Etu & Nago: The Yoruba Connection


Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival
Brooklyn, New York

Jamerican Film and Music Festival
Jamaica, WI

Brooklyn Chapter of Links Film Festival
Brooklyn, New York

WOMEN OF COLOR Film Festival
New York

Roxbury Film Festival
Boston Massachusetts

Blowing Up A Spot! Film Festival
Austin, Texas

BAC International Film & Video Festival
Brooklyn, New York

Wilton Arts & Film Festival
Milford, New Hampshire
Orisa Conference - Havana, Cuba

PRAI Film Festival - Washington, DC,               
FESPACO Film Festival - Burkina Faso, West Africa

Etu & Nago : the Yoruba connection is the story of a select group of Jamaicans living in the western parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland whose Yoruba / Nago ancestors arrived in Jamaica as indentured servants during the 1840's. The backdrop for this story is Jamaica, once a British colony dotted with sugarcane plantations populated by enslaved Africans from West and Central Africa and home to the first Maroons to sign a treaty of freedom with their British colonizers. Nigerian Yoruba / Nago were among these immigrants. Some of them settled in the parish of Westmoreland and named the place Abeokuta in memory of their hometown in Nigeria. Descendants of other Yoruba who were located in the parish of Hanover preserved their forefathers' legacy in their Etu ritual. This ceremony of thanksgiving and supplication to the ancestral spirits is a vital link to the past from which their forefathers were rudely uprooted.

Etu & Nago: The Yoruba Connection 

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“I really wanted to find out how it is possible for people to have preserved a culture after so many years away from it, because there is no connection, no interaction with Nigeria. Nobody is going back and forth from Nigeria and yet they were able to do that. I did not know there were Yoruba descendants in Jamaica. I knew about the Kumina and the Akan people and I was very impressed.”
— Peter L. Oyedele
Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, speaking at the Etu & Nago film launch in Jamaica 2008
This seminal work [Etu & Nago] is indeed a welcome addition to our collection. We do appreciate the support that we have received from you in assisting us in our efforts to build a national collection which will be of great benefit to present and future generations.
— Valerie G. Francis
Acquisitions Librarian, National Library of Jamaica
Etu and Nago: The Yoruba Connection is an amazingly well done piece on a very important aspect of the African Diaspora which was previously overlooked. I cannot state enough how refreshing and important the story of the Etu ritual and its keepers are. For far too long, Africans of the diaspora have been taught that their connection to the continent of Africa is tenuous at best, that they are a nameless and rootless people with no tangible or traceable connection to Africa. However, the story of the residents of Westmoreland and Hanover and their firm embrace of the Etu practice highlights an undeniable tie between members of the African Diaspora and the Yoruba people of Nigeria. This in turn, is not only a story of persistence and triumph for these people alone, but for Africans throughout the Diaspora…it affirms that without a doubt we do have a home.
— Dr. Nzinga Metzger
Florida A&M University

Her Spirit Was For Dancing

Her Spirit Was For Dancing chronicles the death rituals performed for Phyllis Gordon, a 92 year old Etu member and Yoruba descendant, who appeared in the film Etu & Nago: The Yoruba Connection. The deceased is honored with a Christian funeral in addition to age-old African celebrations that involve the community. The film is an intimate look into the coexistence of Christian and African traditions.