People & Culture

The People

The Ekitis, whose ancestors migrate from Ile-Ife as a people, form one of the largest ehnic groups in Yorubaland. Ekitis are culturally homogeneous and the speak a dialect of Yoruba language known as Ekiti. The homogeneous nature of Ekiti confers on the state some uniqueness among the states of the federation. Slight differences are noticeable in the Ekiti dialect of the Yoruba language spoken by the people. This is informed and influenced by their spatial locations, especially the border communities to other states. For example the people of Ado local government area do not speak exactly the same dialect with the people of Ijero local government area, while the people of Ikole area speak something different from the people of Ikere area. The communities influenced by their locations include Otun (Moba land) that speaks a dialect close to the one spoken by the Igbominas in Kwara State.

The people of Okeako, Irele, Omuo-Oke speaks a dialect similar to that of Ijumus in Kwara/Kogi States. The people of Ekiti West and Efon-Alaaye local government areas, that is, the Efon Alaaye and Okemesi communities speak a similar dialect to that of Ijesas of Osun State. However , part of the uniqueness of the Ekitis is that where ever is your own part of the state, you will understand well, when the other Ekiti man/woman speaks, inspite of the dialectal variations. in addition, all towns in Ekiti State take a common suffix, “Ekiti,” after their names. the main staple food of the people of Ekiti is pounded yam with vegetable soup.

Ekiti as a people settle in nucleus urban patterns, well linked with network of roads. The State can boast of more than 127 large and small, ancient and modern towns, located on hills and valleys that characterise the state from which the confinement takes its name, Ekiti, that is, ‘Okiti’ meaning hill. Ekiti State, apart from the fact that it is the only state with a warm spring in Nigeria is the watershed and source of some prominent rivers such as Ero, Ose, Ogbese and others. The people of Ekiti are hard-working , upright, studious and very articulate. Ekiti men are predominantly farmers but women engage in trading.

Religion

The people are mostly Muslims and Christians while some are still traditional religionists.

Culture & Traditions

The state is highly rich in culture. They have their own unique traditional way of: Dressing, Dancing, Festival,religion and other ways of life. As enumerated below: The rulers of the Towns are Obas like other Yoruba Towns. Traditionally, the natural rulers in Ekiti State, whose people are Yoruba, are usually described as sacred or divine kings. Their installation and coronation are performed with solemn and lengthy rites which set them apart, thereafter living an ordered ceremonial existence, secluded in their palaces, subjected to the many rituals of court and approached only with infinite respect. They rarely appeared in public, except on ceremonial occasions.

By ancient customs, the Obas were not only the heads of their towns and kingdoms, but by their personifications, reincarnating also all their ancestors back to the origin of the dynasties. They are also the titular heads of all religious sets in their kingdoms. Their appointments are, partly by divination, made by the king makers who are invariably the high chiefs. They are appointed from among the children of past rulers. The ceremonies between their appointments and coronation are elaborate. The sacredness of their offices was neither empty nor nominal; they are regarded by their people as divinity with whose well being, their own conditions are bound up. They are the sources of honour, able to bestow titles and chieftaincies. The Obas are also the fountain of justice.

In the State’s framework, Obas are not expected to take part in partisan politics. Palaces of traditional rulers are true symbolical relics of the people culture and tradition.Some of the richly endowed artifacts oriented palace in Ekiti State are the Ewi of Ado’s palace, Elekole of Ikole’s palace, Oore of Otun’s palace, Alawo of Awo Ekiti palace and a host of others.

Dressing

The dress for man in Ekiti is Bùbá (round neck shirt) and Sòkòtò (trousers) While women dress in Bùbá (blouse) and Ìró (wrapper).

Food

Typical Ekiti man can not do without Iyan (pounded yam) in a day, with melon soup, crowned with bush meat.