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The Itsekiris- By Village Of Origin

Coronation of the 20th Olu of Warri

Until the advent of Prince Ginuwa, the founder of the Iwere or Itsekiri Dynasty, there was no tribe called Itsekiri. Ginuwa left the Benin Kingdom with 70 sons of prominent Bini nobles to start a new kingdom. The names and titles of the 70 became the titles of the chiefs in the Warri Kingdom. For example Ologbotsere, Uwangua, Iyatsere, Otsodin, and others.

Before the prince got to the present day Warri, they settled in Amatu and then later at Oruselemo. They left Oruselemo after an incident with his wife and settled at Ijala, the burial place of past Olus.

Before the prince came to the present day Warri Kingdom, there were people living in the following communities that were believed to have migrated from the Yoruba Kingdom. These communities include Ugborodo, Ureju, Omadino, Inorin and Irigbo (Okotomu) in Ode-Itsekiri.

Ogunmaja was the founder of Inorin, and Itsekiri was the founder of Okotomu in Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri). Omadino was founded by Lenuwa, which was later called Nenuwa. Ugborodo was founded by five brothers called Olajori, Abomen, Oyen, Kromini and Eloko. Ureju was founded by Olero and Kokolo.

Ginuwa died and was buried in Ijala, but his sons, the princes, Ijijen and Irame decided to move from Ijala to a new found land in Ode-Itsekiri about 1480. At that time, Itsekiri and his family were living on that land, which was later called Ode-Itsekiri (Irigbo-Okotomu). Itsekiri accepted the lordship of the princes, and the land was name Ale Iwere, and the language was named Itsekiri. Ode-Itsekiri is the ancestral home of all Itsekiris, and most Itsekiri people are buried there if they so wished.

Traditionally all Itsekiris are from Ode-Itsekiri and has a quarter in the town, except for the five original communities who held on to their heritage. Ugborodo, Inorin, Ureju, Omadino, and Okotomu, who of course is already there in Irigbo in Ode Itsekiri.

Principal Itsekiri Families and Their Home Towns

The Royal Families (Royals): Ogbe in Ode-Itsekiri, Usele, Ugbuwangue, Ugbori, Ifie, Ubeji, Bateren, Deghele, Utonlila, and Ugbodede - Obodo and Orere are much older royal settlements.

Ologbosere/Uwangue (King Makers): Eghorogbin in Ode-Itsekiri, Bobi, Jakpa, Ebrohimi, Koko, Obonteghareda, Obaghoro

Iyatsere: Eghoroke in Ode-Itsekiri, Ubeji, Ologbo, Abeugborodo.

Udefi/Oshodi: Eghorolobite in Ode-Itsekiri, Olobe, Gbolokposo, Daleketa, Kolokolo, Tisun, Ugbege, Deghele, Koko

Oshoron: Oroke in Ode-Itsekiri

Irigbo: Irigbo in Ode-Itsekiri

Ugborodo: Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Madangho, Ajudiabo, Jaghala

Omadino: Omadino

Orugbo: Orugbo

Okere: Okere town

Ogheye: Eghoroke in Ode-Itsekiri


Moore WA (1970). History of Itsekiri. History of Itsekiri. 2nd Edition. London, England. Frank Cass & Co Ltd.

Ayomike JOS, Ekpoko EO, Jemide IO (2009). Warri: A Focus on the Itsekiri. Pittsburg, PA. Dorrance Publishing Co, Inc.

Unknown Author. Unknown Source. Principal Itsekiri Families and their Towns.

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