Monday, 25 January 2016

YoruByte: SUPERIORITY BETWEEN THE ALAAFIN AND THE OONI, FACT OF THE MATTER

First of all I am immensely grateful to the two most prominent royal fathers Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamide Adeyemi III and Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi for their display of maturity and bringing together the whole Yoruba race again. I say to both revered fathers, KABIYEESI O!!! (As usual, with my chest flat on the floor). Both of them are great kings of Yoruba land and none should ever be disparaged!.
That being said, we need to clear the air on this superiority issue being bandied around by a lot of people without the sense of history. Some say The Alaafin is the supreme-most king in Yoruba land, while others say it is the Ooni. I would try to give an abridged version of the history of the two and let you, the YoruByte reader make your own decision.
So, it is an agreed fact that the progenitor of the Yoruba race is Oduduwa. Fact undisputed! It also known that Oduduwa had only one child, Okanbi. Fact Unchallenged! Furthermore, It is universally agreed that Okanbi had seven children, Fact Uncontroverted! 5 boys and 2 girls. His first-born was a princess who married his chief priest (the Onirisa) and the first male child of that union became the Olowu of Owu. The second child was also a princess, who became the mother of the Alaketu, the progenitor of the Ketu people (how these two boys [Olowu and Alaketu] who were children of princesses became kings is a story for another time). The third, a prince, became king of the Benin people. The fourth, Orangun, became the king of Ila. The fifth, the Onisabe (king of the Sabes [In Benin republic]). The sixth, Olupopo (king of the popos [Also in Benin Republic]). And the last prince was Oranmiyan. All these princes became Kings who wore crowns as distinguished from vassals who did not dare wear crowns but used coronets called Akoro. You can read up the full story of Oranmiyan from a previous post I made. I strongly advise that you read the post because it lays the foundation for this post.
Where the argument starts is with Oranmiyan. Infact, the benin people have their own arguments too with Oranmiyan but that is a story for another day. As you would have noticed from the geanealogy, the first of the Okanbi princes is the King of Benin and people have wondered why he is not said to be the most important Yoruba king. The issue is that, it is the first prince born AFTER ascension to the throne that is the crowned prince, irrespective of the existence of an elder brother.
Oranmiyan was the only son born after Okanbi ascended the throne, therefore, Oranmiyan became the crowned prince. None of his brothers contested this with him. Oranmiyan was a hunter/warrior, so he was given to expedition. After he became king in Ife (please note that up till Oranmiyan, no ife king used the title Ooni), Oranmiyan decided to expand his territories and so he set forth with some of his men to "enlarge his coast".

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