Oranmiyan – A warrior who ruled three different empires

Oranmiyan, best known as Odede by the Ife indigenes, or Oranya was a hunter, warrior who ruled three different empires both in Yoruba and Benin kingdoms.

He is believed to have lived between the 8-13th century. To define Oranmiyan, you must talk about his staff-stick, which is now an obelisk that is placed at the Oranmiyan Cenotaph entrance. 

The Obelisk is one of the tallest stone carvings in the world that has grown in size over time and the staff-stick, which is an art, is embedded with messages which have never been interpreted to modern language.

The place of Oranyan in Yoruba history has come under several attacks since historians have been doing their research on Yoruba culture. 

Who was Oranmiyan

Oranyan is the child of Lakanje, a woman who was rescued by Ogun during a Cold War in Yoruba kingdom

Lakanje became one of Ogun’s concubine after her rescue before Oduduwa’s affair with her. She was pregnant rather too quick before she could differentiate who the father was.

He was treated less favourite among Oduduwa’s children, especially, been light-skinned like Ogun, and spent most of his childhood at the Ogun shrine before going on an expedition , as advised by the Ifa Oracle.

Early historians believed that Oranmiyan was not expected to return from the journey as Igodomigodo warriors were one of the fearful during the time.

Invasion Of Igodomigodo (Benin kingdom)

Oranmiyan led army stormed Igodomigodo bringing the indigenous village and all villages surrounding it under his control.

He settled at a place called “Use,” where he ruled all the towns as a single kingdom later known as Bini (Benin) kingdom.

Oranmiyan left “Use” after his leadership was facing many controversies and settled at a place called “Egor,” where his affair with the daughter of the Enogie of Egor resulted in his first son Eweka I.

Enogie of Egor was one of the only few that supported his leadership and the reason why he was accepted to the village after he left “Use.”


It is believed that Oranmiyan had left the Bini kingdom before the birth of Eweka I. 

After he left the Bini kingdom, Oranmiyan settled at Oyo-Ile, where he built the Oyo empire.

He had an affair that resulted in the birth of his second-born, “Sango.” 

After many years, he returned to Ife and took over the throne from Ogun, who many believe was his father.

Sango, who is Oranmiyan second-born, took similarities in Ogun’s spirituality symbols. It fuels the speculation that Sango inherited somethings from his grandfather.

Oranmiyan died not long after he came back to Ife.

Source: Dakingsman

Categories: History



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