About The Great Ijebu People
A 500+ year history. A passion to remain united. Discover the
Ijebu of Yoruba land.
The Ijebu people have been an integral part of Yorubaland since pre-colonial times. History has it that the Ijebu Kingdom was formed on the orders of the Oba of Benin in the 15th century after the Ijebu people had migrated to their current territory from Sudan. An excerpt from the essayEthiopian History by Hailemariam claims that ancient Ethiopian immigrants met the Ijebus on the east coast of southern Sudan.
These claims are supported by the fact that Ijebus, Tigrians and ancient Axumites share common tribal identifiers – three vertical marks on the cheeks. The Ijebus’ funeral rights and the Agemo cult are also similar to those of the Egyptians and the Nubians.
In pre-colonial times, the kingdom was headed by the Awujale and had its capital and seat of power in Ijebu Ode. The Ijebu region of Yorubaland was highly organised and had its own political system overseen by the Awujale and the Osugbo.
The region was rich, having made its wealth from leveraging its importance as a trade route between Ibadan and Lagos.
Today, the Ijebu people live in the south-central part of Yorubaland. They are bordered to the east by Ondo, north by Ibadan, and the west by Egbaland.
Despite modernization and urbanization, the Ijebu people still work hard to stay united. Agemo signifies the unity of Ijebus. Every July, the Agemo Festival brings Ijebu people from the 16 Agemos together in Ijebu-Ode before moving to Imodi Mosan, where the Agemo Festival takes place.
At the Ojude Oba festival of Ijebu-Ode, held two days after the Ileya festival, Ijebus come together to pay homage to their king.