History of Yoruba – Origins and Early History 2
…Continued from the previous series…
We may readily detect a dialectic alteration of the name Nimrod in the name Lamurudu (or Namurudu).
Whomever this Nimrod was, we cannot tell whether this is the son of Hasoiil or Nimrod, the Bible’s “mighty hunter,” or whether both descriptions refer to the same person, but this extract not only confirms the tradition of their origin but also sheds new light on the legend.
Arabia is most likely the “Mecca.” “based on our tradition.
It is well known that the descendants of Nimrod (Phoenicians) were brought to Arabia during a conflict, established there, and were later pushed to Africa by religious persecution. Additionally, the word Yoruba comes from Yarba, their first permanent residence in Africa.
Yarba is the Hausa word for Yoruba, which is Yarriba.
It is fascinating because, in Mahomet’s history, we hear of a similar flight of his first adherents from Mecca to the East Coast of Africa (the first Hegira), also owing to religious persecution; this fact serves to demonstrate that the tales as received by tradition include no improbabilities.
Additionally, they traveled from Upper Egypt to He Ife as shown by the sculptures often referred to as the “Ife Marbles,” many of which can still be seen in Ile Ife to this day and are thought to be the work of the race’s early ancestor.
They are entirely Egyptian in appearance.
The most prominent of these is what is known as the ” Opa Oramiyan” (Oramiyan’s staff), an obelisk that stands on the location of Oraimiyan’s alleged burial and features characters carved into it that indicate a Phoenician provenance.
Three or four of these sculptures are presently on display at the British Museum’s Egyptian Court, demonstrating that they are related pieces of art.
The only safe inferences we can make about the Yorubas’ most likely origins from these assertions and stories, whether real or mythological, are the following:
1. They originated in Upper Egypt or Nubia.
2. They were subjects of Nimrod, the Egyptian conqueror of Phoenician ancestry, and they accompanied him on his conquests to Arabia, where they lived for a time.
As we shall see throughout this history, the way subjects refer to themselves as “children” or “offspring” of their sovereigns is all too well-known in this country.
3. They were expelled from Arabia for practicing their own style of worship, which was either paganism or, more likely, a corrupted form of Eastern Christianity (which included image worship, which Moslems despise).
Additionally, the priest’s name ” Asara ” is peculiar; it is so similar to ” Anasara, “a term commonly used by Moslems to refer to Christians (which means followers of the Nazarene ‘) that it is likely that the revolution mentioned was in connection with Mohammedanism and the corrupt form of Christianity prevalent at the time.
Finally, the precious relic known as Idi is undoubtedly another mistake due to its wrapping and preservation, which is said to have been a copy of the Koran.
There are several copies of the Koran in our nation, but they are not revered, and how did this become an object of worship? The holy book of the opposing party!
One cannot help but conclude that the book was not the Koran, but a roll-bound copy of the Holy Scriptures, which is how ancient manuscripts were kept.
Given that the Koran being the only religious book known to subsequent generations who had been cut off from Christianity for centuries following the massive diaspora into the heart of Africa, it is reasonable for their historians to conclude that the object tied up was the Koran immediately.
It might thus be demonstrated that the Yorubas’ forefathers, who originated in Upper Egypt, were either Coptic Christians or at the very least had some knowledge of Christianity.
If this is the case, it may explain how traditional legends about the creation, the flood, Elijah, and other scriptural characters became popular among them, as well as indirect myths about our Lord, dubbed “son of Moremi.”
However, let us finish the narrative as custom dictates.
Oduduwa and his sons swore mortal hate of their country’s Moslems and vowed to avenge themselves on them, but the former perished at Ile Ife before he could march against them.
His eldest son Okcinbi, also known as Idekoseroake, died there, leaving seven princes and princesses who later became famous.
They gave rise to the Yoruba nation’s different tribes.
His firstborn was a princess who married a priest and became the mother of the legendary Olowu, the Owns’ progenitor.
The second kid was also a princess, who became the mother of the Alaketu, the Ketu people’s progenitor.
The third, a prince, was crowned King of Benin.
The fourth, the Orangun, became King of Ila; the fifth, the Onisabe, or King of the Sabes; the sixth, the 0lupopo, or King of the Popos; and the seventh and last born, Oraniyan, who was the progenitor of the Yorubas proper, or as they are more precisely designated, Oyos.
These princes became kings who wore crowns, as opposed to vassals who wore coronets called Akoro, a high-crowned headgear embroidered with silver.
However, it is worth noting that the Olowu’s father was a commoner, not a blood royal, yet he became one of the crowned heads.
The following explains how this occurred:
Yoruba princesses had (and still have) the freedom to marry men of any status; the King’s eldest daughter chose to marry her father’s priest, for whom she possessed the Olowu.
This young prince was playing on his grandfather’s knees one day when he tugged at the crown on his head; the indulgent parent then placed it on the child’s head, but, like some spoiled children, he refused to give it up when required, and so it was left with him, the grandfather replacing it with another.
The kid wore the crown until he fell asleep in his mother’s arms, at which point she removed it and gave it to her father, who advised her to retain it for her son, who appeared so eager to have it.
As a result, the Olowu has the same right as his uncles to wear the crown.
The Alaketu, i.e., the ancestor of the Ketu people, was later granted the same power.
As previously said, Orafiyan was the youngest of Oduduwa’s grandsons, yet he eventually became the wealthiest and most recognized.
The story goes as follows: When their grandfather died, his property was unequally divided among his children: the King of Benin inherited his money (cowry shells), the Orangun of Ila inherited his wives, the King of Sabe inherited his cattle, the Olupopo inherited the beads, the Olowu inherited the garments, and the Alaketu inherited the crowns, and nothing was left for Oraniyan but the crowns.
According to others, he was out on a warlike expedition at the time of the division and was deprived of all movable property.
Oranyan, on the other hand, was content with his part, which he immediately set to good use with utmost dexterity.
He held his brothers as tenants on his property, receiving money, women, livestock, beads, clothes, and crowns as rentals, all of which were more or less reliant on the soil and derived nourishment from it.
And he was chosen in the direct line of succession to replace his father as King.
His brothers were given the different provinces, which they controlled more or less autonomously, with Oranyan being appointed Alafin or Lord of the Royal Palace at ile Ife.