This is one of my articles written as an undergraduate. I love to know more about local places, local cultures, and local drugs. I use my blog to keep developing my duckling skills as I get to know more about several local places. Tadese Faforiji, a student of history.
I hardly slept during the Arake festival in order to witness the rituals involved, but unfortunately, we were to be indoors starting from 3 pm. (Faforiji Tadese. O)
Where is Igangan-Ijesha?
Igangan-Ijesha, also Igangan-Amuta Gesi, is an ancient town in the southwestern part of Ilesha, Osun State, Nigeria. It is about 12½ kilometres away from Ilesha with 25m of land. Like other Yoruba communities, the now Igangan-Ijesha had been in existence for over 650 years ago.
They were known to have tremendously thrived in agriculture, and are known for their value for culture.
Now, it is now an urbanized city that enjoys adequate electricity, water supply, and other needs for human survival, which graded the community development and drove her to apogee.
Founded about 600 years ago, Igangan-Ijesha now had 26 vassal communities that revered the beaded crown Loye of Igangan-Ijesha.
History of Igangan-Ijesha
It is not unusual to trace the history of any contemporary Yoruba community to the great Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yorubas. The historic link of Igangan-Ijesha to Ile-Ife is directly sophisticated.
Arake founded Igangan-Ijesha. Arake migrated from Oke-Ahun, Efon Alaaye (now in Ekiti State) to now Igangan-Ijesha. Arake started the course of state creation, while he retained the chieftaincy title.
Igangan-Ijesha was then like a manorial settlement. The emergence of a viable kingship institution could be posited to be the efforts of Adejoorin, who journeyed from Ila-Oragun and settled at Igangan-Ijesha after signing a ‘modus-Vivendi’s pact with Arake, the premier chief.
Arake was the chief while Adejoorin was the king. A situation that is known as ‘contrapuntal paramountcy.’ So, therefore, led to the development of the monarchical system, which remains till today.
According to Oba Adetomiwa Akanni Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha, the chiefs (Check names of chieftaincy positions in Igangan-Ijesha) and the king worked hand-in-hand to govern the early settlers.
Unlike other parts of Nigeria, the pact was more of cooperation, love, harmony and which later led to prosperity.
These two figures- Arake and Adejoorin- are the founders of Igangan-Ijesha. Perhaps the vassal communities were captured by Adejoorin, who culturally set up the kingship institution when he became the first king and Arake the first chief. The efforts of both figures led to what is now Igangan-Ijesha.
The political history of this community depicts a kind of monarchical system of government synonymous with the Old Oyo Empire’s archaic and ancient system of administration.
A monarchical system emerged in this region following the consolidation of the place by the aforementioned figures.
It had been under many Kings and notably, there were always unique developments under these kings. Typically, Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha ruled from the palace.
A paradigm shift to the place of the then Kings. He is respected and revered. He is a crowned king. This portrays the summitry position of an honourable ruler.
The title, ‘Loye of Igangan-Ijesha,’ is used to refer to the king. This title took the beginning from the community’s cultural history. It relates to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the people.
The political institution is a kingship institution, just like other Yoruba communities. The kingship institution is of course a perfect framework for furthering the security of the community as well as economic development.
The king rules the people and the chiefs play significant roles in the administration of the community. They advise the Oba in policymaking and other things.
With the roles of the king and chiefs, the security of the community works in network and also peace and harmony are enhanced with the resultant effect of community integration and furtherance of good governance.
Each chief has a different role he/she plays to support the king. The town crier, for an instance, imparts the message of the Oba to the people in the community.
Now the role of this office faces challenges of civilization as many festivals are announced on Radio, Television, etc prior to the day. However, the town crier still covers the area of Oba- Community diplomacy. Summarily, the political system is monarchical and democratic in nature.
The mainstay of the economy is agriculture. Igangan-Ijesha has thrived in producing agricultural produce historically and fortunately she still currently holds a significant position in the production of cash crops- like cocoa, kola nut, oil palm- as well as arable crops.
The rich land favours agricultural practice. It has two seasons in the 12-month calendar. The rainy season is from May to practically November, and the dry season is from December to April.
The rainiest months are July and September. The soothing ecological condition attracts settlers to different parts of Ijeshaland. In the dry season, the bush burning method is mostly applied. Actually, agriculture is the mainstay economy yet the community is not economically parochial.
The hunters also hunt games and this work is taken professionally as these people went too far but lovely to harmonize themselves in the peer group. This is a type of economy aimed to strengthen confraternity instead of personal gains.
In retrospect, one could posit that Oke Oja, a street in Igangan-Ijesha, was the first base of peer association in Igangan-Ijesha, taking observation from the friendly ecological condition of this area and the now extreme development in the pattern of settlement
.The market operates on Thursdays. Everyone meets at the market on Thursdays to buy and sell goods of value to them. Before the invention of money, the trade-by-barter system was applied. No wonder there are many cowries in Igangan-Ijesha. The cowries were units of transactions.
With the emergence of civilization and urbanization, the economy of this region is more diverse. Though agriculture plays the main role, but supportive in some senses. There are many supermarkets, malls, and mini-marts among others.
The youths also made marks in craftsmanship as typified by their handiworks like weaving baskets, beads, and the women dying Aso Oke.
With the immense growth, several people from other communities come to Igangan-Ijesha to trade on Thursdays. All in all, Igangan-Ijesha has a standard economy.
Before the glory of indigenous administration was shattered by the force of colonization, the sociocultural setting of all the Yorubaland remained cherished and highly revered.
Igangan-Ijesha is arguably the epicentre of Yoruba culture in the southwestern part of Ilesha, the epicentre of Ijeshaland.
This region had maintained a high standard of diplomatic relations with communities, especially vassal communities like Owode-Igangan, and Onisere-Igangan, among others. The maintenance of relationships with other polities stands as an arbiter for warring communities.
The hunters association help in maintaining high standard security as they are responsible to ward off external aggression and fight against thieves.
Noticeable is the prohibition of stealing in the community which has been perfectly maintained by the administration of Oba Adetomiwa Akanni Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha. Igangan-Ijesha maintained her cultural heritage despite the challenges posed by the so-called civilization. Many festivals are held, they include:
Festivals in Igangan-Ijesha
ARAKE: This is done once a year. Every citizen prays for blessings in the overall activities of the community. There is usually immense production every year when this festival is observed.
The Loye of Igangan-Ijesha plays a significant role in this festival as he prays for the community in general. (Arake Festival under construction)
WADOGUN is the god of longevity. Praying to WADOGUN also prolonged the lives of the people in general and the king in particular. OLOJO is observed by the king, in which the king worships the OLOJO and prays for blessings and guidance for good governance.
He prays for his household and the easiness of the community’s administration. OLOKUN is also observed once a year. OLÕKUN: This is usually observed by the king. He worships the OLÕKUN with Akara (beans cake). The king prays for his wives and children and, himself.
OGUN FESTIVAL: This festival is observed once or twice a year. The OGUN (god of iron) shrine is worshipped by the hunters. It’s an act of seeking protection from the OGUN, against any peril in their hunting activities. It is usually accompanied with cultural dance and eating of beans and carousing with ’emu’. Such ballad may be sung:
“Awa na oni rija ogun
Awa na oni rija ogun
Ogun oni feje we ka loore
Awa na oni rija ogun”
” We’re save from calamity
We’re save from disaster
God of iron detest our blood
We’re save from war.”
It is pertinent to note that this practice still prevails in the community and this serves as a great bond among the youths and people generally.
The Now Igangan-Ijesha
Looking into the gleeful historical development of this region says a lot about its contemporary state. Verily, the ancient practices are still in practice and their valour remains untainted.
In addition, Igangan-Ijesha has developed drastically in the last decades especially when the now Loye of Igangan-Ijesha, Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas throned.
Igangan-Ijesha dominates ward 2A new division under ward 2 Local Government in the State of Osun. Besides, her citizens take lead in public and civil services.
Transportation and communication system
Transportation and communication system has developed drastically over the years. Now travelling to Ilesha, Ile-Ife, Ondo, and other border-sharing cities is a cakewalk. Igangan-Ijesha has a branched office of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (N.U.R T.W.) and several Point of Sale(POS) ventures.
The Town Hall
It has a big hall that can accommodate thousands of people. There are many primary and schools. Amongst them are Igangan Community Middle and High School, St Bartholomew’s Primary School, N.U.D primary School, Omotola Nur/Pry School, Ben Nur/Pry School, Islamic Model School, Seed of Greatness Standard Nur/Pry School among others.
The Community Health Centre
The community health centre receives equipment directly from the federal government. There are many mosques and churches in Igangan-Ijesha.
The Central Mosque is located beside the Oba’s palace and other Ratibi mosques- oke Suna mosque, Surulere mosque, and oke Ayeso mosque among others- are in different streets of the community.
There are many churches among which are Anglican Communion, Christ Apostolic Church, Cherubim and Seraphim, Redeem Christian Church of God, Celestial Church of Godmong others.
Streets in Igangan-Ijesha
There are many streets in the community; the more people build houses, the more new names are given to new streets. Among the streets are Oke Oja, Oke Iroko Omo, Idi Ayan, Oke Ayeso, Ogbon Tuntun, etc. And fortunately with a crowned king who rules from the palace!
Conclusively, with the efforts of Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha, the community gained the attention of some foreign countries. Through the ‘mutual agricultural benefits’ between Igangan-Ijesha and some other foreign countries.
The Volunteer Service Oversee(VSO), members of which are mostly from Germany, the UK, Canada, Kenya, etc., annually come to Igangan-Ijesha to acquire knowledge from the Community Citizen Service Volunteers (CCSV), who train the VSO members lots on agricultural activities.
Examining the history, political, socio-cultural, and economic dispositions of Igangan-Ijesha, it could be surmised that the glory of this beautiful community is in a continuum, precisely with the continuous efforts of Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha.
Citation: Faforiji T.O. (May 23, 2021). History of Igangan-Ijesha. Retrieved fromhttps://tadexprof.com/2021/05/history-of-igangan-ijesha/
This work is interpreted from the Oral Tradition narrated by Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha, to the writer, Faforiji Tadese Obaloluwa, on the 26th of June 2020
- Igangan-Ijesha. Facebook. Retrieved at https://www.facebook.com/Igangan-Ijesa-Osun-State-Nigeria-1101120939958221/posts
- Ben International Schools, Igangan-Ijesha
- History of Igangan-Ijesha. Tadexprof
- Video of the Saba-Ogboni Igangan-Ijesha...here
- Igangan-Ijesha: Names of the Chieftaincy Positions- Tadexprof