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The ancient city of Owo

Encyclopedia » History

Owo is a town located in Ondo state of Nigeria dated 1400 and 1600 AD the capital of Yoruba city state. The town derived its name from the first ruler Olowo named Ojugbelu, because of his pleasant manner; it earned him the name “Owo” which means respectful.

Historically, the origin of owo was traced to the ancient city of Ile-Ife, which is known as the cradle of Yoruba culture. Histories also claim that the founders were the sons of the Yoruba deity called oduduwa, the first ruler of lle-lfe. Art history and archaeological records indicates that owo has strong affiliation with Ife culture and they have maintained the virtual independence from Benin kingdom. The culture of the two kingdoms (Benin and owo) flows in the same direction with their art objects.

 In 1969-1971, Ekpo Eyo an archaeologist excavated owo site his major findings where terracotta sculptures dating 15th century. It was discovered that owo has the largest palace in Africa which is now a national monument. The palace has 100 courtyards and each one has a specific function and was dedicated to a particular deity, the courtyards is designed with paved quartz pebbles and broken pottery. The pillars supporting the veranda roofs are carved with statues of the king mounted on a house or shown with his senior wife. The palace is twice the size of an American field and is been used for public assemblies and festivals.



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Updated 6 Years ago

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