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AGUNPOPO is a close associate of Alaafin


The history of Agunpopo is a fascinating example of the complex power dynamics and shifting roles within the Oyo Empire. From its humble beginnings as a trusted advisor to its evolution into a position of significant influence, the Agunpopo played a vital part in the court’s internal politics and religious practices. Although its influence has waned in recent times, the title remains an important symbol of the Oyo Empire’s rich history and cultural heritage.

The title of Agunpopo in the Oyo Empire is shrouded in some mystery and conflicting accounts. Here’s a brief summary of what we know:


The role emerged around the 16th century, during the reign of Alaafin Atiba. Some sources claim it was created for Falade, a former domestic of Atiba’s father, while others suggest it was granted to Olukokun, a close confidante of the king. Regardless of its origin, the Agunpopo quickly became a vital position within the Oyo court.


  • The Agunpopo’s primary duty was to prepare and administer medicines for the Alaafin and his wives.
  • This involved a deep understanding of Yoruba herbalism and traditional healing practices.
  • Additionally, the Agunpopo served as a trusted advisor and confidante to the Alaafin, often privy to sensitive information and court politics.

Evolution and Controversy:

Over time, the role of Agunpopo evolved beyond medicine. Some accounts suggest the Agunpopo held significant military power, commanding a bodyguard of Popo soldiers.

This potential influence led to tension with other powerful figures within the Oyo court, particularly the Oyo Mesi, the council of advisors to the Alaafin.

In the late 18th century, the Agunpopo position became embroiled in a political struggle that ultimately led to the downfall of Alaafin Abiodun.


Despite the controversies, the Agunpopo remains a significant figure in Oyo history and Yoruba culture.

The title is still bestowed upon individuals with expertise in traditional medicine and a close relationship with the Oyo royal family.

The legacy of the Agunpopo serves as a reminder of the complex interplay of power, tradition, and medicine within the Oyo Empire.

Note: It’s important to acknowledge that there are different versions of the Agunpopo’s history, and some details remain unclear. The information presented here is based on a synthesis of various sources, but further research is encouraged to delve deeper into this fascinating aspect of Oyo history.