Nigeria

The History of the Yoruba People in Nigeria

This article is based on the History and origin of Yoruba people, According to Prince Adelegan Adegbola, he said that the Yoruba people are the progeny of great kingship, efficient kingdom-builders and astute rulers.

There are so many or several controversial articles and books which have been written about the origins of this major tribe in Nigeria called the Yoruba people. I want you to just relax and read carefully because this article is based on it.

history of Yoruba in Nigeria

Expect to know more about their language history, religious belief, dressing code, food and cultural practices and so on. The Yoruba people claim to be descendants of a great ancestor. There is no doubt at all that they come from great ancestry lineage. So many schools of thought and the most popular believe are that Yoruba land is the cradle of all mankind, precisely the scared town Ile-Ife.

You can also checkout the history of Igbo people in Nigeria, Hausa and Benin Kingdom.

It is believed that Oduduwa who is believed to be the progenitor of the Human race was sent by Olodumare (which means god) to form mankind out of clay and that he landed in Ile Ife and set about this task, till today, some of the objects he was said to have brought from heaven are still in Ile-Ife including the chain that he climbed down to earth with till date.

Which I think is base on religious grounds, the Yoruba people are still active worshippers of Oduduwa across the globe.

This is because Yoruba people have always been found in Ile Ife since the beginning of time and they vehemently oppose every claim of migration from Egypt or anywhere else. The Yoruba people were not Arabs, but they were there as settlers for thousands of years and they constituted an industrious, prosperous, powerful, large and respected minority within the larger Middle Eastern, Jewish and Arab community

The Yoruba people also believe that at the time Oduduwa came to earth, he only had a chicken and a bag of sand with him and that the earth was filled with water. As Oduduwa made his descent from the heavens, his grip on the bag of sand slacked and while he was trying to maintain a balance, the bag of sand and the chicken fell to the ground, he scrambled quickly down the chain and found that the sand had settled on the ground and the chicken was scattering it with her feet. This is when the beginning of the Human race and the start of Ile-Ife was introduced.

There is a different school of thought that holds that Oduduwa was a mortal who was extremely powerful, a father to sixteen children; He sent them out to other territories. These children became rulers of different territories all over the world today. It is also believed that the family background and the upbringing of these children who were kings in their different territories is the reason for the unified customs, language and practices found among Yoruba people today.

 

According to their belief, the eldest of all of the children was named the Orangun of Ila. He also had a female child named Alaketu, who is the progenitor of the Egbas in Abeokuta. Oranyan/ Oranimiyan were the last of his children and also the king of the Benin Kingdom. This must explain why the Yoruba and Benin culture have very similar traits raging from language to the food and dressing and many other things. It is said that Oranmiyan ruled in Benin for a while, he subsequently made his son Eweka, the king of Benin and made a return to Ile Ife. On getting to Ile Ife, he met his father, Oduduwa, blind and now very advance in age. And that he also found out that all the properties and territories have been disbursed to his other fifteen children and had left none for him.

He was not happy about what he saw and it made him angry and Oduduwa saw this. So Oduduwa in an effort to please him, landed over Ile Ife to him and made him king in his stead. There have been issues as to whether or not Oranmiyan was indeed a biological child of Oduduwa, there have also been mentions of Okanbi{son}, as being the only child of Oduduwa and whether Oduduwa was the father or the grandfather of the 16 children.

The king of Ijebu land, which is the Awujale has explained that the Ijebu people, a section of Yoruba land are descended from ancient Nubai, an area in Egypt has we now know it. The Oba showed a link in the ways, manners and practices of the Nubians and Yoruba people. He also went further by comparing the languages, body art, and coronation rituals of both tribes. The Yoruba people have been traced back to the black migrants and settlers from Kush who didn’t go back to Africa with the others but has chosen to mark out a territory in what is presently known as the Saudi Arabia.

There are numerous reasons why the Yoruba people eventually left the region of Egypt, According to them, some of these reasons include that there was a deadly disease which forced them to migrate, others claim that the original settlers found the sporadic growth of the Yoruba people and their strength and economic prowess threatening so they were chased out from the region.

Another school or thought says that after the Yoruba people left the Egypt region , they did not proceed to settle where they are majorly found now in the South Western Region of Nigeria, but that they had many stops along the way, some settling in areas like Asaba and so on, before they eventually moved on to their present locations.  This is believed that happened as at 2000BC-1000BC according to their history.

Conclusion

The Yoruba people has so many origination, but whatever you believe and whichever angle to the history of the Yoruba tribe you decide to follow, The character of dignity and integrity of Yoruba people is an ancient one in history.

 

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