Egba people

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History[edit]

The Egba group originally under the Oyo Empire became independent following the spectacular collapse of Oyo in the first half of the 19th century. Wars with the Dahomey, in which the Egbas were successful partly due to the protection afforded by the Olumo Rock, led to the founding of the city of Abeokuta, which literally means "under the rock".

The Egba nation is made up of the following sub-divisions - the Ake, Owu, Oke Ona and Gbagura each with its own king (historically, the Egba nation is made up of four divisions; Ibara, though geographically located in Abeokuta, is part of Yewaland). During colonial rule the British recognised the Alake (or King of Ake) as the paramount ruler of the whole clan and their territory, and so, his successor is referred to as the Alake of Egbaland now. The titles of the kings of the aforementioned sub-divisions are therefore Alake of Egbaland, Oshile of Oke Ona,Agura of Gbagura", and "Olowu of Owu in order of settlement and seniority in Egba nation (the Olubara is not an Egba king; he is a Yewa king although his domain is located geographically within the present day Abeokuta). It is worthy of note that the original town and settlement of the Egba nation was under and around Olumo rock, which is in Ikija/Ikereku area of the Egba Oke Ona. The Jagunna of Itoko, is the Chief Priest of Olumo. The area in Ikija, which is Oke Ona, is only an amusement park created as an entrance to the park. The entire Olumo Rock is in the territory of, and under the control of the Itokos. Another reference name for Abeokuta by the founding fathers is Oko Adagba (Adagba's Farm or Bush) in reference to the hunter that founded / discovered Olumo rock. Adagba went hunting in search of game animal / food from the Obantoko township where his fellow Itoko citizens were stationed while wandering for a settlement. Egbaland was not only where Henry Townsend lived but also boasted of being the home of the first newspaper in Nigeria ("Iwe Irohin"). Its people serve as the first of the many Nigerian nations (until recently, the only of them) to have had an anthem.

Egba Anthem[edit]

Lori oke o'un petele Ibe l'agbe bi mi o Ibe l'agbe to mi d'agba oo Ile ominira

Chorus: Maa yo, maa yo, maa yo o; l'Ori Olumo; Maa yo, maa yo, maa yo o; l'Ori Olumo

Abeokuta ilu Egba N ko ni gbagbe e re N o gbe o l'eke okan mi Bii ilu odo oya Emi o f'Abeokuta sogo N o duro l'ori Olumo Maayo l'oruko Egba ooo Emi omoo Lisabi E e

Chorus: Maa yo, maa yo, maa yo o; l'Ori Olumo; Maa yo, maa yo, maa yo o; l'Ori Olumo

Emi o maayo l'ori Olumo Emi o s'ogoo yi l'okan mi Wipe ilu olokiki o L'awa Egba n gbe


Chorus: Maa yo, maa yo, maa yo o; l'Ori Olumo; Maa yo, maa yo, maa yo o; l'Ori Olumo

There are some other songs that the egba people sing, here is one of them:

Egba ile ibe nigbagbo ti se wa, Egba ile ibe nigbagbo ti se wa

Awa Egba lo ni jesu o

Here goes another short one

Awa lo mo abeokuta, ilu rere ilu olola

ilu to duro lase oluwa, Egba omo lisabi.

People[edit]

Traditional Attire

  • Women:
    • Wrapper, Iro
    • Top, Buba
    • Headgear, Gele
    • Other: Ipele - Piece of cloth placed on the shoulder or wrapped around the waist

Food: Lafu, (White Amala) and Ewedu soup; badan

Selected Egba Individuals of Renown

Literature[edit]

  • S. O. Biobaku: The Egba and their neighbours; 1842 - 1914. Oxford 1957.