OLD OYO AND EDE-ILE AS HER VIBRANT COLONY
In 2012, professor Akin Ogundiran an academic in the department of Africana studies, Anthropology and History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA. Who is also the director of upper Osun archaeological and historical project reported the influence of old Oyo empire on the establishment and development of Ede-ile.
Old Oyo is believed to have been one of the polity states that rose to power and imperial status in the 17th century. Her prowess was said to have expanded beyond its core area of Northeast Yoruba land. Old Oyo empire is said to have interacted with the rest if the Atlantic world and contributed to the Atlantic commercial revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was believed that as at the 17th century, Old Oyo had risen to become the largest political state in West Africa, south of the Niger River.
It was estimated that between 60,000 and 140,000 people occupied the city in the 18th century. The author’s view as to the term “colony” differs from that of the European experience i.e. implantation of settlements that will dominate technologically backward, small-scale polities with weak resistance capabilities in the face of a superior European military system. The author’s view opines that colonies are the recreation of home land in another region. They maintain ties with their motherland and also give support in all wise i.e. socially, economically and politically.The dominated colony is not necessarily weak or occupied by any populace. The case of Ede-ile was no difference as was believed that Oyo Empire extended to the upper Osun area and it was built to recreate Oyo-ile which became Ede-ile. Archaeological evidence showed that Oyo-ile immigrants upon arrival to Ede dominated the area, recreated the environment to become similar to that in old Oyo Empire by planting baobab trees which are believed to be alien plant species to rainforest area and could only have been introduced intentionally. Archaeological evidence also revealed the similarities in the decorations on their ceramic materials, which strongly depicts artist style of Oyo-ile potters. Further archaeological probing also revealed that Ede ile was a cavalry state. They protect and launch both defensive and offensive tactics on their enemies. It was noted that there was no other site in the region that as shown the use to cavalry except Ede-ile which made the author express his view that Ede-ile must have contributed to the political-economy of Oyo Empire which in turn made Oyo empire invest more in the military of Ede ile. The Ede-ile populace was believed to be professional artisans, their profession includes; iron smelting and smiting, dye making and cloth dying, cloth weaving, farming, veterinary and horse handling and feeding, etc. Ede-ile was also integrated into the cowry currency and diverse market spheres during the 17th and 18th centuries and was self-sufficient and became a town of about 850 m2 (85 hectares) before the Empire came down in the first quarter of the 19th century.