Understanding The People of Ile-Ife: The Peculiarities

Understanding The People of Ile-Ife: The Peculiarities

Ile-Ife is a city in the modern day Osun State, Southwest Nigeria, with a rich cultural heritage and a population of over 500,000 people. 

Archaeological evidence suggests that Ile-Ife has been inhabited for thousands of years, and it was a center of civilization and culture in West Africa as early as the 11th century. 

The people of Ile-Ife are predominantly Yoruba, one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. According to Yoruba mythology, Ile-Ife was the place where the universe was created and where the first humans emerged.

Like any other humans, the Yoruba people of Ile-Ife are know for certain unique culture, beliefs, and traditions and an understanding of these unique features especially for new visitors to the city may help to better relate with the people. Below are some peculiarities of the people of Ile-Ife:

Respect for traditional beliefs: The people of Ile-Ife hold their traditional beliefs in high esteem and take pride in their cultural heritage. They believe in the existence of deities and spirits and often make offerings and sacrifices to appease them.


The people of Ile-Ife are known for their warm and friendly nature. They are welcoming to visitors and often go out of their way to make them feel at home. This perhaps contributes to the popularity of hospitality business in the city largely owned and operated by Ife people.

Love for art

The people of Ile-Ife are known for their artistic skills, especially in sculpture and pottery. The city is famous for its intricate and highly skilled bronze and terracotta artwork, which has been recognized as a significant contribution to world art.

Festivals and celebrations

The people of Ile-Ife love to celebrate and have various festivals throughout the year. Some of the popular festivals include the Olojo Festival, Olofin Festival, Obatala Festival, Edi Festival, Olokun Festival, Osara Festival, Ifa Festival, among others.

Deep sense of history: The people of Ile-Ife have a deep sense of history and take pride in their cultural heritage. They believe that their city is the cradle of Yoruba civilization and that the first humans were created in Ile-Ife.

Respect for hierarchy

The people of Ile-Ife have a hierarchical social structure, with the king (Ooni) at the top. They show respect to their elders and those in positions of authority.

Cuisine: The people of Ile-Ife have a rich cuisine that reflects their cultural heritage. Some of the popular dishes include pounded yam, amala, eba, iyan jaloke and egusi soup. Others include gbegiri, ewedu and efo worowo.

The Ife people have a unique culture and tradition that sets them apart from others. Their warm hospitality, love for art, deep sense of history, and respect for hierarchy are some of the peculiarities that make them stand out.

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