Brief history of Awori
Ogunfunminiri, also known as Olofin and his friend Adeyemi Onikoye, a great hunter left their home for a hunting expedition and overstayed thereby absenting themselves from the funeral of their father. Their relations thinking them dead, put their junior brother on the throne and this annoyed the two powerful princes when they arrived.
However, they were afraid of the great damage they might cause if they decide to fight.
The Olofin took the calabash (a mud plate) which was willed to him by his great father, Oduduwa (founder of the Yorubas) and followed the movement of the mud pot on water until it sank and settled in the region, according to the instruction given to him.
Several days after leaving Ile-Ife with his followers, the plate suddenly stopped at Olokemeji near present-day Abeokuta. After 17 days. It began moving again only to stop at Oke-Atu for 17 days. After another 17 days, it stopped at Isheri, where it remained for a much longer time, but after 289 days (17 x17) the mud plate began moving again. It stopped briefly at Iddo and finally at Idumota Lagos where it whirled around in the water and sank to the bottom.
The people got their name here when their people asked their leader about the whereabouts of the plate. He replied ‘’Awo Ti Ri’’ meaning ‘’The Plate has sunk’’.
The formation of Isheri was the nucleus of other Awori settlements such as Iro, Ogudu, Agboyi, Ojo Ado-Ode,Ota etc. The establishment of Lagos Island, Eko by Edo (Bini) man Aromire would seem to have encouraged members of his immediate family and other Awori groups to settle in other parts of Lagos Island such as Itolo, Ikoyi, Iru. Ajiran, and other parts of Lagos by the Lagoon. While the Awori were consolidating their hold on the Island and it immediate vicinity, the Edo speaking people of Benin Kingdom founded a settlement at Enu Owa, near their Awori brethren and with time, their presence had profound effect on the evolution of traditional institution in Lagos.
LANGUAGE: The Awori people speak a distinct North-West Yoruba dialect of Yoruboid languages that belong to the larger Niger-Congo language group. They are bilingual as they speak Yoruba, Ogun, and Edo (Bini) languages.
RELIGION: The Awori people practice traditional religion asides Christianity and Islamic religions. They consult the oracle (Ifa); a way of speaking to their god.
MAJOR OCCUPATION: They engage mostly in fishing and farming. Those that live in the coastal areas of Lagos are fishermen. The development of industries in some of their lands has made some of them concentrated in industry.
TRADITIONAL FESTIVAL : Oro, Egungun, and Gelede festivals are the major festivals in their land. Awori sons and daughters return home to celebrate these festivals just like Christmas and Sallah celebrations. Masquerades are a major part of their tradition; Ogogo Kulodo, Eyo masquerades are popular among the people.
The Aworis are the original Indegenes of Lagos and the first settlers in Lagos.
Omo Oduduwa Cultural Heritage