African History

Brief History Of The Most Popular Subethnic Group In The Yoruba Tribe – The Ijebu People

An occasion in Ijebuland (image: google.com)

Ijebu kingdom is among the subethnic group of people in Ogun State, South-Western Nigeria. The people of Ijebu like other Yoruba kingdom, generally speak the Yoruba language.

They were often regarded by others as the largest and the most advanced subtribe that is highly regarded by the government. According to history, we learned that Ijebu was birthed by Obanita of Ile-Ife in the 15th century.

The Ijebu kingdom is made up of districts; Ijebu-Ososa, Ijebu-Remo, Ijebu-Igbo, Ijebu-Ife, and Ijebu-Ode which is the capital of Ijebuland. Although the Ijebu kingdom began in Ogun State, they have an extension in some parts of Lagos State.
They have different stories of origin which an account claimed they were from the Biblical Jebusites, while the other suggested that they came from Mecca, from Oduduwa who was the son of King Lamurudu. To buttress the claim, it told of how Oduduwa was sent away from Mecca after he was seen indulging in Idolatry worship.

Archeologically, the capital of Ijebu; the ancient Ijebu-Ode was dated to be in existence since 900 A.D. In the 15th century, the kingdom was said to be the second after the Oyo kingdom. They were already advanced in the 15th century; powerful enough to defend herself from foreign oppression.

Ijebu people were industrious as they were among the people that learned metalwork and goldsmith from the Europeans. They were the inventors of cowrie currency which they named; Owo Eyo. They were using Owo Eyo till the Europeans came and spoilt the cowries, that brought the invention of coins – Owo Ijebu. Aside from the fact that they were mainly farmers, the Ijebu people were also good at fishing, weaving, carving, painting, and hunting.



Brief History Of The Most Popular Subethnic Group In The Yoruba Tribe - The Ijebu People
Owo Eyo image credit:google.com)

 

In Ijebuland, they have festive periods that are always colorful and respected. They have the Ojude Oba, an annual festival that was marked out to celebrate the first Muslim-converts of Ijebu that paid homage to the Oba, this festival happens on every third day of Eid-el-Kabir. A day every Ijebu person comes together to honor their Oba, the Awujale, and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland.

Brief History Of The Most Popular Subethnic Group In The Yoruba Tribe - The Ijebu People
The Awujale (image credit: google.com)

 

They have the Agemo Deity festival which is been celebrated between the months of July and August. The Oro festival which comes every June or July for community cleansing. Women are not permitted to come out on the night of Oro. They have Leguru which they celebrate in August – the self-sacrifice of Onisemu Leguru that gave himself to save Ijebu-Ode from the Lagoon. They also have the Egungun, Jigbo, and Obinrin.

Brief History Of The Most Popular Subethnic Group In The Yoruba Tribe - The Ijebu People
Ijebu People during celebration (image credit: google.com)

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Buchi Prinzy Henry
A lazy writer, and a freelancer. An African who believes in reviving back the African history and tradition back to our memories. Mental emancipation is my mission. I write on History Category at 54history.com

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