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The progenitor of Yoruba race.

Oduduwa the reputed founder and ancestor of the race is really a mythical personage. The Etymology of the term is from Odu(ti o) da Iwa. Whatever is usually large as a large pot or container is termed Odu: the term then implies the great container the author of existence. According to Ife Mythology Oduduwa was the son of Olodu Mare, i.e. the father or lord of Odu;mare implies cannot go beyond i.e. the Almighty. Oduduwa was sent by Olodumare from heaven to create the earth. Olokun i.e. the goddess of the ocean was the wife of Oduduwa, Oranmiyan and Isedale their children, and Ogun a grand-child. Such is the desire of most nations to find a mythical origin for themselves through their kings and ancestors.

Oduduwa is a prominent figure in Yoruba mythology and history, regarded as the progenitor of the Yoruba people. According to Yoruba oral tradition, Oduduwa is considered the first king and ruler of the Yoruba kingdom in what is now southwestern Nigeria. He is often described as a divine or semi-divine being who played a crucial role in the creation of the Yoruba civilization.

Legend has it that Oduduwa descended from the heavens, carrying a handful of earth, a special symbol of divine authority, and a cockerel. He used these items to establish the first Yoruba city, Ife (Ile-Ife), and became its king. Oduduwa’s descendants are believed to have founded other Yoruba city-states and kingdoms, leading to the expansion of the Yoruba people across the region.

Oduduwa’s legacy extends to various aspects of Yoruba culture, including their religion, governance, and traditions. The Yoruba hold him in high esteem, and many noble Yoruba families trace their lineage back to him. Today, Oduduwa’s significance in Yoruba history remains a vital part of the cultural identity and heritage of the Yoruba people.

Oduduwa died peacefully at Ile-Ife and was deified, being worshipped to this day by the Ife’s, and up to the time of the British Protectorate, human sacrifices were offered to him at regular intervals. The soil of Ile Ife is said to be sacred to him. He was the grandfather and great-grandfather of renowned Kings and Princes who ruled and made history in the Yoruba country. The number of years embraced by this period is unknown, but it includes the time during which Yoruba kingdom was in prosperity and the Kings despotic. The capital of the kingdom then was Ile Ife. The Basorun of this reign was Olorunfun-mi.