Ìlà-Ọrangun was founded by Ọ̀rangun ‘Fàgbàmílà Ajagun-ńlá, popularly known as’ Ọ̀rangun’. He was one of the sons of Odùduwà. And the town he founded, Ìlà-Ọrangun is the cradle of Ìgbómìnà people.
Opinions differ as to how he got the name “Ìlà-Ọrangun”, one version says, when Fàgbàmílà Ajagun-ńlá was about to leave Ootu-Ifẹ̀, his father Odùduwà gave him half (Ilaji) of his property. Also, the Odù Ifá (Oracle Corpus) that appeared during divinition for him in Ootu-Ifẹ̀ was ‘Ọsẹ Méjì’, which related to him that all was well and straightforward. Thus, “ọ̀rọ̀ mi gùn” – my life, plans are straight forward was derived. Thus,
He was said to have uttered that “Ìlàjì ní mo pín, ọ̀rọ̀ mi gùn – I got half of the property, my life is straight” which later become “Ìlà-Ọrangun.”
This story is not probable. One, it’s known that Ọ̀ranmiyan had many children and there was no account that one of his children got half of his property. Two, Ọ̀rangun was said to inherited all Odùduwà’s crowns (Ìlà ni adé wá, wọn o k’owó ra adé rí: Ìlà is the home of crowns, they never bought them).
Another version says, after Odùduwà had two females (mothers of Ajibọsin, founder of Òwu Kingdom and Alákétú, now in Dahomey, Benin Kingdom), he therefore consulted Ifá which advised that he offered placatory sacrifices in order to have a male children. And when done so, Odùduwà was blessed with a male child whom he named Ifàgbàmílà (Ifá salvaged me).
Odùduwà was said to be overwhelmed with joy by this development which he saw as a victory over his enemies. He therefore added other tell-tale names (this is in Yorùbá customs till date) to the one already given to the lucky child. He called him ‘Ọ̀ràn-mi-gùn’ (literally means, my cause is straight forward) which was contracted to Ọ̀rangun. Young Fàgbàmílà was born on a day known in the Ifa Oracular Calendar as “Ọjọ́ Ìlà-yẹ-ẹ̀fun”. Being philosophic students of Mother Nature, the ancients noted this, thusly explains why Ìlà has come to be the name tag of his consequent seat of government.
A loose tradition holds said that Ìlà was a corruption of Ńlá (big). This has been rationalized by calling the fact that Fàgbàmílà inherited all the wives of Odùduwà who were then housed in a mansion. He was thereafter referred to as ‘Ọ̀RÀN-MÌ -GÙN-ILE-ŃLÁ’, the origin of the full title Ọ̀rangun Ilé Ńlá.
This is not plausible being that every Yorùbá kingpin: ọba, baálé, Báálẹ, Mọgají, etc house is big. So, all of them are Onílé Ńlá.
RELATIONSHIP WITH ALÁRA, AJERO AND OLADILE
Note that Alára, Ajero, Ọ̀rangun and Ọladele left Ootu-Ìfẹ́ at same time to settle and take possession of virgin lands. This must probably be after the historical ‘Ijero Meeting’. After series of conquests, all of them settled – exception of Oladile. Alára settled in Aromọkọ-Ekiti, Ajero settled in Ijero-Ekiti, and Ọ̀rangun settled in Ìlà-Ọrangun, only Ọladile was told by Ifá not to settle until he came across an exceptionally thick clump of palm trees which he eventually found a completely uninhabited spot in a thick palm forest, near River Ọtín. He named the place “Iko-Ikin (Iko – a thick clump, Ikin – palm nuts), eventually became changed in time to” Kookin”….
The four towns eventually founded by these people are praised as, “Ọmọ Alára, Ọmọ Ajero, Ọmọ Ọ̀ràngun Ilé Ìlà” to show the historical relationship among these founders.
Òkùkù’s Anthem is more distinct about it, note towards the end:
“Òkùkù ooooo (2 times)
Òkùkù, Ìlú ólókìkí
(Òkùkù, a popular town)
‘Kòìkín n’isẹdalẹ Òkùkù
([Iko – a thick clump, Ikin – palm nuts, eventually became changed in time to] “ Kookin” gave name to our first settlement)
(Beside Ọtíń River)….
(Founded by Oladile)
Bàbá ńlá wà
(Who is known to Alára)
(Who is known to Ajero)
(Same to Ọ̀ràngun)”
However, it is not unnoticed that Oladile, Alára and Ajero descendants hold that their fathers were sons of Odùduwà. This is not true. Òkùkù has their anthem as a witness against them and no sons of Odùduwà was historically said to bear the name.
BACK TO THE RAIL….
Back to the rail, Fàgbàmílà Ajagun-Ńlá was a brave, powerful and great war leader. He fought side by side with Olugbon, Arẹsa, Oníkòyí and Olomu Aperan in various wars. He is said to be among those who helped Ọ̀ranmiyan to in battle with Ibaribas and the Nupes. The latter pacified him with marriage with Torosi, who gave birth Àjàká and Sango.
Fàgbàmílà founded and reigned at Igbó Ajagun-Ńlá for years and, according to traditional evidence, did not die but sank into the ground. In asserting this claim, the existence of a deity called ‘Ẹbọrà Ìlà’ which is in the custody of the Abodiyọ , a chief of Ìlà-Ọrangun is believed to be Fàgbàmílà’s spirit.
Fàgbàmílà was succeeded by one of his sons, Amotagesi who took the title Ọ̀rangun and reigned for a short period at Igbó Ajagun-Ńlá before he migrated with his people to a new settlement christened Ìlà-Yara.
He was succeeded by Ọ̀rangun Ọgboye, who in turn was succeeded by Ọ̀rangun Oboyun.
On the death of Ọ̀rangun Oboyun, there arose a serious tussle on succession bid between Apakiimo (founder of Oke-Ìlà-Ọrangun) and his younger brother, Oluókùn (who later reigned as Orangun Arutu at Ìlà Magbọn) who eventually led his followers to the ruins of Ìlà-Yàrá.
While leaving Ìlà-Yàrá, Ifa directed that the spike of ‘Ọ̀pá Oréré’ being carried along to the proposed new settlement should not be allowed to touch the ground until they get to such spot that they considered suitable for permanent abode. Incidentally Adegbiji, Oluókùn’s younger brother, who was carrying the staff inadvertently dropped it at a point when he was pressed to answer the call of nature; an incident but which was unknown to other members of the entourage. With the menace of earthworm in their later settlement, Ìlà Magbọn, they knew something was miss and consulted the oracle which revealed what had happened.
Enroute their journey to the new settlement, Arutu Oluókùn, being waned in age commanded the ground to open up, and he disappeared into its vault together with his Olórí and his Baba Kékeré.
The spot where this historical phenomenon occurred is known as “Párá Òkè” and it’s being worshipped by the descendants of Arutu to date. Sequel to this, the leadership fell on Adegbiji who became the Ọ̀rangun Igbonnibi in the present site.
Ìlà-Ọrangun is currently situated on latitude 8 Degree North of the equator and longitude 4 Degree East of the Greenwich. It’s about 145km northeast of Ilé-Ifẹ̀. It’s a gateway to both Ekiti and Kwara State and share boundaries with Ọ̀ra and Òkè-Ìlà Ọ̀ràngun to the north-east, Àgbàmú, Arádun, Rore and Àrán-Ọrin to the north, Ọyan to the West, Ọtań-Ayégbajú to the South West and Òkè-Ímésì in Ekiti State to the east.
The principal rivers of the town are: The River Ọsin, rising in Ìlà-Ọrangun along Ajaba road and flowing north-eastern path into the river Niger through many Ìgbómìnà towns. The River Aketi, rising behind the Ọ̀ràngun’s palace and flowing to the north. The river Ìsinmi which flows across Ọ̀ra road and serves as the source of water for Ìlà water works which is being treated and sent to the town for drinking. Other rivers include Ogbun, Opopo, Oyi, Ómí fúnfún, Magbọn, Aloyin, Takiti, Owada etc.
THE ÌGBÓMÌNÀS: GEOGRAPHY, TRADE AND BRANCHES
The Ìgbómìnàs (Igboona or Ogboona) are often grouped into two; the Ìgbómìnà Mósan and Ìgbómìnà Mòye.
The Moye group includes Òkè-Òdẹ, Oro-Àgọ́, Ọ̀ra, Oko-Ọlá, Idọfin and Àgùnjidistricts.
Mósan group comprises areas such as Omu-Aran, Ajasẹ, Ìgbàjá, Ìsìn, Òrò, Saarẹ̀, Esiẹ, Omupo, Idọfian and Ìlà-Ọrangun.
Geography apart, the Ìgbómìnà clan exhibits inseparable dialect, origins, values, culture, institutions and aspirations. For all across Ìgbómìnà land, the habit of eating Ewú Ìyàn and Ikásìn ọkà (or ọkà adagbon) [stale pounded yam and stale yam flour food] is familiar. These meals are a remake of the overnight leftovers of Àmàlà and Ìyàn, a delicacy that adds refreshing flavours of delicious tastes and aromas to the meals. The “new” taste is highly cherished in especially Omú-Aràn that its inhabitants have this refrain “ewú ìyàn d’Omú o d’ọtún”, meaning the re-make is no way inferior to the fresh one.
Also, Ìgbómìnà people posses the famous Ẹlẹ́wẹ̀ masquerade which is an Egungun representing the ancestors during special festivals.
They are ancient-hunters, renowned agriculturalists, skillful wood carvers and expert leather artists.
The Ìgbómìnà spread across what is eastern Kwara State and now northern Ọsun State. About 90%percent of these people live in the present day Ìsìn, Irẹpọdun and Ìfẹ́lodun local government parts of Kwara State, while the remaining occupy Ọ̀ra and Ìlà-Ọrangun areas of Ọsun State.
Ìgbómìnà land is adjoined on the west and northwest by major neighbours such as the Ọ̀yọ́-Yorùbá region, on the south and southwest by the Ìjẹ̀sà-Yorùbá region, on the south and southeast by the Ekiti-Yorùbá region, on the east by the Yagba-Yorùbá region, and on the north by the non-Yorùbá Nupe region south of the Niger River.
Today, the Ìgbómìnà people, apart from those found in Ìlà area, Ìgbómìnà Land is more precisely aligned into sixteen administrative parts in Kwara State. They can be wholly or partly found in these areas: Omu-Aran, Omupo, Ṣàárẹ, Òkè-Òdẹ, Ìgbàjá, Ajasẹ, Ìsìn, Oro, Oro-Àgọ́, Ile-Ire, Ọ̀ra, Oko, Ola, Esiẹ, Idọfian and Idọfin.
There are known compartments of Igbomina towns and villages in few other locals of Kwara State including Apado in Iponrin area, Jeba in Lanwa district, Apa-Ole, Joromu, Fufu etc., in Akanbi district and Ogbondoroko in Afon area.
Other minor neighbours of the Ìgbómìnà are the Ibọlọ sub-group of the cities of Ọffà, Ọyan and Òkùkù in the west.
They have their faces scarified with finer and more closely drawn lines, are more elegant than the same drawn bold, and too far apart. This is because they occupy midway position between Ọ̀yọ́ and Èkìtì, that explains why they are classed with Ọ̀yọ́, and by others with Èkìtìs. It will, perhaps, be more correct to say they are Ọ̀yọ́s with Èkìtì sympathies, so their facial marks are parallel like those of Ọ̀yọ́s, but long and far apart like those of Yagbas, yet not convergent in front. On the whole, speaking generally, the finer and more closely drawn lines, are more elegant than the same drawn bold, and too far apart…
So their tribal marks resemble both of the tribes.
Ìlá Ọ̀ràngun ọmọ Ógboyè,
Ìlà l’adé wá
Wọn o f’owó r’adé ri,
Awa l’ọmọ ogboyè gb’ọla.
Ìlú ẹrú kò gbọ́dọ̀ wọbẹ ìwọfà ọ gbọ́dọ̀ sún,
Ìwọfà tó ba sùn láàrọ ti alẹ̀ balẹ,
Ajagun-Ńlá a lo no gb’èràn, Amata àgbà ọ́ọ̀tọ àgùntàn, ẹ́ẹ̀ri Ọ̀rangun a lo n o gbà awọka
Ọmọ wiwọ ni wọn wọ̀ s’ẹbọ.
Ọmọ ewúrẹ Ìlà tí njẹ lẹsẹ gbàgede,
Àgùntàn Ìlà tíì jẹ lẹsẹ Yàrá
Àkùkọ ga-nga tíì jí kọ l’Alédè ìlà nìjọsì
T’ewé-t’ewé ni mo yàn ẹ̀kọ́ ninu ile wọn, ìhòòhò ni mo lọ yan àkàrà.
Ọmọ àgbàrá ṣe mẹta gbà’là nìjọsì;
Ìkan nínú a gba Ìpèrìn,
Ìkan a gbà òkè Ejigbo,
Ìkan tókú lo gbà Ilé Adejọrin ni Mágbọn,
Ibítí ap’erin si la ńpè l’ọgbun Iperin,
Ibí a p’àgbò si la ńpè l’òkè Ejigbo,
Ibí a p’ẹlẹ́dẹ̀ si la ńpè l’ókè Ẹdẹ
Ibí a tètè t’ẹdo si la ńpè ni Isẹdo
Ọmọ há ko’ni há kòtò, Ìlà ládé wá, wọn o kòwo ra adé rí
Ọmọ Alára, Ọmọ Ajero, Ọmọ Ọ̀ràngun Ilé Ìlà
Ọmọ o gbi ila gbìn oògùn, o gbìn oògùn gbìn ila
Ila ń so lóko, oògùn n min dugbẹ-dugbẹ lókè àjà,
Ẹ je ka mu ila j’ìyàn, ká mú oògùn wo ọmọ Ìlà dàgbà
Ọ̀ràngun tí pẹ lóye o d’ajẹ́, Agboluaje pẹ lórí ọba o d’asìwọ
Ìlà ọmọ sẹkuń-sẹkuń, Alára bàbà wù’ṣọ-wù’ṣọ
Complied By: Adebayo Sirojdeen Opeyemi (Gentle Soul)
Edited by: Jimoh Taofik Adekunle (Jimson Jaat Taofik)