ODE-OSOORO AND ILUTITUN-OSOORO 1900-1930: A STUDY IN ILUTITUN RELATIONS.
BEING A SPECIAL ESSAY SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ADO-EKITI, EKITI-STATE, NIGERIA.
This is to certify that this work was carried out by OMOGUN TAIWO in the Department of HISTORY AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, University of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria.
PROJECT SUPERVISOR DATE
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT DATE
TABLE OF CONTENT
TITLE PAGE i
TABLE OF CONTENT VIII
CHAPTER ONE 1
LAND OF PEOPLE 1
- GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF OSOORO LAND 2
- TRADITIONS OF ORIGIN 5
- SOCIO-POLITICAL ORGANIZATION 11
- ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES 14
- MIGRATION FROM ODE-OSOORO TO ILUTITUN-OSOORO 19
CHAPTER TWO 30
ODE-OSOORO, ILUTITUN-OSOORO AND THEIR NEIGHBOURS 19
- ESTABLISHMENT OF ILUTITUN-OSOORO 19
- INTER-GROUP RELATIONS 39
CHAPTER THREE 59
ADVENT OF THE EUROPEANS 59
- REASONS FOR THE ADVENT 59
- IMPACTS OF THE ADVENT OF THE EUROPEANS 61
- EDUCATION 61
- HEALTH 64
- RELIGION 65
- ECONOMIC 68
CHAPTER FOUR 72
SOCIO-CULTURAL HISTORY OF OSOORO PEOPLE 72
- BURIAL RITES 72
- BURIAL OF A YOUNG PERSON 73
- BURIAL OF A BACHELOR OR A SPINSTER 74
- BURIAL OF PERSONS WITH OR WITHOUT CHIEFTAINCY TITLES
- DEATH BY DROWNING 82
- SUICIDE 83
- DEATH CAUSE BY AYELALA DEITY 86
- OPO CEREMONY 93
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 103
LAND OF PEOPLES
It is noteworthy that reliance on oral traditions for reconstruction into the past of African communities has been declining.1 Ilutitun – Osooro is one of the town that make up Ode-Osooro or Osooro land as it is being called today. Moreover, Osooro is one of the towns that make up Ikale land.2 Historically, Osooro-land is the melting pot of Ikale tradition, being the home to one of the nine Ikale groups (Ikale mehan) which are Ikoya, Aye, Osooro, Irele, Idepe, Erinje, Iyansan, Igbodigo and Igbinsin-Oloto.3Naturally, distinctive actions are incuitable in a society under-going dynamic changes especially when operating within a larger polity.
Ilutitun–Osooro despite migrating from Ode-Osooro or Osooro-land still share common things with each other.4
(A) GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF OSOORO LAND
Osooro which consist of many towns, villages and hamlets namely; Ilutitun, Ijuodo, Igbotako, Erekiti, Iju Oke, Ilado, Agbetu, Abusoro, Akinfosile, Omotosho among others is situated in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State. The town is approximately 172 kilometers from Akure, the state capital.5 Osooro’s neighbous to the east are the Edos (Benin, Edo state), to the West are the Ijebus (Ogun State), the Ondos to the North and the Ilajes to the South (Ondo State).6 Osooro is surrounded by rolling hills and valleys with fresh springs and rivers that rise before emptying into the Lagoon and the Atlantic ocean. Blessed with natural resources (kaolin for paint and chalk, Bitumen for natural asphalt); palm plantations stretched across the land.7
Ilutitun, Osooro and Ode-Osooro are two different communities which are not too far from each other. When coming from Okitipupa, Ilutitun-Osooro is a 5 minutes drive from Ode-Osooro.8
Ilutitun – Osooro is bounded by Mahintedo on the Southern part and Ayila on the western part. While on the northern side, it shares the same boundary with Iju-Odo as well as Ikoya and on the eastern frontier, it is bounded by the land of Igbinsin – Olooto people.9
The weather of Ilutitun- Osooro is typified by the equatorial hot and wet condition with an average temperature of about 26.5C. The vegetation is made up of fresh water, swamp forest which soon merges into ever green rain forest as one moves northward towards Ikoya. Before the introduction of the modern bore-hole water supply, the town was blessed with a number of rivers, streams and rivulets from which a number of rivers could be obtained. These include Osoromi, Omuo, Ohen, Lolifan, Loisa, Erifunfun, Losoro, Jokore, Legbudu, Gboisa, Senpen-senpen, Baseren and Eriheki.10
From what has been mentioned above, one can see that the availability of good water supply must have accounted for the absence of the spread of guinea-worm infection during the period under study. In addition, the big rivers such as Ohen, Omiju and Osoromi were important means of extending the range of human activities, such as fishing, transportation of goods and services, improvement of people’s standard of living through the secure of raw materials and exchange of goods and culture between them and other people such as the Ilajes Ijebus and the Urhobos.
(B) TRADITIONS OF ORIGIN OF ODE – OSOORO PEOPLE
There is a conflicting argument about the origin of Ikale people, but it is now accepted that they are basically a branch of the Yoruba who speak a dialect that has a close affinity with the Edo language. Indeed, this affinity is more pronounced in areas of Iyansan and Akotogbo on the west bank of river Siluko. These two towns form the major boundary between Ikale land and Edo land in Ondo and Edo states respectively.11
Ikale traditions claimed that there are nine original Ikale groups known as “Ikale Mehan”. However, recent research reveals that there are ten Ikale districts and all regard Okitipupa as its headquarters.
The districts are Ukonya (now Ikoya) having the seat of the Abodi of Ikale land, Isogboro (now Osooro), Urele (now Irele), Aye, Idepe, Igbinhen – Oloto (now Igbinsin-Oloto), Erinje, Igbodigo and Iyanhan (now Iyansan). All the available sources on the origin of these people up till this present day are contradictory.12
The first source claims that the Ikale people are basically Yoruba speaking people who came originally from the ancient kingdom of Benin. The second source claims that the Ikale people are descendents of Oranmiyan. He was said to have left Ile-Ife for the Benin Kingdom around the 14th century. The same source also indicates that it was the last ruler of Ogiso dynasty called Esigie who gave birth to the first ruler of Ikale land known as “ABODI JABADO”. It is important to note that since Esigie was from the Oranmiyan lineage, therefore, Jabado was the great grandson of Oranmiyan. However, the third school of thought claims that Ikale people came from Ile – Ife but did not made mention of the name of their ancestors.13
From these main sources, one can argue that the second source stands to be most authentic.
Later, Esigie gave birth to two sons who were heirs apparent to the throne. It is noteworthy that, when such happens, tradition upholds that one of them should be killed. However, Esigie saw this as an insult not only to his throne but also on the kingdom of Benin. Therefore, Esigie directed that JABADO should go out of Benin and establish a colony at Akotogbo on the bank of River Siluko. This was how “JABADO” got his title “A bo hi o di”. However, as time went on, “Abo hi o di” later changed to “ABODI”. Having established his domain, Oba Jabado was said to have given all his encourage separate districts to rule over as Oloja. These are Halujagbo of Aye, Jegun of Idepe, Olura of Igbinsin – Oloto and Lumure of Ayeka. Jagbado later left Akotogbo for Ebute-Irele due to impoverishment and infertility of the soil and continued outbreak of epidemics. He reigned for over a century and was succeeded by his son “TUFEWA”.
Oba TUFEWA spent a number of unspecified years and left Ebute-Irele for “Ota Fufu Gbekerelu” near “Imokun” under Ondo kingdom. At this place, he was said to have paid a memorable visit to Ile-Ife where he was initiated into Osugbo cult. The next person who ruled after him was Oba “IKUGBAYIGBE”. He was said to be the founder of the present day Ikoya.14
Indeed, what is known about those who ruled before Oba Ikugbayigbe in Ikale land especially the path of their travels either from Ile–Ife or from Benin remained remarkably fragmentary. The numerous accounts that appeared in oral sources are often contradictory.
Having dealt with the origin of the Ikales generally, it is also important to trace the origin of the people of Osooro. The main available source which is the oral source maintains that Osooro people are the descendants of Likoyi, a beautiful princess of Abodu Ikugbayigbe. She married three different husbands within a period of seven years.
First, she got married to lumure of Ayeka where she gave birth to a son called OJUGBULEGUN. After this, she married Oloja Orunfun where she gave birth to a male child named OJUOROLA and finally she married the Oloja of Irele and gave birth to another male child called LEMEGHA. At her old age, Likoyi finally settled down at Ikoya her home town. Later, trouble started at Ayeka where Ojugbulegun was alleged to have had immoral dealings with her father’s wife. Consequently, he fled from Ayeka and sought refuge at Ikoya. There, he married a woman called Omogunloye who gave birth to a male child known as OMOJUWA.
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