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Friday, 1 March 2013


"Kábiyèsí o, ọba aláṣẹ, ikeji oriṣà, ki adé pẹ lórí, ki bàtà pẹ lẹsẹ,ki ìrùkẹrẹ pẹ lọwọ,
ki ẹṣin ọba jẹ ko pẹ o, Kábiyèsí o"
Thus goes the praises for the ultimate ruler of the Yoruba kingdom, the ọba:King.

Ọba is a portmanteau word; o and ba. O as indicated on my other blog is an identifier for someone or as a name of avperson, where as, ba signifies take over, take control.
Everything is under the care of the ọba or lets say he has the signature to the account of the kingdom if i were to use that, rather the ọba has the key to the kingdom in his hands.

His adé-orí: beaded crown, ọpá-áṣẹ: staff of office, ìlẹkẹ iyùn: beads, irùkẹrẹ: horse tail, and aura shows the extent of his power and status as the commander-in-chief of the ilú

No one is superior to him in the community,he has the final say on any affairs of the kingdom. Ọba ló n'ilẹ, ló ni ẹrú: the king owns the land together with the slaves. The ọba owns everything in the town from the land, farms, market, the old, young etc. As a reward of his greatness,he receives homages from the vassal states, chiefs, visitors & strangers. So as not to witness the vengeance of the 'alásẹ', the supremo authority of the land who can do and undo.

In fact, he is semi-divine, the 'igbá kejì òrìṣà' (second to the gods) whose responsibility is to be president, governor, chairman, caretaker of the land on behalf of the òrìṣàs. Again, my people say 'iká to ba ṣẹ, l'ọba n ge' (the king cuts only the finger that does wrong) no one want to see the wrath of the ọba, the lord of the town.

Also revered as kábiyèsi/kábiyọosi - meaning no one like you or the highest one. The Ọba as said earlier controls everything in the ilú, he can take as wife any woman he craves for and if he does, my people say 'ọba ti gbẹ'sẹ lè)that is; the king has placed his foot on her.Henceforth, she becomes one of the olori in the Àáfin. To show obeisance (juba) to the king, you are likely to hear the people say "kábiyèsi o, mo sún m'ọba ni wọn egbeje, mo jina s'ọba ni wọn ẹgbẹfa, ọba àláyélùwà, kẹ ẹ pẹ o"

Every morning,the Gbẹdu drum is rolled out and the cool melodious sound of ; a way to say good morning and to awake the ọba. Surrounded by the various òlorí: queens, ẹṣọ: guards who are always eunuchs not leaving out the many ẹru: slaves,relatives of the Ọba. The àáfin, a mansion, houses many souls. Regularly, the Ọba receives visits from the iyálóde and other chiefs, as well as strangers. 
The Áàfin is always a busy place. The Àáfin, the 'Aso Rock' of the Ọba or say the Washington DC (White House) of the Ọba. This is why the Ọba in old Oyo is regarded Àlàáfin:the owner of the palace or lord of the palace. The Àáfin is fortified with a  giant wall which has fifteen iron gates , and it serves as security to the palace.

Although, as a regular title, every ruler in Yoruba land is recognized as the Ọba but there are other unique titles for the Yorùbá ọba. In Ilé-Ifẹ the Ọba is regarded as the Ọọni, while it is Alake in Ẹgba land.

As the igbá keji oriṣa, who the oriṣá's placed the land in his care, the saying 'ọba lo n'ilẹ, jẹ ki n rí lẹ rin(the king, the owner of the land,permit me a walk on the surface of the earth) shows the importance, value and greatness of the Ọba in the Yoruba kingdom.

Click > titles for the Yorùbá ọba

To listen to one of the praise song of the Ọba Click > Ọba 

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