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Oranmiyan Omoluabi Odede, Great Prince of Ife, King of the Yoruba, also known as Oranmiyan, was a Yoruba king from the kingdom of Ile-Ife and although last born, he was heir to Oduduwa.[1] According to Yoruba history, he founded Oyo as its first Alaafin at around the year 1300 and one of his children, Eweka I, went on to become the first Oba of the Benin Empire. Following the Oba Oranyan's death, his family is fabled to have erected the commemorative stele known as the Staff of Oranmiyan - Opa Oranmiyan in the Yoruba language - at the place where their father died. Radiocarbon tests have however shown that this royal marker was erected centuries before the start of the Oduduwa dynasty, during what is known as the "classical" Ife period.[1]

Oranmiyan at Benin[edit]

the Bini chiefs, who had earlier requested for spiritual and political direction from Ife after the death of Ogiso Owodo of Igodomigodo were led by Oranmiyan. He however met opposition from the kin of the Ogiso, and was refused entrance into the City. Oranmiyan camped at a place called Uselu. His foreign style management didn't go down well with the chiefs and they usually spied on him, all this made Oranmiyan declare that only a son of the soil can cope with the attitude of the Igodomigodo people and called the land "Ile - Ibinu" meaning Land of Vexation. On leaving Ile-Ibinu(later Ibini, and corrupted to "Benin" by the Portuguese), he stopped briefly at Ego where he had an affair with Erinwide, the daughter of the Enogie(Duke), Eweka I was the result of this affair but by now Oranmiyan was far away never to return.

Oranmiyan at Oyo[edit]

After leaving Benin at about 1290, he moved north with his ever loyal entourage and settled close to the river Moshi (a tributary to the Niger River). He founded a city, Oyo-ile, which his descendants expanded into the Oyo Empire. He engaged in war with the Bariba, his immediate neighbor to the north, and subsequently married Torosi- a Tapa (Yoruba name for Nupe) princess-who became mother to Ṣango Akata Yẹri-Yẹri.

The first ever Oranyan Festival of Arts, Culture and Tourism was initiated in 2012 by his descendant and reigning successor, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III of Oyo, who mandated that subsequently the festival was to be celebrated annually between the 8th and 15th days of the month of September in Oyo, Nigeria.[2]


  1. ^ a b Ogumefu, M. I (1929). "The Staff of Oranyan". Yoruba Legends. Internet Sacred Text Archive. p. 46. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 
  2. ^ "1st Oranyan Festival". Nigerian Tribune. Retrieved 2012-06-21.