Ile-Ife is known as one of the most respected ancient town with many historic tourist attractions, ranging from the Palace of the Ooni of Ife in Enuwa, the Ife Museum, among others.
Among many historical attractions in Ile-Ife is the Oranmiyan Staff known better as “Opa Oranmiyan”. The Staff is way above 18 feet and has some designs on it. It is known for its myth, history and culture which surrounds it.
The Staff is a must see for tourists in and outside the country. The Oranmiyan Staff can be found at the Oranmiyan Shrine situated at Arubidi Quarters of Ile-Ife where certain traditional rites are been performed. Due to its historical Mysteries, there are some parts that are not opened to tourists, but can only be accessed by the initiates.
The Staff has a square shaped elevated demarcation made with solid stones. To walk down the staff, there are three steps which is further demarcated by a metal chain.
The base of the staff is wrapped with white clothes and on the left is a Grove with tall trees preventing it from tourists.
The Oranmiyan Staff is hundreds of years old and has several Mysteries and Histories behind it.
Some of the histories states that;
“The Oranmiyan Staff stands as the essence of Ile-Ife. First of is the traditional source of all Yoruba people because Oranmiyan himself is a descendant of Oduduwa who happens to be the progenitor of the Yoruba Race. Oranmiyan was the grandson of Oduduwa”
“Oranmiyan played a pivotal role in the establishment of traditional rulership in Oyo and Benin”.
Though the Staff was said to have been used by Oranmiyan, it’s shape and height doesn’t look like what human could carry, but the myth behind it explained that; “Oranmiyan, been a Great Warrior, had a sword which he dropped at the point of his death. The Sword then transformed to the Staff we see today.
Also, some scholars said the marks displayed across the Staff have a close correlation with Greek letters.”
There is also a believe that the Staff is a living soul that must be appeased. The rites are done by two families known as; “The Eredumi and Akogun”. The worship was vital because, in the period of intertribal wars, the Staff was always consulted and the powers from the Staff do help secure Victories over enemies.
Despite it age, the staff still plays a pivotal role in the installation of new rulers in some towns and cities of Ile-Ife. Before any Kings are installed, the Staff of office must be removed from the Oranmiyan Shrine and given to them.
The Staff also play an instrumental role in the installation of new Ooni of Ife. Apart from the Staff been a spirit, it also consist of all other Ooni that had ruled Ile-Ife. So any Ooni who intend to rule Ile-Ife must be familiar with the doctrines of the Shrine.
We bring to you the Opa Oranmiyan, the transformation of Oranmiyan’s Sword.
Indeed, Ile-Ife is home of ancient histories in Yorubaland.