Stemming Yoruba Decline (II/III): Rise of the Oyos & the end of Yoruba nationhood

The Imperial expansion of the Oyo Yoruba from the 1600s-1800’s destroyed the Yoruba confederacy and ethnic identity. Briefly restored from 1940-1970, the Yorubas experienced major economic gains. Now as Nigeria’s unitary system constrains Yoruba identity, the Yorubas have again entered into modern decline.


 

Africa | His Majesty The Alafin Of Oyo by John Howard Sanden. Painting (Oil on Canvas) || Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III (born 15 October 1938) is the Alaafin, or traditional ruler, of the Yoruba state of Oyo.

Oba Adeyemi III, 43rd Alaafin of Oyo Circa 1970

Oyo’s totems were Jakuta (Thunder) & War (Ogun). The Oyos lived true to their totemic spirits dominating other Yorubas for 200 years with negative implications for Yoruba national identity

Adebayo Alonge (Solutions Ideator)

Oral traditions date the founding of Oyo-Ile to circa 1300 by either Oranyan (citing Oyo sources) or Shango (citing Ife sources). Within a 100 years it would become a formidable inland power extending from modern day Iseyin in Nigeria’s southwest to as far North as the bend of the River Niger where the River Moshi junctions off in Nigeria’s north central region.

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