The legend tells that, around the XII sec D.C, Moremi was a princess of the city of Offa (present state of Kwara, Nigeria) married to the Ooni (King) of Ile-Ife. Ooni Oranmiyan, the direct descendent of Ooni Oduduwa, also known to be the founder of the Yoruba tribe and the first Ooni of Ile-Ife.
Ife was the main cultural and spiritual centre of the Yoruba Kingdom and its market was considered the mother of all markets in Yorubaland, thanks to the commercial and cultural exchanges.
The spiritual system of Yoruba population was called “religion of Ifa” and it supports the vision that the world is under the control of Olodumare (Olorun), the Supreme Being. Yoruba communicates with Olodumare trough the Orishas and the Irunmoles, considereted humans that became God/Goddess and Divinities.
The population was regarded as their direct descendent.
When Moremi was a Queen, the legend tells, that the kingdom of Ife was disturbed by invaders thought to be from a close community called the Ugbo. They were looting the market and forcing people into slaves. Ife’s population did not have the means to defend themselves as they considered the invaders spirits, that appeared dressed “in cotton robes covered by raffia leaves”
Despite the offerings to the God and Goddess the atrocities carried on. Eventually, Moremi consulted an oracle that suggested her to visit the Goddess of the River: Esimirin.
The Goddess promised to help asking in exchange her most precious good. Moremi accepted and following her advice, the Queen allowed herself to be captured.
During the captivity, the King of the Ugbo fell in love of her beauty asking her to join the court as wife. Consequently, Moremi discovered the human nature of the mysterious invaders and when she managed to run away she revealed the secret to her people. Finally, Moremi and her people cast their burning torch to the raiders liberating the Yoruba people.
Moremi returned to the Goddess with offerings and riches discovering the price of the deal : the sacrifice of her unique son, Oluorogbo . The offer of Oluorogbo to the Goddess grieved not only the Queen but the whole kingdom.
The Yoruba People consoled Moremi offering themselves as son and daughters of the Queen.
A promise held to nowadays…
Moremi Ajasoro & Moremi Path
I heard for the first time the story of Moremi from an uncle , a Babalawe The sound of her name, her story and the importance of a woman leader that we really do not know much about, was fascinating me .
The choice to called the site “Moremipath” is an attempt to convince me that we all are sons and daughters of an unique Queen, a tenacious ancestor that in hard time showed wisdom and resilience. A Queen that has found the courage to walk her pathway. In my interpretation , that has nothing to do with the Yoruba Cosmology, masks are a representation of our distorted perception of reality , whom many of us are affected, in relationship to our abilities.
The power to believe in our own journey. The perception of having something outside of us that inhibit our natural blooming, our natural being. As in all things, when we grasp it and accept them, the fear for what we dread or we do not know just disappear, to finally recovering our pathway.
Her pathway is a legend, we do not know how she became what she was, many stories of incredible people that have open doors, built bridges between themselves and their mission have been lost.
What we know is usually their victories, dramas, prizes and “when they already made it” but..
What is behind?
What pathway they have built?
What obstacles have they overcome to become what they are now?
Many belongs to more than one world, they have discovered their powers and gifts, they have accepted them and at the service to fulfil their mission on this planet.
MoremiPath ..The Pathway of Moremi is the discovery of who we are.
African Heroes of Freedom: Moremi Ayasoro. Available at https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/african-heroes-freedom-queen-moremi-ajasoro
Baba Ifa Karade’s Finding Soul on the Path of Orisa: A West African Spiritual Tradition (Massachusetts: Weiser Books, 1994).