The story of Moremi Ajasoro | Yoruba History
Moremi was a queen in Ile-Ife, the wife of Ooni Orunmila. She was also a princess from Offa. As a young princess, Moremi was famous because of her beauty, and even till today, she’s described by the Yorubas as the most beautiful woman ever lived.
Moremi was a direct descendent of Olalomi Olofa-gangan, who was one of the first settlers of Offa”.
Ifa Oracle, part of the Yoruba religion, had a significant influence on Moremi’s story.
Unlike Orunmila, who already has children from the previous relationship, Orunmila was Moremi’s first husband, and they had a son together called Oluorogbo.
The Ugbo Invasions
Ile-Ife faced security challenges whereby a group appeared to be covered from head to toe with raffia leaves terrorising the region.
These people are seen as spirits by the Ife people as their traditional masquerades, which they regard as spirits dressed in cotton robes similar to the invader’s way of hiding their identities. It made the people of Ife relentlessly scared to fight back.
But after a lot of abductions and other atrocities, Queen Moremi thought there should be a solution, so she consulted an Orisha (god in Yoruba religion) at the Esimirin river for help. (Consulting an Orisha could be personally or through the Ifa priest).
Ugbo, as they are called, would invade Ile-Ife, mostly on market days, and loot.
The Orisha agreed to help Moremi but demanded an offering of payment.
Moremi pledged to give whatever the Orisha wants once her demand is met.
The Captured of Moremi
Moremi posed as a trader and allowed Herself to be captured by the intruders. Once in captivity, her beauty couldn’t go without notice, the leader of Ugbo fell for her trap and made her one of her wives.
During her time with the leader of Ugbo, she realized that the intruders are not spirits, but humans disguised as masquerades.
She left for Ile-Ife to tell Ooni Orunmila about her discovery.
With the discovery, traders in Ile-Ife gather themself on the next market day for revenge.
The story of Moremi Ajasoro
They stood against the invaders and fought back. As the invaders approached, the traders scared them off with their burning torch. The Ugbo invaders were terrified of being burned alive as the raffia leaves they are covered with could go inflamed easily. Ugbo invaders realized their secret had been discovered, so they stopped terrorizing the people of Ile-Ife.
The Orisha that guided her plan was revisited to make her payment just as she pledged. The Orisha demanded her only son, which she had with Ooni Orunmila.
She pleaded with wealth, but the Orisha insisted on having her son. Moremi fulfilled her promise and sacrificed her only son, Oluorogbo.
She was consoled by the natives of Ile-Ife, who call themselves children of Moremi till today.