The Brief History of Oore of Otun

Oore of Otun

Tradition has it that the Oore emerged from the Okun Moba (Moba Sea) in Lagos with a calabash containing water in his hand, beads around his neck and a beaded crown on his head. Oore also known as Omolokun had no known earthly father nor mother.

Oore, had settled in different places at different times, starting from Moba near Mushin in Lagos. Some of the places they passed through after Ile-lfe includes Akure, Oke Olodun and lpole before moving to the present site Odo Ira over 400 years ago. Oore/Omolokun at one time or the other was at IIe-Ife and had a very strong relationship with Oduduwa, the progenitor of Yorubas. The Oore was formally known and referred to as Omolokun. The Oore was also in existence during the itinerant periods when people migrated from one place to the other.

The relationship between Oore and Oduduwa was a very special one and at a time during his stay at IIe-Ife, Oduduwa mysteriously went blind and efforts to restore his sight proved abortive. Oore and Oduduwa lived at the same time in Ile-Ife. However, there was a period in time Oduduwa became blind, and all efforts to resuscitate his eyesight proved very difficult and abortive. It was Omolokun, now Oore, who consulted the Ifa Oracle on behalf of Oduduwa, and said that except they fetch water from the Ocean to prepare certain things, Oduduwas eyesight would not be restored. 

Oduduwa called all his children and wanted to know, who will volunteer to go and fetch the water from the Ocean and as history will have it, one of Oduduwa’s youngest children, Ajibogun, volunteered to go and fetch the water. And when he went, it took an unusually long time for him to return. So, everybody, including Oduduwa thought Ajibogun had died.

At this point, when all the other children of Oduduwa realised that their father was getting old; they decided to have their own inheritance and migrated to form their own kingdoms. During these periods, Oore kept re-assuring Oduduwa, that Ajibogun will return safely. Before Ajibogun’s return to Ife, all the other children of Oduduwa had left the place, whenever these children left Ile-Ife, whenever they get to where they were to settle they will as expected send a message back home indicating where they had settled.

Oore was always with Oduduwa. So Oore knew, where every son of Oduduwa settled. And when Ajibogun came back with the water, it was the Oore who did all the rituals that were necessary, and Oduduwa regained his sight. Oore took part of the water brought from Okun Moba to wash the eyes of Oduduwa before his sight was restored. This feat performed by Oore endeared him to Oduduwa to the extent that he called him ”Oloore mi” (meaning my benefactor). This was how Oore derived his name.

It was at this point, that Oduduwa started to call Oore my benefactor (Oloremi). Oloremi is the full name of Oore. That was the level of closeness between Oore and Oduduwa in the time of old. It was after Oduduwa had regained his sight that Oore decided to leave him with Oduduwa demanding a promise from Oore that anytime he Oduduwa needed Oore, Oore must find the time to come to him. Oore was the last person to leave Ile-Ife.

Since then, Oore is the only rightful person allowed by tradition to announce the passage of any Ooni of Ife. So, when Oduduwa passed on, Oore was the first person they sent for and Oore had to go back to Ile-Ife and informed all Oduduwa children about the passage of their father. That was the situation and that was where the history was established that anytime an Ooni in Ile-Ife passed on, it is the Oore that has the right to know about such death before any other person. Furthermore, before a new Ooni can be installed, certain traditional rites must be performed to invoke the spirit of four (4) very ancient Obas in Yorubaland. The Oore is one of them.


Published by oloolutof

Urbanologist, Geographer, Traditionalist and Oral historian. ​I am a versatile, personable, computer literate and goal – driven achiever. I have good communication skill with ability to interact at different levels. I am self –motivated, can easily assimilate new ideals and quite adaptive to work in different environments. Studied in University of Jos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and University of Calabar.

One thought on “The Brief History of Oore of Otun

  1. When I read some stories of how some kings came to be or even story of how a virgin brought forth a being without any mating, or how a god gave a revelation to a man through an Angel, I ask myself if those stories are possible.
    How can Oore emerged from the sea without a – ‘no known earthly father nor mother?’
    And for the mere fact that this is no longer reproducible makes a myth(a widely held but mistaken belief) and not a fact.

    Liked by 1 person

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