By APOLLOS IBEABUCHI OZIOGU
Owo is a town in the present Ondo State of Nigeria, whose traditional ruler is Olowo. The city of Owo lies half-way between the cities of Ife and Benin, about 140miles away from Benin City, on the eastern border of Yoruba-land.
According to a Yoruba local historian, Chief M.B. Ashara, the people of Owo were said to have migrated from the city of Ile-Ife to the present location in about 1100AD. Another source of oral history said that it was one of the sons of the gods who founded the city of Ile-Ife that founded the city of Owo. As a result of this relationship, the city of Ile-Ife seems to have a strong influence on the city of Owo. Indeed, the influence of Ife on Owo is clearly seen on some of their art works
By the end of the middle of 15th century, Owo town had come under the influence of Benin kingdom. Thus, Owo became influenced by several facrors:
·Architecture: The houses of Owo people have fluted walls like the people of Benin.
Religion: The religious activities of the Benin and Owo people look alike. For example, the Owo people perform the same ritual of “Igwue” like the Benin.
· Politics: The Owo people adopt chiefly titles like the Benin people.
· Regalia: The royal regalia is common in both cities.
· Traditional Rulers: The Oba of Benin and the Olowo of Owo use the same type of ceremonial sword that has looped handl