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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

How Queen Moremi Of Ife Conquered Igbos

Queen Moremi Ajasoro lived in the 12th century. She hailed from Offa and was married to Oranmiyan; heir to Oduduwa, the King of Ife and founding father of the Yoruba people.

At the time, the people of Ile-Ife were also oppressed by a neighboring tribe called the Igbo. The people of Ife offered sacrifices to their gods, seeking their help, yet the help they sought wasn’t forthcoming. Queen Moremi understood the grief of her people and drew out a plan to get her people out of slavery.

Also Read: Khentkaus I, the first Egyptian Queen to rule independently

Upon drawing up a plan;  visited the Spirit of the river, promising Esimirin to give her the greatest sacrifice possible if Queen Moremi finds the strength of the Ìgbò people to save her kinsmen.

One day, Moremi went to a place that was regularly attacked and permitted herself to be captured. Her beauty attracted the Ìgbò ruler who made her his anointed queen. She was also very confident and skilful so it was not long before she won the trust and affection of the King and the people in Ìgbò land.

This also gave her the access she needed to familiarize herself with the secrets of their army. One of which was; anyone who passes amongst the Igbos with a torch anytime the Igbos cover themselves from head to toe with Ekan grass and bamboo fibres, would defeat them.

Upon discovering their secrets, She escaped to Ile-Ife to leak them to the Yoruba army. The Yoruba people utilized this information to defeat the Ìgbò people in a battle.

Queen Moremi fulfilled her part of the bargain with the Esimirin deity by sacrificing her son Olurogbo to the diety. Owning to her iconic bravery, Queen Moremi is been celebrated with the Edi Festival.

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