Ile Ife before Oduduwa

The Ikedu tradition, though unpublicised is the oldest Ife tradition portraying the origin of the Yoruba people and it is clear from this tradition that Oduduwa did not belong to this early period of the emergence of the Yorubas’ as a distinct language group. it is hard to establish when the city of Ile-Ife was founded but it is recognised that Oduduwa was the first King of Ile Ife Kingdom. It is also known that there were between ninety three to ninety seven kings who had reigned at Ile-Ife before Oduduwa led his people to Ile-Ife. This was confirmed by the archeological evidence unearthed in and around Ile-Ife which dated back to 410 B.C that proves the possibility of human settlement before the advent of Oduduwa. Oduduwa though credited for the establishment of a centralised state at Ife is suggested to have encountered indigenous people in the region. This centralised state formed by Oduduwa has contributed to the Kingdom of Ile-Ife being the strong hold of indigenous worship as well as the spiritual headquarters of the Yoruba Kingdom.

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