Today, we continue our expose of the Igbo aborigines of Ile Ife by revealing that the one of the aboriginal Igbo Kings (Obatala) of Ile Ife that Oduduwa met there founded the Owu Empire of today. Remember that the Obatalas had several extra titles, including Oba Igbo (King of the Igbos) and Obi Osere Igbo. Today, Osere is a title found in Owu areas of Igbo land, a link back to Obatala. But let us look at how the Owu’s were formed.
Note: Many do not want the fact exposed that the Igbos (of all people) are the aborigines of Ile Ife, and will dispute your facts even with insults if you bring it up. But the truth cannot be kept u Der wraps forever. It is not as if the Igbos are claiming Ile Ife. They just want history respected. That’s all.
Having said that, let’s jump into the matter at hand. Read below:
Obatala: Husband of the first princess of Ile-Ife, Iyunade, and father of Ajibosin, the first Olowu. He was also the Ifa High Priest and Spiritual Consultant to Oduduwa among many other monarchs in the now the West African sub-region. Ifa divination ability was second nature to Obatala being reportedly the son and scholar of Agbonmiregun Setilu, the acclaimed Ifa progenitor from Nupeland.
Obatala also had considerable farming interests as the owner of vast cotton plantations located adjacent to the River Niger in the Savannah region, presumably acquired from his vast earnings as an International Ifa Consultant – which earned him the appellation of ‘Olowu’ or cotton owner.
Obatala was larger than life and was no less prominent than Oduduwa, the acclaimed patriarch of the Yorubas. In fact, he has been deified as the head and oldest of the Orishas who created the physical world at the behest of Olodumare.
It is also claimed that Obatala had arrived Ile-Ife down a mythical chain long before Oduduwa arrived by similar means, and ruled the people before the latter came to stage a civil war which deposed Obatala as leader. The two were later reconciled and Obatala agreed to assist Oduduwa’s reign through his Ifa Divination.
Oduduwa granted his first daughter, Iyunade, to the Ifa High Priest perhaps as part of their truce concessions.As a roving Ifa consultant, Obatala became very wealthy and invested heavily in vast land holdings in the savannah region which he employed in cotton farming, an occupation that earned him the appellation of Baba-Olowu (cotton lord).
Ajibosin was to inherit a large chunk of these which formed the bedrock of his original Owu Kingdom at the fringe of the Nupe country.As an Orisha, Obatala has some of the largest followings and worshippers both at home and in the Diaspora, being matched perhaps only by Orisha Ogun and Sango adherents.