Do you know anything from the history of Ondo State? Do you want to know more? Check out this article, then, and find out if you do know a lot about this incredible land, its traditions, its people and heritage.
A brief history of Ondo State and some geographic facts
Ondo State, which we know now, was created on February 3, 1976. Now, the closest eastern neighbors are Edo and Delta States, the western boundaries are guarded by Ogun and Osun States. The northern areas lie close to Ekiti and Kogi States, and the southern part opens into the Atlantic Ocean. Ekiti State was originally part of Ondo State but was made a separate state in 1996.
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Today, the state occupies about 15,000km2. The area is inhabited by more than 3 million people with the biggest number and the highest density of the population in Akure, the capital city of the state.
The majority of people within the state belong to the Yoruba tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Nigeria. Foreigners and other ethnic groups are not very numerous here.
Ondo State is mostly agricultural and does not have many impressive urban sites. Instead, it offers tourists wildlife attractions like waterfalls, picturesque hills and so on.
Besides that, the state is a world’s recognized place with the highest chances for local women of giving birth to twins. The Ondo city itself was founded by twin sisters and the number of twins of all possible ages is one of the main attractions of the state.
The historical Ondo Kingdom and its culture
The history of Ondo State and its cities is mostly like the rich history of other Yoruba settlements and lands. However, this region has its specific features and peculiarities. For instance, the dialect people speak here is different from many other dialects of the Yoruba language. It often takes time for the non-indigenous people to understand the language people speak in this area.
The Ondo Kingdom is naturally ruled by an Osemawe, the one who develops the land as a king and strengthens its connections to other regions of the country and other cities. The Osemawe is usually an indigene of the state and belongs to the Yoruba tribe.
The history of Ondo State showed that it was founded by the daughter of the Alaafin of Oyo. She was the first Osemawe here, a direct child of the Alaafin. She was sent away from her father’s palace several years after her birth. This dramatic story is closely connected to place of Ondo twins in the history of state.
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The point was that during her father’s absence, his wife gave birth to many twins. After the Alaafin’s return, he ordered the twins to leave and marked their faces with a single cut on the cheek. He supposed the wound would cause a lot of pain to then on the way. Yet, they survived and sought a place where they could stay.
In the meanwhile, the Alaafin died and the twins could return to their homeland from their wandering. So they did but were rejected by the new Alaafin. Finally, the wanderers reached a place called Ita Ijama. There they were received with a kingly respect. Yet, the stay was not long as the princess wanted to find a place where they could stay for good.
So they reached a hill now known as Oke Agunla. There was a hut on the hill where a warrior from Benin lived. He offered his hut to the Princesses as a sign of his respect for her. This was a long story but this is how some major cities in the Ondo State were created. The Ondo people still consider a small town of Epe the initial heart of their origin.
Even today many cultural events in the Ondo State turn to the town of Epe as a place where pilgrimages are made. What’s more, all the dead Osemawe were buried in a very specific way – their heads were buried in Epe and the rest of the bodies – in Ondo.
The modern people of the Ondo State are farmers, traders, and sellers of food products. Another historical relic, the palace of Osemawe, which was built more than a century ago, is now successfully refurbished and can compete with other cultural places in the country. Another part of the traditional life includes festivals, which are held four times during the year.
The state is inhabited by both Muslims and Christians and so cities are packed with both churches and mosques. This blend of cultures and rich history makes the state unique and really deserving the name of a cultural center.
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