The Story of The Springs
One of a kind
The gods and deities that most Africans acknowledge today are believed to have once been human beings. These were ordinary people who performed extraordinary feats during their lifetime. Such deities include Ogun, the Yoruba god of Iron, and Sango the Yoruba god of thunder.
The Discovery of the Springs
Over 500 years ago, there lived a man whose name was Ọ̀gánungánun, a brave hunter who left Lukosi compound of Ìlódè quarters in Ilé Ifẹ̀ on a hunting expedition. This was at a time when so many of his people were leaving Ile Ifè to establish their own towns and villages just like their ancestors did. By the time he got to the area now known as Ikogòsì, there were some of his folks already settled down and living in their little hamlets. It was this brave hunter Ọ̀gánungánun who, on a hunting expedition discovered the unusual phenomenon of warm and cold springs flowing side by side. He then rushed into town to inform his people. These brave people then decided to consult the Ifá Oracle in their bid to unravel the mystery surrounding this unusual phenomenon. Ifá told them that this was no coincidence, and that it was the deity of the Warm Spring – Aọ̀ – that had propelled Ọ̀gánungánun’s footsteps to this discovery, being a brave hunter and, by extension, a blood relation of the deity during his lifetime too. Thus was birthed the story of Àọ̀pẹ́ẹ̀rẹ́ Ìjẹ̀.
The Source of the springs
According to the Ifa oracle, Àọ̀pẹ́ẹ̀rẹ́ Ìjẹ̀ was a hunter who left Ilé-Ifè several years ago in the company of his friend named Eléfòṣán and some other brave hunters on a hunting expedition down to the mountainous terrains that would later be known as Ikogòsì.
Àọ̀pẹ́ẹ̀rẹ́ Ìjẹ̀ was an extraordinarily rich man. He was described as also light in complexion, tall and very handsome. He was a hunter, a lover of palmwine who tapped his own raffia wine, a subsistence farmer and a healer with natural herbs and mystical powers. He fell in love with the richness of the area because it was good for palmwine tapping, farming, and hunting, and he decided to settle down there.
A Tale of Two Wives
One of the ways to show wealth in those ancient times was by the number of wives a man marries. But Àọ̀pẹ́ẹ̀rẹ́ Ìjẹ̀ decided to have just two wives despite having the capacity to marry more. His first wife, Àwẹ̀lé, was a very beautiful dark-skinned woman, who was calm-headed and reputed to have been so endowed with full breasts and heavy backside. Unfortunately, Àwẹ̀lé could not have a child in the marriage and after so many trials and out of love for her husband, she suggested that he should marry another woman who would bear him a child. Some years later, Àọ̀pẹ́ẹ̀rẹ́ Ìjẹ̀ considered Àwẹ̀lé’s suggestion and took another wife. Her name was Òrósun.
Òrósun was the complete opposite of Àwẹ̀lé’s gentility and complexion. She was tall, fair-skinned and extremely beautiful. But she was neither as calm nor levelheaded as Àwẹ̀lé.
Yet Àọ̀pẹ́ẹ̀rẹ́ Ìjẹ̀ was able to achieve a very cordial and happy coexistence in his polygamous family.
Unfortunately, both women did not have children of their own for a long time. This snag of barrenness, however, did not deter them from doing the good work of healing. Àọ̀pẹ́ẹ̀rẹ́ Ìjẹ̀ and his wives were known far and wide as great herbalists who with their herbs and concoctions were also assisting barren woman to conceive and bear children.