Ipetu-Ijesha

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Ipetu-Ijesha is a town in Oriade local government area of Osun State, Nigeria. It is located in the western part of Nigeria, about 40 km from Ile-Ife and 37 km from Akure (capital of Ondo State). The people are of the Yoruba ethnic group. The title of the traditional king of Ipetu-Ijesha is Ajalaye of Ipetu-Ijesa. The present Oba(King) is HRM. Oba Adekunle Baderin, Afinbiokin 111 The area borders various cities and towns, including parts of Ijebu-Jesa, Erinmo, Erin-Ijesa, Erin-Oke, Ikeji-Arakeji, Ikeji-Ile, Ira-Ikeji, Omo-Ijesa and Ile Oluji.

The women of Ipetu-Ijesa are renowned for their mat weaving. The mats are made from a local long grass, called "Eni" in the local dialect. The men are mostly farmers.

History[edit]

The origin of ipetu-ijesa like the earliest history of most other world societies is shrouded in obscurity but can be constructed through oral tradition, meaning of traditional ceremonies in the town and artefacts found in various parts of the town. In addition, most Yoruba historians,especially, Samuel Johson, discussed Ipetu in their books. The town has been known in history by various names such as IPETU APOTI, IPETU ELEFOSAN, IPETU ARO ODO and recently some notable indigines are advocating a change of name to one of the town's original name - IPETU AJALAIYE. This is based on their observation which has empirical evidence that Ipetu has less affinity with Ijesa but more with Idanre/Ondo/Ekiti.Ipetu (Ijesa) was a creation of Rev Olabode as late as the early 20th century when he wanted to give a name to St paul's Anglican church and called the church St Paul's church Ipetu; he later added Ijesa to fit into a political grouping or geography. This action changed the fortune and the history of Ipetu . It led to the towns numerous conflict with Ilesa on Igbo Ajika which is the inheritance of all Ipetu citicens. A reconstruction of the origin and history of the town depends on preserved oral traditions and extrapolation of evidence from surviving rituals and customs. For the oral traditions, the most valuable sources are based in the palace, chiefly and priestly houses. But as may be expected, accounts from such sources often differ in several important particulars. One can do no more than relate the traditions which have been more generally accepted.

Ipetu ("Ijesa") was founded some centuries ago. It was settled many years ago when olofin the son of oduduwa started ile-ife (the cradle of the yorubas) with his children and grandchildren and travelled in the direction of 'ijamo' forest - a big forest between ile-ife and ondo state. Among the children who travelled with him were osemowe, awujale, egunrin, asurindo, olabidanre and many others. Asurindo was the father of Olabidanre Olabidanre was the fonder of Ipetu. The name Ipetu or Apetu has nothing to do with "etu" or antelope. Apetumodu was the fonder of Ipetumodu and his history has something to do with Antelope. But the detractors of Ipetu Aro Odo"Ijesa" perverted that to become Ipetu's history for the purpose of exploitation especially at the time if Igbo Ajika's problem. Ipetu got her name from an unusual incident which happened when the children of Olofin were still proceeding on the march of immigration and founding towns. Between the present Ile Oluji and the present Ipetu, a group was aggrieved against Asunrido the father of Olabidanre, for taking the life of someone,they then planned a revenge. Fortunately they found Olabidanre in a house alone without his father Asurindo. They surrounded the house and set it on fire. They were certain that the end of Olabidanre had come, he would either be burnt dead or if he wanted to escape he will fall into the enemy's hands. His father Asurindo was alerted where he was about the danger of his son. The father said thet was a little problem . He there utilized a devise(traditional incantation) called APETU meaning the incantations that forcefully ejects a person out of danger. As he did the incantations Olabidanre ejected from the house without the enemy seeing him and landed at the place the father was. From that day, he was referred to as Apetu, meaning the one that was called and ejected out of danger. In no time this became his name. When he eventually found a town, the town became Ipetu following his own name. Olabidanre was the first Oba(king) of Ipetu. There were two hunters who accompanied olofin and his retinue from ile-ife to ijamo forest. The names of these hunters are 'ija' and 'ogun'. Ija was versed in the knowledge of the paths in the forest. It was these two men who escorted olofin and his people to where they sojourned. Hence the reference to 'igbo ijamo' (the forest ija knew). Here, the children of olofin started to disperse. The Awujale left for ijubuland where he became the oba of ijebu-ode. Olofin and the rest of his children went further until they came to a place called 'epe'. It was here that osemowe and her husband left the party for Airo and later went further to found Ondo. Olofin went further and settled at ota-ipete near ile-oluji. According to traditional historians, the ile-oluji people were olofin's gate-keeper or "Eku" meaning "Door". They are known by this name till today. Olabidanre left his father at ota-Ipete to found Ipetu.

As the Yoruba people were professional farmers, the need for productive lands might have arisen. It might have been the cause of their emigration to Ijamo forest which was suitable for agriculture. This reason could not easily be disapproved because it was contained in part of the tradition existing so far. It was from the Ijamo forest that the Ipetus migrated to other settlements before they finally settled down at the present site, IPETU - IJESA.

Tourist sites in the area include Oluminrin Waterfalls, also known as Erin Ijesha Waterfalls, and a mat weaving market.