History and Culture of Ilare- Ijesha people

History and Culture of Ilare- Ijesha people


Ilare- Ijesha, under Obokun local government in Osun state is a town to be reckon with in the history of Ijeshaland. The town was established under the leadership of a descendant of Oba Adimula of Ijesha land.

Ilare- Ijesha experienced so many external aggressions from her neighbouring towns until she achieved her final settlement and named the place “Ilare”. The wars mostly experienced are boundary disputes, political rivalries from other towns, tribute scuffles and some others unnecessary conflicts.

According to the history filed, the town had earlier located at about four places as a result of internal and external conflicts confronting her before she eventually resolved to settle where she is today.

The mirth gathered by historian revealed that there was a great warrior called “BABA ILARE” in this town . He usually led any war coming into the town and ensured that he conquered the enemies with his possessed supernatural power.

It was evident that this great warrior did not died like any other human being used to but vanished into the ground and let out a giant chain at the spot where he disappeared. Before his disappearance, he had already instructed his people that they should behold that he did not die in spirit, however whenever they were confronted with a tough war and need his assistance in fighting their enemies, they should come to the spot where this giant chain is and draw the chain with a special drums and praises, he would appear and help them fight the war.

This spot was latter marked out and turned to a shrine where the indigene always performed annual rituals to idolize this remarkable warrior. Apart from this annual homage paid to the shrine, whenever the entire residents are facing with any adversities, they visit the shrine to appease and offer sacrifices in the hope that his spirit will come to their rescue. 

The annual ritual sacrifices remain an exciting moment in the lives of the indigenes of Ilare- Ijesha. It was indeed a big festival which usually recorded a large number of people, home and abroad. The occasion is marked with different programmes which are of a good benefit to everybody that graced the occasion. The people also used the period as a get-together to deliberate on the development of the community.

Donations from the well-to-do people were generously made towards major projects in the town and individuals promised what they could do to facilitate the community development.

The religion of the people of Ilare-Ijesha was predominantly traditional until the advent of foreign religions in the early 50s. Presently, Christianity is the dominant religion of the people in this community.

The people of this community are indigent and prudent their major occupation is farming. Both males and females engaged in farming to sustain them and contribute their quotas from what they earned from their farm work to the progress of the town. Cash crops planted are Cocoa, Kolanut and Coffee – these are the areas of farming they make a lot of money at the end of every season. They also plant food crops such as; yam, cassava legume, potatoes and beans that cover large areas of land. They consume out of them and processed them to some other edible foods. They also transport large quantities of the food to urban centre for commercial gains. 

The geographical location of Ilare-Ijesha is at the forest zone in Obokun local government, Osun state. The population of about 20thousand people including the indigenes and non-indigenes were virtually Yoruba speakers. This community remains the bedrock of commercial stronghold in Obokun local government. Ilare-Ijesha popular market is situated close to the king’s palace (Owalare) and it holds every fortnight. It is patronized by thousands of traders near, and from far places for their commercial engagements.

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