Decked in golden gown and headdress, Beyonce performed on a long table surrounded by backup dancers. Her Grammy performance is Beyonce's latest flirtation with Yoruba culture and mythology.
In 2012, Beyonce was involved in a photoshoot that honoured Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. During this period she recorded an entire Afrobeat album but eventually scrapped it.
Beyonce's Fela inspired photoshoot(Obsessed Magazine )
Beyonce's love for Afrobeat would open her further to Yoruba culture, more specifically Yoruba mythology.
Four years after her Afrobeat themed shoot, Beyonce released her sixth solo album titled Lemonade. In the video for 'Sorry', one of the standout tracks on the album, Beyonce's dancers wore intricate white body paint. Even Queen B had the white paint on her face.
Beyonce's dancers in Sorry(Notey )
The intricate white designs are the works of Nigerian artistLaolu Senbanjo. He calls the white designs Sacred Art of the Ori.
Laolu Senbanjo with Ibeyi(Instagram/laolunyc )
"In my language, Yoruba "Ori" literally means your essence, your soul, your destiny and also comes with a mantra. When I work with a muse, the muse, their Ori, and I become one. My Art form is physically drawing what's on the inside, what's in your soul, and your essence and being; on your canvas which is the skin. It's the deepest most spiritual experience I've ever had with my Art as an artist. It's amazing and energising. The connection is phenomenal" said Senbanjo on his website.
Laolu Senbanjo(Instagram/laolunyc )
On the Lemonade album Beyonce also channelled the Yoruba goddess Osun, the goddess of love and fertility.
Beyoncé in the "Hold Up" video: alluding to Yoruba deity Oshun, one of the most revered Orishas https://t.co/pyGpr8jwbR— Sarah Jessica Darker (@amidala1990) 2013-07-22 14:22:09.0
February 1, 2017 Beyonce announced to the world that she is pregnant and expecting twins. In usual Beyonce style, she released highly conceptual photos to let the world know about her pregnancy.
This pregnancy photo Beyonce shared on Instagram is now the most liked picture on the platform.(Instagram)
In a poem which Beyonce posted on her website after the announcement, Osun and Yemoja were mentioned. Later on, she released colourful photos of herself underwater, an obvious channelling of Yemoja, the Yoruba goddess of water.
WHEN BEYONCÉ IS REALLY THE YORUBA GODDESS NAMED OSHUN . JUUSSSSTTTT TO LET YALL KNOW https://t.co/lJEKL1Kq2E— BlackYardigan (@Agnostic_Amor) 2013-07-22 14:22:09.0
Beyonce isn't only hooked on Yoruba culture. In her video 'Love Drought' off Lemonade, the pop star relied heavily on the imagery of the Igbo Landing.
Beyonce in Love drought(flickr )
The Igbo Landing occurred during the slave trade era when Igbo slaves who had taken control of their ship marched into the water and drowned at Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia.
Beyonce in Love drought(vibe)
Beyonce Knowles is clearly enamoured with Yoruba culture but how long will it last or will she totally embrace the Yoruba way of life?