Sunday 28 April 2024


The legend of Aro, the revered founder of Ilaro town in Ogun State, is a saga deeply woven into the fabric of Yoruba history, steeped in valor and leadership. Mayegun hereby present the story:

Aro was not just a skilled hunter but also a formidable warrior and a wise ruler during a turbulent era in Yoruba land when foreign traders threatened to enslave its people.

Originating from Oyo, Aro embarked on a courageous journey driven by a noble cause. Hearing of the encroaching menace of foreign slave traders disrupting the peace and harmony of his people, he resolved to take action. Aro, accompanied by his loyal Leopard, led a band of brave warriors and embarked on a migration that would change the course of history.

Their destination was Igbo Aje, a strategic settlement where Aro's military prowess and strategic acumen were put to the test. Faced with marauding enemies, predominantly slave traders from neighboring Dahomey (now Benin Republic), Aro and his warriors engaged in fierce battles, ultimately prevailing and securing peace for their people.

The founding of Ilu-aro, meaning "the town of Aro," stands as a testament to Aro's enduring legacy. Over time, the name evolved into Ilaro for easier pronunciation, yet the town's roots in Aro's bravery remain steadfast. Beyond his military exploits, Aro's enigmatic departure from the mortal realm further solidified his legendary status.

As Aro aged gracefully, he chose to transcend into folklore, merging with the earth alongside his faithful Leopard. This act, symbolizing the culmination of his life's power and wisdom, left a profound impression on his people. Aro left behind a ritual, instructing his people to call upon him in times of need by pulling the chain attached to his leopard and himself.

The sacred site where Aro and his leopard entered the earth, known as the Orona Shrine, holds deep cultural and historical significance. Renovated for both tourists and locals, it serves as a place of reverence and continuity, hosting the coronation ceremonies of new kings, embodying the enduring spirit of Aro's leadership.

To honor his legacy and commemorate his deeds, the Orona festival is celebrated annually in Ilaro. This vibrant festival not only pays homage to Aro but also serves as a reminder of the town's resilience and unity forged in the fires of adversity.

The life and legacy of Aro, a warrior, leader, and guardian of his people, continue to inspire awe and admiration, standing as a timeless beacon of courage and wisdom in Yoruba folklore and history.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...