The story of Queen Luwoo is another proof that women held powerful positions in government in ancient times.
Queen Luwoo was the 21st Ooni of Ife, a paramount traditional ruler of Ile Ife, the ancestral home of the Yorubas. She was the first and only female to be crowned a king in Ife.
A beautiful and stylish queen, Queen Luwoo was so conscious of the cleanliness of her environment that she did not walk on bare floor. She preferred to walk on tiles and they were made by offenders, who are ordered to bake the clay tiles and then use their bare hands to break it into pieces and then laid on the floor for the queen to walk on.
So sophisticated ,she commissioned the unique Yoruba custom of construction of decorative pavements; open-air courtyards paved the pottery shreds.
The remains of the tiles she walked on while she reigned is said to be available in Ife and other Yoruba land she visited while on the throne because the tiles are unique.
Sadly, Queen Luwoo’s reign was said to be filled with fear and as a result, women in Ife lost the opportunity of being crowned king again.
Queen Luwoo was said not to spare the menfolk when they offend her or her constituted authority. She was noted to ride erring men as horses for violating her laws. She was a terror to lazy people.
For her highhandedness, the council of obas in Ife convened and vowed after her demise not to make a female the Ooni of Ife again as they saw Queen Luwoo as being uncontrollable by them.