Oyo Empire

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The oba (meaning 'king' in the Yoruba language) at Oyo, who was referred to as the Alaafin of Oyo (Alaafin means 'owner of the palace' in Yoruba), was the head of the empire and supreme overlord of the people. He was responsible for keeping tributaries safe from attack, settling internal quarrels between sub-rulers, and mediating between those sub-rulers and their people. The Alaafin of Oyo was also expected to give his subordinates honors and presents. In return, all sub-rulers had to pay homage to the Oba and renew their allegiance at annual ceremonies. The most important of these was the Bere festival, marking the acclamation of successful rule by the Alaafin. After the Bere festival, peace in Yorubaland was supposed to last for three years. The king could not be disposed but could be asked to commit suicide if he is no more wanted. This is done by sending Bashorun (The warrior) to present an empty calabash or a dish of parrot's egg to him and pass a sentence of rejection such as (Awon Eniyan Koo) meaning the people rejects you and also the gods reject you, by tradition, the Alaafin must poison himself and die.

The chief instructed Oranyan to follow the snake until it stopped somewhere for seven days and disappeared into the ground. Oranyan followed the advice and founded Oyo where the serpent stopped. The site is remembered as Ajaka . Oranyan made Oyo his new kingdom and became the first "oba" (meaning 'king' or 'ruler' in the Yoruba language ) with the title of "Alaafin of Oyo" (Alaafin means 'owner of the palace' in Yoruba). He left all his treasures in Ife and allowed another king to rule there. [3]

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