu rẹ ni ẹmi ti arugbo kan ti o nrìn ni alẹ pẹlu kekere atupa ati awọn alarinrin awọn ẹru.

Ẹnikẹni ti o ba ri Iroko-eniyan ni oju koju, o nṣiwere, o si kú ni kiakia.

Nigbati o ba ri awọn ẹka ti o nipọn ati ẹhin alagbara ti Iroko, awọn igbasilẹ igi ni igbagbogbo ni idanwo lati ge igi naa si isalẹ ati lati lo igi, ṣugbọn eyi jẹ aanu pupọ, bi o ti fa ibinu ti Iroko-eniyan ati ti o mu ipalara lori woodcutter ati gbogbo ebi rẹ.

Ni eyikeyi ile ti o ni awọn ohun-elo ti Iroko-igi ṣe, a le gbọ ni alẹ ajeji ibanujẹ ati wiwa ariwo; o jẹ ẹmi Iroko, ti a fi sinu tubu, ti o fẹ lati tun rin kiri laarin igbo pẹlu fitila rẹ kekere.

Did you know?
Iroko Tree

Throughout Nigeria and around the world there are over 40 million Yoruba primary and secondary language speakers making it the most widely spoken African language outside Africa.



Wise words from the ancestors

The tongue breaks bones though it has none.

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