History of Yoruba-speaking Okun people that lives in Kogi State

 History of Yoruba-speaking Okun people that lives in Kogi State

History of Yoruba-speaking Okun people that lives in Kogi State

Discovering the cultural diversity of Nigeria can be a fascinating experience, especially when it comes to the Yoruba people. In North-Central Nigeria, there are various Yoruba communities that are collectively referred to as "Okun people." These communities, such as Yagba, Kabba, and Ekiti, have their unique cultural heritage and traditions that make them stand out.

According to Yagba oral tradition, the Okun people originated in Ile-Ife, where they were sent to build a colony. However, upon returning to pledge allegiance, the man in charge had lost a significant portion of the land he had acquired to other migrants. In Yoruba, he stated "Ìyà àgbà ló jemí," which meant that he had suffered because of having a lot of old people amongst them. This phrase became the origin of the names "Iyagba" and "Yagba," which was likely intended as a form of mockery.

The term "Okun" refers to the different yet culturally similar tribes within the Okun community, including Owé, Ìyàgbà, Ìjùmú, Gbẹdẹ, Bùnú or Abunu, Ikiri, Kabba, and Òwòrò. These tribes comprise about 20% of the Kogi State population, according to the 2006 National population census, although this figure has been disputed.

The Okun people primarily speak Yoruba, although their dialect has been influenced by Nupe, Igala, and Hausa languages. Oworos, in particular, have a watered-down Yoruba dialect. This linguistic diversity is a testament to the dynamic nature of the Nigerian culture.

Politics also played a significant role in the separation of the Okun people from the rest of the Yoruba people. In 1991, Kogi State was created from the former Bendel State and Kwara State, causing the Okun people to move from Ekiti and Kwara states to their current location in North-Central Nigeria.

Overall, the Okun people have a rich cultural heritage that is worth exploring. From their unique greeting to their linguistic and tribal diversity, they offer a glimpse into the diverse nature of Nigeria.

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