The noticeable degree of Benin and Ife influence on Ondo has not obliterated the Oyo factor as a strong force in the history of Ondo, especially its traditions of origin. This paper focuses on Oyo-Ondo connections as a study in pristine inter-group relations. It argues that although Oyo is situated in the savanna region of Yorubaland, while Ondo is placed in the forest region, certain traits offer strong proof that Ondo enjoyed close cordial relationship with Oyo and this must have accounted for the relative peace which Ondo enjoyed before and during the protracted internecine wars in Yorubaland. In fact, no oral and documentary evidence lends credence to the likelihood of Ondo being dominated by Oyo before the advent of colonial rule or even thereafter. The Osemawe monarchical institution, which was established through the enthronement of Pupupu in 1516AD, was said to have emanated from Alaafin Oluaso, one of the pristine rulers of Oyo. His twins and the support group, who wandered through many adverse situations and tortuous terrain, had precipitated the coming of what came to be known as the Ondo group into Ondo land with concomitant vestiges of Oyo traditions. This is evident in the structure of the intricate Ondo political system with its network of chieftaincy titles, the drums and drumming patterns, traditional attire and costumes as well as in tribal marks of which two are visible in the face while fourteen are hidden in other parts of the body. This study relies on oral interviews, Archival documents and relevant secondary materials.
Key words: Oyo tradition, Osemawe monarchical institutions, pristine, Yorubaland, chieftaincy titles, inter-group relations.
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