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6 names of Ile Ife

6 names for the spiritual home of all Yoruba, and the birthplace of  all mankind :

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  • The Ooni Oba Ogunwusi called it Ilẹ Ifẹ  meaning  expanding land,
  • It is  also popularly called Ile – Ifẹ meaning expanding home,
  • Ife was referred to by the Binis as Uhe,
  • By the  Itsekiri Yoruba as Ufe,
  • In the 1352 book by  Ibn Battûta   Voyages to Asia and Africa as  Yoûfi,

“Battûta’s description of Yoûfi 3 (Ife) as a country that “No white man can enter…because the negros will kill him before he arrives” (p. 410)……is consistent with the ritual primacy long associated with Ife, due perhaps to its mercantile strength (glass beads , iron and probably textiles). Among the latter items seem to have been not only cotton and raphia cloth but also silk textiles fashioned from local worms. The latter suggests that in the twelfth through fifteenth centuries, Ife was part of the famous East-West silk road. ” –  [Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba Ife History, Power & Identity c 1300 , Suzanne Preston Blier]

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  • and by 13th Century spanish explorers as  Rey de Organa,

“i.e. King of Organa (Obayemi 1980 :92), “The name Organa alludes to the title of first dynasty Ife rulers, i.e. gàne ̩ ( gh n , g ne ̩ ). The earlier Ife ruler’s title of gàne ̩ (the current title is ni) can be seen in an important Ife annotated king list called Ìkédù.” –  [Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba Ife History, Power & Identity c 1300 , Suzanne Preston Blier]

 

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Map of Ile-Ife showing city walls and archeological sites

 

 

 

 

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