Oduduwa, Olofin Adimula, Emperor and First Suzerain of the Yoruba, was the Oba of Ile-Ife. His name, phonetically written by Yoruba language-speakers as Odùduwà and sometimes contracted as Odudua or Oòdua, is generally ascribed to the ancestral dynasty of Yorubaland because he is held by the Yoruba to have been the ancestor of their numerous crowned kings. Following his posthumous deification, he was admitted to the Yoruba pantheon as an aspect of a primordial divinity of the same name.
|Ife bronze head (British Museum)|
- 1 About Oduduwa
- 2 Narrative
- 3 Later years
- 4 Oranmiyan
- 5 Moremi and The Ugbo
- 6 Alternative views
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- Oduduwa is the power of the womb.
- Oduduwa represents omnipotency, the ability to affect and reconstruct the physical reality at will.
- Oòdua first appears as one of the divinities of the Yoruba theogony.
- The narrative indicates that Oduduwa denotes “the essence of reality” (Odu-ti-o-da-Iwa) or "the reservoir of existence"(Odu -ti-o- du Uwa).
Oduduwa is generally ascribed to the ancestral dynasty of Yorubaland.
According to an Oyo account, Oduduwa was a Yoruba emissary; said to have come from the east, sometimes understood by some sources as the "vicinity" true East on the Cardinal points, but more likely signifying the region of Ekiti and Okun sub-communities in Yorubaland, Nigeria.
Upon the ending of Oduduwa's time on Earth, there was a dispersal of his children/grandchildren from Ife to the outposts that they had previously founded in order for them to establish effective control over these places. Each is said to have made his or her mark in the subsequent urbanization and consolidation of the Yoruba confederacy of kingdoms, with each child or grandchild fashioning his or her state after Ile-Ife.
When Oduduwa rose to be a prominent citizen of ancient Ife, he and his group are believed to have conquered most of the 13 component communities and deposed Obatala, then evolved the palace structure with its effective centralized power and dynasty. Going by the tribal records, he is commonly referred to as the first Ooni of Ife and progenitor of the legitimate Kings of the Yoruba people.
Oduduwa and the line of Olowu
First Child of Oduduwa, Iyunade marries a priest and later gives birth to the future crowned king of Owu. He is believed to have acquired his crown as a toddler while crying on his grandfather's laps.
Oduduwa and the line of Alaketu
Omonide, Oduduwa's favorite wife gives birth to Sopasan, the father of the future crowned kings of Ketu. Sopasan was the first to leave Ile-Ife with his mother and crown. Soposan settled at such temporary sites as Oke-Oyan and Aro. At Aro where Soposan died and was succeeded by Owe, the migrants stayed longer and broke camp in the reign of the seventh king, Ede, who revived the westward migrations and founded a dynasty at Ketu
Oduduwa and the line of Omo N'Oba
The son of Oranmiyan is crowned king of Benin...It is said that oduduwa is the grandson of the exiled prince of Benin who sent his son to settle the leadership problems in Benin after many years of kinglessness.
Oduduwa and the line of Òràngún
Ajagunla Fagbamila Orangun is crowned king of Ila.
Oduduwa and the line of Onisabe
- A prince is crowned king of Sabe.
Oduduwa and the line of Olupopo
- A prince is crowned king of Popo.
Oduduwa and the line of Alaafin
Oranmiyan was the grandson and the most adventurous of the members of Oduduwa's household; taking the title of Alafin, he succeeded in raising a very strong army and expanding his kingdom to an empire. Regarded as being founder of the Oyo Kingdom, some accounts state he was also the third ruler of Ife.
Moremi and The Ugbo
After the dispersal of the family of kings and queens, the aborigines became ungovernable, and constituted themselves into a serious threat to the survival of Ife. Thought to be supporters of Obatala who had ruled the land before the arrival of Oduduwa, these people turned themselves into marauders. They would come to town in costumes made of raffia with terrible and fearsome appearances, and burn down houses and loot the markets. It is at this point that Moremi Ajasoro, a princess of Offa, of the lineage of Olalomi Olofagangan. The founder of Offa-Ile and the paramount head of Ibolo quarter of old Oyo empire, of Ooduan dynasty by Oranmiyan, is said to have come onto the scene; she subsequently played a significant role in restoring normalcy back to the situation through a spying mission.By allowing herself to be captured and taken away with them. She got married to the king who wanted pleasures from her but she wouldn't give in because she was married and was on a mission. She told him to tell her the secret of the marauders, he didn't want to tell her but after so much pressure he gave in. He told her that the only thing they fear was FIRE, if they saw fire they would run. After this information she plotted an escape plan. She asked for some oranges and made the juice have a sleeping effect on the palace people. but when they woke up she had gone to tell her people and they were prepared for the marauders.
Oduduwa and his role in creation
Among the critics of Yoruba traditions about Oduduwa is the London-based Yoruba Muslim scholar, Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu, a PhD graduate from Damascus whose followers run several publications. In an interview with a Nigerian media house Sheikh Adelabu, the founder and spiritual leader of Awqaf Africa Society in London, dismissed the common myth that all Yorubas are descendants of Oduduwa as a false representation by Orisha worshippers to gain an unjust advantage over the spread of Islam and the recruitment of Christianity". The Muslim scholar advised his followers at his Awqaf Africa College London against using phrases such as Omo Oduduwa i.e. Children of Oduduwa and Ile-Oduduwa i.e Land of Oduduwa. He argued that the story that all the Yorubas are children of Odua was based only on word of mouth, and that it does not conform with the science and the reality of logic conducted on objective principles which usually consists of systematized experimentation with phenomena, especially when examining materials and functions of the physical and spiritual worlds of the African people."
- *Obayemi, A., 'The Yoruba and Edo-speaking Peoples and their Neighbors before 1600 AD', in JFA Ajayi & M. Crowder (eds.), History of West Africa, vol. I (1976), 255-322.
- OPC's the History Of Oodua
- Article: Oduduwa, The Ancestor Of The Crowned Yoruba Kings
- Yoruba Alliance:Who are the Yoruba!
- DELAB International Magazine, July 2010 1465-4814
- Ojuade, J. S., 'The issue of 'Oduduwa' in Yoruba genesis: the myths and realities', Transafrican Journal of History, 21 (1992), 139-158.