The Brief History of Osogbo

The early history of Osogbo is essentially the legendary account of the spirit-world; it is the history of the early people whom we call the spirits and fairies. This is in line with Yoruba traditions, which use mythical stories to explain the origins of the ruling families of an early Yoruba state.

Osogbo according to Yoruba oral history, had been founded as early as Oduduwa period. Oso-igbo, the goddess of Osun River, was the Queen and original founder of Osogbo. She was credited with many important achievements, which helped to establish the settlement.


                        OSUN DEVOTEES

She lived in a beautiful surrounding and possessed magical powers, which inspired her people and frightened their enemies. Traditions acclaim her the goddess of fertility, protection and blessings. She possessed the ability to give children (through birth) to barren women and power to heal the sick and the afflicted by means of her medicinal water from the river.

The Kingship history of Osogbo dates back to the 1670s. Owa Laage was the 6th Owaroki of Ipole-Omu. He gave birth to three children who were Lajomo (the eldest), Larooye and Sogbodede (the youngest). Lajomo succeeded his father as the 7th Owaroki of Ipole Omu. When he died, Larooye, his younger brother succeeded him as the 8th Owaroki of Ipole Omu.

During the reign of Larooye, the town experienced drought which lasted for a long period. A hunter from Oyo (Olutimehin) who was an acquaintance of Larooye on one of his hunting expeditions on instruction of his friend, discovered a stream and immediately rushed down to Ipole Omu to inform Larooye of his discovery. When he was told, Larooye immediately proceeded to the stream with him which is now popularly called Osun River in the present day Osogbo and confirmed Olutimehin’s discovery.


                            ARUGBA OSUN

Larooye made series of consultations and divinations and when the results/revelations favoured the migration of his kingdom to the newly discovered site. He moved to Osogbo with his younger brother Sogbodee while the descendant of Lajomo refused to move with Larooye to Osogbo.

Larooye built his new palace at the present day Idi-Osun while Olutimehin built the ogun shrine now know as Idi-Ogun; Since then Osogbo has maintained her central location and remained as centre for economic activities. At Osogbo, Larooye ruled as the first Oba with the title of Ataoja (a contraction of A-Tewo- Gbeja).

During the migration of Larooye from Ipole-Omu during the famine which led to the discovery of Osun River, the descendants of Lajomo refused to migrate with the two other brothers. This is why none of the descendant of Lajomo has ever become the Ataoja of Osogbo because their father never ruled in Osogbo.

Hence, Larooye also an hunter became the first traditional ruler (1st Ataoja of Osogbo) assuming the royal title of the town’s kingship in 1670 and ruled for a period of 90 years until his death in 1760. He had no son but only begot a daughter called Abogbe who married an Offa man called Oyejin Lokuso and they gave birth to Matanmi.

Tradition claims many people fleeing the Fulani Advancement settled at Osogbo following the fall of old Oyo which as a result, made Osogbo to increase in population largely due to migration from other Yoruba towns and villages.

Published by oloolutof

Urbanologist, Geographer, Traditionalist and Oral historian. ​I am a versatile, personable, computer literate and goal – driven achiever. I have good communication skill with ability to interact at different levels. I am self –motivated, can easily assimilate new ideals and quite adaptive to work in different environments. Studied in University of Jos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and University of Calabar.

5 thoughts on “The Brief History of Osogbo

  1. Trust you are doing well Ogbeni .

    I have sent an earlier mail to you, may be you didn’t see it . In the mail i reminded you of our days together, during your masters program at Obafemi Awolowo University, while I was in my undergraduate level. You were in BABA70s room. We are at the same block post graduate hall , we were quite close. I have been following your initiative on the story of Yoruba , very informative and enlightened , keep up the good job bros. However, I will appreciate if you can delve into the history of ODUDUA/ILE IFE and BENIN KINGDOM. AS at today the story is controversial. It will be beneficial if you can throw more light on this controversial issue , by telling the actual story if you are well acquainted ,so that the record can be set straight, and probably put to rest the controversy and the lies behind it .

    While I await you good response. Take care and remain bless.

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. tanks for d history u are on d right path , however can u shed more ligth bcos read history whc indicate dt oso igbo came across wen osun d wife of sango dt was into ‘Aro dida’ had a incidence wia by d forest spriti(oso igbo) broke osun godess’ pot for aro dida nd dismess dem to d river flowing dis cause N-H

    Liked by 1 person

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