“Òrólè baba òkè” : Orole, the king of the heights
History has it that, a long time ago, when Orole (“Oro-Ile” meaning “story of the land”) was known to be a low-lying rock outcrop, the people of Oyo Kingdom rose up to attack Ikere Kingdom. The people of Oyo Alaafin wanted to capture and sell the people of Ikere to White men as slaves.
Just before the Oyo soldiers gained entry into Ikere’ enclave, they became very tired and hungry and decided to stop and take some rest on a small yam plantation where Orole was located.
They dug out yam tubers they found on the farm and feasted on them. As they stood up to attack the enclave of Ikere, the Orole began to rise out of the ground(while they were still on it) and before they realised what was happening, the were carried up to a height of about 1000 ft. Orole rose into a gigantic inselberg, so big and steep they couldn’t descend it.
It was told that they tried escaping from the trap by tying their clothes together in pieces to use as ropes, but it amounted to futility. They decided to commit suicide by jumping off the inselberg.
Every year, the people of Ikere-Ekiti offer sacrifices to Orole Inselberg in order to continue enjoying its protection.
“Olósùnta òrun Ìkéré”: Olosunta, the heavens of Ikere Land:
Sometimes in the past, when the people of Ikere worshipped the massive Olosunta Inselberg as a god, another conflict took place again between the kingdoms of Oyo Alaafin and Ikere, in which the soldiers of Ikere fled before the Oyos and their leader ran into a cave. Since capturing a leader during war meant the end of a battle, the Oyo warriors found the cave but feared to enter the stygian hole. They even tried setting the cave on fire by using dried palm fronds, but their efforts were in vain. This was how the war ended.
Every year a festival of remembrance called “Jóná Olosunta”” takes place in Ikere land to commemorate the Ikere warriors who died in the battle against Oyo kingdom.
As part of the sacrificial rites, palm fronds are tied together and lit up- this is known as Òtifon. Snails, chicken and goat are also served as sacrifice to Olosunta rock.
Only the Olú–Ìkéré is allowed to make sacrifices to the rock.
This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials. 'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.