south-western state of Osun is dominated by people of one of Nigeria’s biggest
ethnic groups, the Yoruba. It is in the center of Yoruba history and civilization,
with Ile-Ife, the town where Yorubas claim that God started the creation of the
world located within its borders.

groups in Osun State include the Igbomina, the Ibolo, the Oyo, and the Ijesha.
Though a larger percentage of these groups now profess to be either adherents
of the Christian or Islamic religion, most still hold on to their traditional
religious practices in private.
Below we
take a look at the different tribes in Osun State, their history, culture and
religion, and towns where they are found in Osun State.


The Ife are
found in Ile-Ife, Ipetumodu and Ifetedo. The Ife are ancient , originally
spiritual, and artistically advanced.
The Ife are
generally regarded among the Yoruba as the first Yoruba people from which all
other Yoruba tribes emerged.
Ile-Ife is
the headquarter of the Ife people. It’s about fifty miles to Ibadan and Osogbo.
It is also the oldest Yoruba city, and is dated back around 500BC. The Ooni of
Ife is the paramount ruler of the Ife people.
There are
over 700,000 people of the venerable Ife sub-ethnicity in Osun State.


The Ijesha
are the second largest tribe in Osun State. They are found in Ibokun,
Ijebu-Ijesha, Ilashe, Ipetu-Ile, Ifewara, Imesi-Ile, Erin-Ijesha, Esa-Oke,
Esa-Odo and Ilesha.
Ilesha is
the capital of the Ijesha people of Osun State.
population of the Ijesha in Osun State is estimated at over 700,000.


The Oyo of
Osun State are scattered across such towns as Ede, Ejigbo, Eko-Ehinde,
Eko-Ajala, Gbongan, Modakeke, Iwo, Ikirun, Iragbiji, Iree, Inisha, Ikire, Ilobu,
Okuku, Ada, Orowuwo, and Osogbo, the state’s capital.
The Oyo are
the largest tribe in Osun State.
Oyo town in
Oyo State is the capital of the Oyo tribe. The Alaafin of Oyo is the paramount
ruler of the Oyo people.


The Ibolo
are a sub-tribe of the Yoruba found in towns such as Okuku, Odo-Otin, Ijagbe,
Erin Osun in Osun State, and also in Offa, Erin-Ile, and Ganmo in Kwara State.
The Ibolo
speak a dialect that is almost similar to the Oyo dialect of the Yoruba
The Ibolo
of Osun State are mostly Christians, however those in Kwara State are mostly
adherents of the Islamic religion.
The Ibolo
are mainly into subsistence farming and trading.


Igbomina are found in large numbers in Irepodun, Ifelodun, Ilorin East and Isin
local government areas of Kwara State, and also in Ila-Orangun, Ora, and
Oke-Ila Orangun in Ifedayo and Ila local government areas of Osun State.
They speak
a dialect also called Igbomina or Igbonna which is classified among the central
Yoruba of the three major Yoruba dialectical areas.
Igbomina are renonwed merchants well known for long distance trading which
account for their wide spread across the region. They also engage in hunting
and subsistence agriculture.
Igbomina are the smallest tribe in Osun State.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top