Ife (Ile-Ife)


I
le-Ife is the most sacred city, in Yoruba Civilization. Ile-Ife is considered the birthplace of man and woman, the beginning of the Yoruba culture.


Origins


One Yoruba legend has it that Olorun (God of the Sky), lowered founding ancestor Oduduwa on Ife. Another, Yoruba tradition has it that the great ancestor hero, Oduduwa, came from the east and settled at Ile Ife. From Ife, Oduduwa's descendants went out and founded various Yoruba states and empires. His sons founded the first alafin of Oyo, the first oba of Benin, the first onisabe of Sabe. His oldest daughter was the mother of the first alaketu of Ketu. Another daughter gave birth to the first olowu of Owu.

Yoruba Legends seem to point to arrivals of newcomers, who merge with the native population. The immigrants seem to have arrived about 1000 A.D. The new arrival introduced new forms of political structures from legends of various sons and daughters of various states.

Religion was the basis of explaining the world. Although the oni of Ife was viewed as supreme priest, his authority never translated to political power. Yoruba chiefs were in constant rivalry. It was not until the Oyo Empire conquered all rivals, did Yoruba people become united(Davidson 96-99).


Artistic Tradition


By 1300, we see artistic traditions developed in terracotta and brass. Artisans of Ife produced realistic sculptures in bronze, brass, copper, and clay. They were representation of the onis of Ife. The sculptures were reminiscent of the figurines of Nok culture. Most sculptures have been dated around the 1100s through 1400s (Shillington 186-188).


(Oni, Ooni ) of Ile Ife


1ST ODUDUWA
2ND OSANGANGAN OBAMAKIN
3RD OGUN
4TH OBALUFON OGBOGBODIRIN
5TH OBALUFON ALAYEMORE
6TH ORANMIYAN
7TH AYETISE
8TH LAJAMISAN
9TH LAJODOOGUN
10TH LAFOGIDO
11TH ODIDIMODE ROGBEESIN
12TH AWOROKOLOKIN
13TH EKUN
14TH AJIMUDA
15TH GBOONIJIO
16TH OKANLAJOSIN
17TH ADEGBALU
18TH OSINKOLA
19TH OGBORUU
20TH GIESI
21ST LUWOO (FEMALE)
22ND LUMOBI
23RD AGBEDEGBEDE
24TH OJELOKUNBIRIN
25TH LAGUNJA
26TH LARUNNKA
27TH ADEMILU
28TH OMOGBOGBO
29TH AJILA-OORUN
30TH ADEJINLE
31ST OLOJO
32ND OKITI
33RD LUGBADE
34TH ARIBIWOSO
35TH OSINLADE
36TH ADAGBA
37TH OJIGIDIRI
38TH AKINMOYERO,(1770-1800)
39TH GBANLARE,(1800-1823)
40TH GBEGBAAJE,(1823-1835)
41ST WUNMONIJE,(1835-1839)
42ND ADEGUNLE ADEWELA,(1839-1849)
43RD DEGBINSOKUN,(1849-1878)
44TH ORARIGBA,(1878-1880)
45TH DERIN OLOGBENLA,(1880-1894)
46TH ADELEKAN (OLUBUSE I),(1894-1910)
47TH ADEKOLA 1910-1910
48TH ADEMILUYI (AJAGUN) 1910-1930
49TH ADESOJI ADEREMI- 1930-1980
50TH OKUNADE SIJUWADE-1980-Present


Related Articles: Oyo EmpireList of Kings( alafin) of the Oyo EmpireYoruba CalendarYoruba NamesYoruba Numeration (number) System, Yoruba Ethnics, Yoruba Pantheon,

Works Cited

Davidson, Basil , F.K Buah, and J.F. Ade Ajayi (1966). A History of West Africa to the Nineteenth Century. Anchor Books: New York, 96-99. Library of Congress, 66-24317.

theooni.org, Past Oonis of Ife.<http://theooni.org/pastoonis.htm> retrieved 27-Feb-2012 

Shillington, Kevin(2005). History of Africa,
Rev. 2nd Ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, p.186-188, ISBN 0-333-59957-8.

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