Queen Luwoo: Meet The First And Only Female Ọọ̀ni Of Ife

Queen Luwoo

Queen Luwoo was the 21st ruler of Ife — a pioneer way ahead of her time. She is the first and only female Ooni of Ife.

Ilè-Ifẹ̀ is a town in Osun state referred to as the cradle and ancestral home of the Yoruba people, making any presiding ruler, the Ọọ̀ni, to be revered as a very powerful leader.

Going back into history it has been observed that only men occupy the reverred stool but however, there has been only one female named Ooni Luwoo, who was the 21st Ooni of Ife, she succeeded Ooni Giesi and was succeeded by Ooni Lumobi. 

She was a beautiful woman who took great pride in her physical appearance and that of her surroundings. For this reason, she put the whole town of Ife hard at work at keeping the whole town clean and beautiful — both men and women.

According to some reports, she was also called Lúwo Gbàgìdá, a descendant of Otaataa from Owode compound, Okerewe.

She was said to have been married to Chief Ọbalọran of Ilode and became the mother of Adekola Telu, the founder of Iwo town.

The Queen was also identified with the commissioning of the unique Yoruba custom of construction of decorative pavements and open-air courtyards paved with pottery shreds. The streets of Ile-Ife were paved with quartz pebbles and broken pottery as punishment for anyone who committed an offence. The offenders were ordered to bake the clay, and afterwards use their bare hands to break it into pieces and then lay it on the floor for the queen to walk on.

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After her reign, the leaders met together and swore never to give the stool to a woman again because they identified as very wicked and uncontollable.

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