Historically, the Arogbo have had trading contacts with neighboring Ijaw tribes (Apoi, Egbema) and the Ijebu and Ilaje Yoruba. Most Arogbo are bilingual, speaking dialects of both the Yoruba and Ijaw languages. Historically, the Arogbo acted as middle men in the slave trade, selling captives from the interior to Europeans. The Arogbo migrated to their present location from the town of Gbaran in the central Niger Delta. Worship of the god Egbesu is particularly strong among the Arogbo.
The Arogbo are in present-day Ondo State. The founding ancestors of the Arogbo were part of the same migration from Ujo-Gbaran town. After a brief stop at Oproza, led by Perebeinmo they went on to Ukparomo (now occupied by the towns of Akpata, Opuba, Ajapa, and Ukpe). They stayed here for some time, about the length of the reign of two Agadagbas (military priest-rulers of the shrine of Egbesu). They then moved to the present site of Arogbo. From this place descendants spread out to found the Arogbo Ebe. It was from Arogbo that some ancestors migrated northwards up the old course of the Forcados river and settled near the site of Patani. Living nearby in the upland region were proto Edo or Efa people called Erowha. These ancestors later on intermarried with them and gave birth to the Uvwei and Effurun (Efferun or Efferu the ancestor of the Effurun or Ephron was a descendent of Gbaran) sections of Urhobo people. During the time of the expansion of the Benin kingdom (1550), the Benin invaded Ukoruama (Lagos). The Arogbo sent soldiers to defend the Ijo living in that region. Their army camp became known as Idumu-Arogbo later shortened to Idumagbo. The Arogbo also successful halted the advance of the Benin army into the western delta and subsequently the whole of the Izon Ibe. The foundation of the Arogbo Ebe is clearly pre-14th century AD. The ancestors of the Arogbo lived at Ujo-Gbaran between 700 – 1100 AD. Along with the ancestors of the Gbaramatu and Tuomo they moved to the Escravos region, while the Arogbo ancestors moved further west.
- Alagoa, Ebiegberi Joe (2005). A History of the Niger Delta, Port Harcourt: Onyoma Research Publications. ISBN 978-37314-5-9
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