The History of Ila-Orangun and its People

Ila-Orangun lies about 65km northeast of Ile-Ife and 90km southeast of Ilorin on the southern edge of the savannah. It is a part of the distinct dialectical Yoruba sub-group known as Ìgbómìnà or Ìgbóónà who originates from the north central and south western parts of Nigeria.

The Igbomina group, presently, is mainly found in the eastern part of Kwara State, and the northern part of Osun State where Ìlá-ọ̀ràngún is located.

The beautiful and serene town of Ila-Orangun share boundaries with Rore, Arandun and Aran-Orin to the North, Ora and Oke-Ila Orangun to the north-east, Oyan to the West, Otan-Ayegbaju to the South West and Oke-Imesi (in Ekiti State) to the east. More than 80 percent of Ila people are farmers and they grow crops like maize, plantain, cassava, pepper and cash crops like cocoa and kolanut.

The people of Ila-Orangun are also skillful and professional palm wine tappers. They are globally recognized and known for this professing and thus this popular Yoruba statement was birthed: “Ila o l’oogun, emu l’ogun Ila” (Ila has no medicine other than palm wine).

Also, they are known for local arts and crafts which include pottery, soap making and wood carving which is world acclaimed in the work of Fakeye who hails from Ila-Orangun.

Ajagunla Ifagbamila

References:
* Clarke, Travels, 54-153
* Joel Akpobasa, “Settlement Studies of Ila-Yara, Osun State: An Ecological Approach” (master thesis, University of Ibadan, 1994)
* H. Clapperton, Journal of a Second Expedition into the interior of Africa (London: John Murray, 1829)
* Aribidesi Usman; Ila Kingdom Revisited: Recent Archaeological Research at Ila-Yara (Yoruba Identity and Power Politics) Falola, Genova; University of Rochester Press; 2006
* Ila-Orangun Torusim Group
This piece is dedicated to my late grandparents, Mr. Taiwo Adesina Omipidan and Mrs. Munirat Adetutu Omipidan

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