• August 6, 2020

Getting To Know The Yoruba Ethnic Group’s History – Nigeria

The Yoruba ethnic group is one of the well-known Nigerian ethnic groups, across the world.

The history of this ethnic group was discovered between 1910 and 1912, by a man named Leo Viktor Frobenius (a German man who was born in 1873 and died in 1938, at the age of 65), a well-known ethnologist and archaeologist.

At the time Leo Viktor Frobenius was working on archaeological sites in Nigeria, Ile-Ife in Osun State, Nigeria was one of the sites he was working on.

At the time he visited the state the population was 25 000 and the Ile-Ife statue was still hidden from the Western world.

Leo Viktor Frobenius was blown away by what he found while digging in the sacred sites of Ile-Ife.

He discovered the famous “Ori Olokun” bronze head, broken glazed pottery and terra-cotta foot, trunk, and head ornaments.

Leo Viktor Frobenius stated that discovering the art was great but the best thing for him was details on the artwork.

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He went on to state that the way the items were so beautiful they could not have been done by Africans.

In Yoruba history, the origin of mankind involves Ile-Ife’s arrival being of heavenly beings sent to earth by “Olodumare”.

The uniqueness of the Ile-Ife cuts across many unwelcome consequences, such as being part of the early government to early industry, and its art that shows that the kingdom has been existing for a very long time.

The individuality of the Obaship of Ile-Ife is in the name Ooni (Eni ti o ni) which means “The owner”, which is the religious, traditional, and spiritual ruler of Ile-Ife.

The throne of Ooni has been highly respected by all the other leaders in Yoruba land and outside of the kingdom.

The Ooni is the only ruler who is not crowned by a mortal, unlike the other rulers.

The Ooni has to go on a journey to a sacred forest to receive his crown.

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In The late 19th century Ile-Ife was destroyed in a war and the whole town was ruined, the gods had reportedly said that Yoruba land would not have peace until Ile-Ife was restored.

This was done and an agreement was made between the gods and the living that it would never be destroyed again, this agreement has been lived up to even in other wars.

These are the things that make up the ideas, knowledge, laws, customs, morals, art, and belief systems of the people from Yoruba land.

People all over the world still go back to the ancient city yearly to celebrate the “Olojo” Festival, which has been existing for hundreds of years.

This is when Ooni of Ile-Ife wears the sacred crown, the “Ade are”, publically.

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Moyahabo Raholane

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