Owo


Owo

Owo was the name of a Yoruba city-state in present-day southwestern Nigeria that existed between the years 1400 and 1600.

Owo is also the name of a present-day town in the Ondo region, situated halfway between the towns of Ile Ife and Benin City. The present-day town is an agricultural center involved in the growing and trade of yams, cassava, maize, okra, peppers, cocoa, and cotton. It is the location of a state polytechnic institute, Saint John's Teacher Training College now St John Mary Unity Secondary School, Owo, and a museum, [ [http://www.greatestcities.com/Africa/Nigeria/Owo_town.html Owo Town] ] Achievers University, Owo and the best hospital in the state and beyond, Federal Medical Centre, Owo.

Many great men and women hail from this community sir olateru olagbegi, Chief Micheal Adekunle Ajasin , the late leader of the Afenifere group and the first executive governor of Ondo state (comprising of now Ondo and Ekiti states), an accomplished educator hailed from here.Owo witnessed series of unfortunate royal tussles with resultant arson and loss of lives of some of her indegenes. Peace has however returned to the town.

Owo people played a prominent role in the educational and social development of Ondo state. Owo indegenes being one of the earliest people to embrace western education and its benefits. The community established her own secondary school (Imade College Owo) in 1946 , as opposed to other communities who had only missions schools at those times. The school has produced great men and women.

Archaeology

The Owo site was first excavated in 1969-1971 by Ekpo Eyo. Terracotta sculptures dating from the 15th century were found there. The city's artwork reflects the influence of the Benin City and Ile Ife cultural traditions.

The ancient city of Owo is situated halfway between the ancient city of Ife and Benin kingdom in southern Nigeria, and so it is not surprising that Owo art displays characteristics of both traditions. Some of the Owo objects show similarities to the art of Benin, while others display characteristics that are unique to Ife.

In terms of Archaeological excavation Owo site was first excavated in 1969 by Ekpo Eyo in the contemporary Yoruba town of Owo (Igbo laja). Archaeologists have found terracotta sculptures dating to the 15th century.

The rulers of Owo wear a number of ceremonial ensembles that are of Edo origin. One of these, called orufanran, consists of pants and a jacket sheathed in appliquéd scales of red flannel and studded with carved ivory ornaments. These pendants and masquettes mirror in their size and appearance those found at Benin—leopard, crocodile, and rams' heads as well as the faces of human rulers, allude to the extraordinary and fearsome powers of the king. Although similar to their Edo counterparts in form and function, they differ in the material from which they were made: ivory, rather than brass, was the favored material of Owo rulers at this time. The skill of Owo's ivory carvers was also appreciated at the court of Benin. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Benin rulers’ increasingly utilized insignia made from ivory and imported Owo's art objects and recruited its artisans for their own royal workshops.owo has the largest palace in africa and has been declared a nationnal monnument by the federal governmant of nigeria [The Olowo Palace in Owo, southwestern Nigeria, had as many as 100 courtyards. Each courtyard had a specific function and was dedicated to a particular deity. The largest, said to have been twice the size of an American football field, was used for public assemblies and festivals. Some courtyards were paved with quartz pebbles or broken pottery. Pillars supporting the veranda roofs were carved with statues of the king mounted on a horse or shown with his senior wife.]

References


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