Yoruba from The Early Period

Ile-Ife according to Yoruba belief is the earthly origin and fountain of all. Yoruba is a pre historic race. Ife traditional history maintains that from Ife scattered the various species of mankind. Yoruba history tells that the personage Oduduwa migrated to Ile-Ife where he reigned and held sway, established the Yoruba dynasty, and Oduduwa could not have been his original name.

As tradition has it, he had several children who in due time became the progenitors of the various clans, when taken together are the Yoruba people. Oral traditions tell us that early Ife history is divided chronologically into three:

The first was Ife Oodaiye, Ile Owuro (the land of the most ancient days where the dawn was first experienced). Tradition tells us that this Ife ended as a result of flooding.

The survivors formed the nucleus of the second Ife, Ife Ooyelagbo (Ife, the city of survivors) this existed until the arrival of elements from the east whose attempt to seize power led to a bloody struggle between Oduduwa also known as Olofintoto and the aboriginies led by Obatala. Oduduwa conquered and founded Ile-Ife (Ife of peace). Oral tradition of Ile Ife tells us that many communities existed in the second Ife. Each having its own Oba and each Oba had his Chiefs.

Archaeological field survey shows that 13 of these communities have been revealed. Oduduwas victory led to the centralization of these communities and became the first Ooni (ruler). The word Ooni was never used until the first centralised government in Ile Ife.\nTradition tells us that Oduduwa had many children, male and female. Oduduwa’s daughter was married to Obatala, and gave birth to Olowu, Asunkungbade the founder of Owu Kingdom.

Towards the end of Oduduwa’s reign, He became blind and lost four of his powerful sons. On the demise of Ooni Odua, one of his sons, Obalufon Ogbogbodiri succeeded him as Ooni. Before his death, Ooni Odua, reformed the government and crowned all his children and sent them abroad with orders to show filial obedience to their brother who he first crowned his successor as Ooni. Yoruba Obas refered to themselves as brothers, though their kingdoms waged war against each other. The kiriji wars ended with the insistent declaration of the Owa Obokun that the Aalafin of Oyo was his brother, not subordinate. In 1903 dispute between the Elepe and Akarigbo, they refused the authority of the Aalafin as matters paternaining to giving crowns, but both subjected themselves to the decision of the Ooni according to Ife tradition,

Oranmiyan led an expedition to Benin and subdued the people. Reigned for 13 years and and returned to Ife, not understanding the language, but promised to give them a king from their own blood. He took a Benin wife, and the result of that union was Eweka I of Benin. Up till today, the site is called Orun Oba Ado in Ile Ife where oranmiyan set out to found the Yoruba dynasty in Benin. And it is to this spot that the heads of the kings of Benin were brought for burial. The last time this tradition was kept was with the burial of King Adolo of Benin.

Ile-Ife according to Yoruba belief is the earthly origin and fountain of all. Yoruba is a pre historic race. Ife traditional history maintains that from Ife scattered the various species of mankind. Yoruba history tells that the personage Oduduwa migrated to Ile-Ife where he reigned and held sway, established the Yoruba dynasty, and Oduduwa could not have been his original name.

As tradition has it, he had several children who in due time became the progenitors of the various clans, when taken together are the Yoruba people. Oral traditions tell us that early ife history is divided chronologically into three. The first was Ife Oodaiye, Ile Owuro (the land of the most ancient days where the dawn was first experienced). Tradition tells us that this Ife ended as a result of flooding.

Yoruba Obas refered to themselves as brothers, though their kingdoms waged war against each other. The kiriji wars ended with the insistent declaration of the Owa Obokun that the Aalafin of Oyo was his brother, not subordinate. In 1903 dispute between the Elepe and Akarigbo, they refused the authority of the Aalafin as matters paternaining to giving crowns, but both subjected themselves to the decision of the Ooni.

According to Ife tradition, Oranmiyan led an expedition to Benin and subdued the people. Reigned for 13 years and and returned to Ife, not understanding the language, but promised to give them a king from their own blood. He took a Benin wife, and the result of that union was Eweka I of Benin.

Up till today, the site is called Orun Oba Ado in Ile Ife where oranmiyan set out to found the Yoruba dynasty in Benin. And it is to this spot that the heads of the kings of Benin were brought for burial. The last time this tradition was kept was with the burial of King Adolo of Benin.

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.

2 thoughts on “Yoruba from The Early Period

  1. Your Information is 100% inaccurate. I will clarify that for you.

    Ogiso (king from or of the sky). Ogiso Owodo of Igodomigodo (Benin City) had only one son, Ekaladerhan despite having many wives. Ogiso Owodo in an attempt to solve the cause of his wives infertility, sent his first wife Esagho and three male messengers, to consult an oracle. The oracle named Esagho as the evildoer and demanded that she should be killed. But on their way home, Esagho began to rip off her clothes accusing the messengers of rape (seeing an Ogiso’s wife nude carried the death penalty).

    She insisted that they finger Ekaladerhan and not her, the messengers agreed. Upon arriving the palace, Esagho told Ogiso that the oracle has declared Ekaladerhan as the Alagbode that passed over the bridge and burnt it, so he must be sacrificed to the gods for Owodo’s wives to have kids. But some of the executioners who knew the truth, spared Ekaladerhan in the jungle and advised him to run for his life. Ekaladerhan ran, rested at Ughoton for some time and then moved westwards to a new community Uhe (re-birth) and his new home ‘Ilefé,’ (successful escape), which his subjects corrupted to Ile-Ife. At Uhe he changed his name to IZE-OD’UWA also corrupted to Oduduwa.

    Izoduwa had eight kids and his first was a boy by a Yoruba woman called Okanbi. His son was called Omonoyan (meaning precious child),’ which the Yoruba corrupted to ‘Oronmiyan. Oronmiyan later give birth to Oba Eweka 1.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your contribution but you’ll need to go through a whole lot of Yoruba oral history as indicated in Ifa and the recent book by Professor Akintoye to update what you already know. My warm refards

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