History 101- who was sango (oba koso) – culture – nigeria gas prices in texas 2015

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Sango the legendary king of the primordial Oyo Kingdom has had conflicting stories about his parentage, there is a version that states his father was Oranmiyan and his mother was an Iyemoja (mermaid) from Nupe, there is another one that says he was the product of Obatala and Ajagun (the king of fire). Obatala the popular king of white cloth was said to be embarking on an essential journey and needed to cross a certain river, Ajagun who was the ferryman refused to board him, Obatala left but to change into a beautiful woman which Ajagun found irresistible. Obatala thus made a deal with her/his body for crossing. That was what led to how Sango was conceived. This uneasy combination therefore, induced the fierce character of Sango.

I will tell the one which appears plausible, adapted by historians, backed by Odu-Ifa and as told in folklores in the Yoruba religion sphere. Oranmiyan was the father of Sango, Oranmiyan the founder of Oyo kingdom and the youngest grandson of Oduduwa the progenitor married a Nupe woman who bore him Sango.

All stories about Sango are dramatic, it was said that he went in search of his father Ajagun and at a point, had to throw himself inside a burning lake to prove his lineage as Ajagun was the king of fire (this is in line with the debunked story).

Anyway,when Ajaka was Alaafin , Oyo kingdom was under incessant treat of war from Owu, Olowu was Ajaka’s cousin; who ruled Owu Kingdom. Olowu sent his warriors to capture Alaafin Ajaka and to bring him to Owu dead or alive. In their effort to rescue Alaafin Ajaka, the Oyomesi sent for Sango in the land of Nupe where Sango was living, Sango’s fame was flourishing at Nupe, he was powerful, fearless and could spurt fire from his mouth. Sango was highly short tempered, he would spurt fire when angry.

Sango had three wives. Oya, who he loved dearly and became fond of, Sango would allow her to touch his hair which was an abomination but Oya later betrayed him by revealing his secrets of wizardry. Osun, the river goddess who was his favourite because of her cooking skills and Oba, who tried to win Sango’s love by making a meal out of her ear for Sango. Sango later sent her packing resulting from a dispute between her and Osun, Oba left and out of frustration, turned into a river now called River Oba, which becomes turbulent whenever it meets with river Osun.

Sango was known to plait his hair into a style known as Suku, he designed it with red apparel and cowries (Laba and Yewu), he was known to hold double bladed axe (Ose Sango). Ram was is usual animal and still being uphold as symbolic pet of Sango by his followers, his favourite colour was red. He possessed a special sort of drum called ‘Bata’ and enjoyed eating bitter kolanut, porridge and yam. His followers of the glorious Yoruba Ifa religion still possess these features. They dress like Sango and could breathe fire, and are extremely pyromania.

He banished Sango into the outskirts of Oyo. Sango was forced to desert Oyo and was said to have hanged himself at a place later called Koso. This, his disciple refuted, they claimed he only ascended to heaven to take charge of thunder and lightning. The popular saying “Obakoso or Olukoso” means King Sango did not hang.