Oduduwa, was not only the first ruler of a unified Ife,[1][2] but also the progenitor of various independent royal dynasties in Yorubaland,[3] and is today venerated as "the hero, the warrior, the leader and father of the Yoruba race".[4]

Through war lasting many years, Oduduwa was able to defeat the forces of the 13 indigenous communities of Ife led by Obatala and formed these communities into a single Ife state.[5][6]

He held the praise names Olofin Adimula, Olofin Aye and Olufe.[7] His name, phonetically written by Yoruba language-speakers as Odùduwà and sometimes contracted as Ooduwa, Odudua or Oòdua, is generally ascribed to the ancestral dynasties of Yorubaland because he is held by the Yoruba to have been the ancestor of their numerous crowned kings.[8] Following his posthumous deification, he was admitted to the Yoruba pantheon as an aspect of a primordial divinity of the same name.[9]

A Statue of Oduduwa
Ife Kings Head.jpg
Ife bronze head depicting a monarch, possibly Oduduwa


  • Oduduwa is the power of the womb, that brings forth into existence
  • Oduduwa represents omnipotence, the ability to affect and reconstruct the physical reality at will.
  • Oduduwa - odu da uwa - odu to da iwa - the principle that created the physical reality
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