History of Ọrun Ọba Ado

In the land of the Aku (a.k.a. Ọmọ Oodua) there exists a site in Ile-Ifẹ called Ọrun Ọba Ado which is translated as resting place of Edo kings. Tradition has it that whenever an Edo king (Ọba) slept his head was sent from the Edo kingdom to this site for burial while a bronze replica was sent from Ile-Ifẹ to Edo where the rest of the body was buried. This is an indicator of the existence of a very close relationship between the Aku and Edo. Even though the reason for this practice seems to be shrouded in mystery, perhaps it can be reconstructed using the knowledge that the Aku and Edo are of biblical Israel and Edom respectively, searching for similar practices that would have been recorded in associated historical records. Specifically, a passage in the Book of Jasher (referred to in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18), even though the copies in circulation are heavily mutilated, points to the origin.

According to Jasher 56:48 – 57:5, when Ajose (re-lexified to Joseph), his brothers, and their entourage from Egypt wanted to bury the body of Aku (re-lexified to Jacob) in the cave of the field of Macphelah which Oduduwa (name totally replaced with Abraham) had bought, which Ajaka (Isaac) inherited, and which Aku thereafter inherited instead of Ise/Esau (who had sold his birthright including this field), Ise and his children came and stood in the way of the burial procession while deceitfully laying claim to Aku’s inheritance as his own. Upon seeing that the written record of the sale of birthright to Aku was about to be presented Ise (also called Edo/Edom) and his children began to strive with Ajose and his brethren during which Chushim, son of Dan, son of Aku, who was deaf and dumb, slew and beheaded Ise. The children of Ise thereafter fled from there with the headless body of Ise, while the children of Aku pursued and prevailed over them.

Many centuries later, after the children of biblical Israel and Edom migrated to West Africa and settled side-by-side in the region of just as in ancient times, a serious issue arose in the Edo kingdom. It necessitated the people of Edo requesting from Ile-Ife for an offspring of Oduduwa to rule over them. Ọranmiyan (reincarnate of Aku; also called Ọranyan for short by the Yoruba) the grandson of Oduduwa was chosen, perhaps a repeat fulfillment of the prophecy of Amos 9:12 but this time for the present 6th age. After a while he left the Edo Kingdom and returned to Ifẹ, calling the Edo land Ilẹ Ibinu or land of angry people but not before installing Eweka his son from an Edo princess as the first Oba of Edo. From this period, whenever an Oba of Edo ‘slept’ and perhaps in recognition of the fact that the first Oba was from Ifẹ, his head was sent to Ọrun Ọba Ado in Ifẹ while the royalty at Ifẹ would send a bronze replica of that head to Edo.

It may therefore not be far-fetched to say that the existence of Ọrun Ọba Ado is like a repetition of history as both the Aku and Edo have always known themselves as brothers since the time they were born to Ajaka. The intention for establishing the practice may have been to serve as a reminder of Ile-Ifẹ as the spiritual cardinal point or home. Perhaps the children of Aku, decided to bury the head of Esau/Edo/Idu somewhere in the land of Aku’s inheritance to acknowledge that Ise was his brother and thus a fellow descendant of Oduduwa (to whom Olodumare had given the covenant) and Ajaka. Perhaps also in remembrance of this brotherhood, royalty and to eschew bitterness, the practice was established.


4 thoughts on “History of Ọrun Ọba Ado

  1. Pingback: A Reconstruction of Early Yoruba History (updated) | ADELAMI

  2. thanks. I always told people of Yoruba connection with Edos. And that Edos and the rest of Yorubas are one. My dad told me that we migrated from Bini to Ibadan, to Ilesha and finally to Aramoko in Ekiti. Aramoko Ekiti till today has a large portion of son of the soil that link their ancestry history to present day Edo/Delta. Their oriki is ‘Omo ado baba’….. bla bla bla.
    Their are large chunk of people of Akure too that are Akure Binis.
    Fortunately for us, there is no way our parents or Yoruba people would stop marriage between themselves and Binis. That is why you find Tinubu marrying Oluremi from Bini, Kosoko marrying Henrieta of blessed memory from Delta, Akeredolu (APC governorship candidate) from Owo marrying someone from Bini. I am happy for this.


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