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This is the entrance gate of Erin Ijesha water fall
This is the entrance gate of Erin Ijesha water fall
Total population
~ 738,910
Regions with significant populations
Osun State - 738,910 (2011)
 · Ilesha West: 123,710
 · Ilesha East: 125,340
 · Atakumosa East: 89,3100
 · Aatakumosa West: 89,210,
 · Oriade: 174,210
 · Obokun: 137,130 • Okemesi (now in Ekiti State) : 56,000
Christianity · Islam · Yoruba religion

The Ijesha (written as Ìjẹ̀ṣà in Yoruba orthography) are a sub-ethnicity of the Yorubas of West Africa. Ilesha is the largest town and historic cultural capital of the Ijesha people, and is home to a kingdom of the same name, ruled by an Oba locally styled as the Owa Obokun Adimula. The current reigning Owa Obokun is Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaranfall|


Ijeshaland is located at latitude 8.92°N and Longitude 3.42°E. It lies in a forested region at the heart of the Yoruba country west of the Effon ridge which separate the Ijeshas from the Ekitis to their east, and at the intersection of roads from Ile-Ife, Oshogbo, Ado Ekiti and Akure. The Ijesa cultural area presently covers six local government councils within Osun state and Okemesi currently the headquarter of Okemesi/Ido-ile LCDA in Ekiti State of Nigeria.

The Ijesha territory is adjoined by the Ekiti on the east, the Igbomina to the north, the Ife to the south, and the Oyo and Ibolo to the west.

The nationally famous Olumirin waterfalls, more popularly known as Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls is located in Ijeshaland.

Ijeshaland is rich in Gold has the largest deposit in Nigeria


The word Ìjèsà comes from the phrase ijè òòsà, meaning food of the gods. This name was given because neighboring enemies often exclusively raided Ijesha towns for humans to sacrifice to the orisha. The Ijesha may have lost some territory to their neighbours during various conflicts and wars of the nineteenth and preceding centuries. The people of Oke-Ako, Irele, Omuo-Oke are said to speak a dialect similar to Ijesha.[1]


The city state of Ilesa (Ile ti a sa, which means "a homeland we chose") is the traditional headquarters of Ijesaland. It was founded in c.1250 by Owaluse, a grandson of Ajibogun Ajaka Owa Obokun Onida Arara, one of the most accomplished great-grandsons of Oduduwa, the royal progenitor of the Yoruba race of South-Western Nigeria, Benin Republic and Togo.[2] The city was described by Rev. William Howard Clark in 1854 as:

For its cleanliness, regularity in breadth and width, and the straightness of its streets, the ancient city of Ilesa far surpasses any native town I have seen in black Africa.[3]

The Ijesha royal family

The Ijesha royals all claim descent from Oba Oduduwa by way of Ajibogun. In addition to serving as rulers of Ijeshaland, the dynasty has also contributed to the development of other powerful kingdoms in Yorubaland. The ruling houses of the Akure Kingdom, for example, claim descent from the Owas by way of Princess Owawejokun, a daughter of Owa Atakunmosa.[citation needed]

The rulers of the Kingdom have been:

The ruler's title: Owa Obokun Adimula
Owa Ajibogun -
Owa Owaka Okile
Owa Obarabara Olokun Eshin
Owa Owari 1466 - 1522
Owa Owaluse 1522 - 1526
Owa Atakunmosa 1526 - 1546
Yeyelagagba 1588 - 1590
Yeyegunrogbo 1588 - 1590
Owa Biladu I 1652 - 1653
Owa Biladu II 1653 - 1681
Yeyewaji 1681 -
Owa Bilaro 1681 - 1690
Owa Bilayiarere 1691 - 1692
Owa Bilagbayo 1713 - 1733
Yeyeori 1734 - 1749
Ori Abejoye 17.. - ...
Owa Bilajagodo "Arijelesin" ... - ...
Owa Bilatutu "Otutu bi Osin" 1772 - 1776
Owa Bilasa "Asa abodofunfun" 1776 - 1788
Owa Akesan 1788 - 1795
Owa Bilajara 1... - 1807
Ogbagba 1807–1813
Obara "Bilajila" 1813–1828
Owa Odundun 1828–1833
Gbegbaaje 1833–1839
Ariyasunle (1st time) -Regent 1839
Owa Ofokutu 1839–1853
Ariyasunle (2nd time) -Regent 1853
Owa Aponlose 1858 –1867
Owa Alobe 1867–1868
Owa Agunlejika I 1868 - 1869
Vacant 4 Jun 1870 - 1871
Owa Oweweniye (1st time) 1871–1873
Vacant 1873
Oweweniye (2nd time) 1873–1875
Owa Adimula Agunloye-bi-Oyinbo "Bepolonun" 1875 - 1893
Owa Alowolodu Mar 1893 - Nov 1894
Vacant Nov 1894 - Apr 1896
Owa Ajimoko I Apr 1896 - Sep 1901
Owa Ataiyero [Atayero] 1901–1920
Owa Oduyomade Aromolaran I June 1920– July 31, 1942
Ajimoko "Haastrup" - Regent 1942 - 10 Sep 1942
Ajimoko II "Fidipote" 10 Sep 1942 - 18 Oct 1956
J. E. Awodiya - Regent 18 Oct 1956 - 1957
Owa Biladu III "Fiwajoye" 1957 - Jul 1963
.Ogunmokun... - Regent Jul 1963 - 1966
Owa Peter Adeniran Olatunji Agunlejika II 1966–1981
Owa Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II February 20, 1982–present


  1. ^ "Ekiti State History, Tourist Attractions, Hotels & Travel Information | Nigeria travel info, tourism and attractions". Guide to Nigeria tourism, local culture & investments. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  2. ^ Smith, Robert Sydney (1988). Kingdoms of the Yoruba. Univ of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-11604-0.
  3. ^ Services, KakakiOodua Media. "THE HISTORY OF IJESALAND AND PHOTOS FROM IWUDE-IJESA 2018". KakakiOodua Online News. Retrieved 2022-07-08.