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QUEEN LUWOO: The First And Only Woman To Be Crowned King In Ile-Ife

QUEEN LUWOO: The First And Only Woman To Be Crowned King In Ile-Ife

• The reason why women are prevented from the kingship since her reign
Queen Luwoo was the 21st Ooni of Ife and the only female that has ever sat on the throne till date.
She succeeded Ooni Giesi who was the 20th Ooni of Ile-Ife.
Ilè-Ifẹ̀ is a town in Osun state seen as the cradle and ancestral home of the Yoruba people, making any presiding ruler such as the Ọọ̀ni, to be reverred as a very powerful leader.
Queen Luwoo’s full name is Lúwo Gbàgìdá and she is a descendant of Otaataa from Owode compound, Okerewe. It was said that she married Chief Ọbalọran of Ilode whom she gave a child, Adekola Telu, who later became the founder and Oluwoo of Iwo town.
Not much was documented during her reign except that she was regarded as a beautiful and stylish queen.
Queen Luwoo was so conscious of the cleanliness of her environment that she did not walk on bare floor. She preferred to walk on tiles and they were made by offenders, who were ordered to bake the clay tiles and then used their bare hands to break it into pieces and then laid it on the floor for the queen to walk on.
The remains of the tiles she walked on while she reigned is said to be available in Ife and other Yoruba land she visited while on the throne because the tiles were unique.
Almost all the roads in Ile-Ife were embellished with quartz pebbles and broken pottery some of which can still be seen today.
She commissioned the unique Yoruba custom of construction of decorative pavements and open-air courtyards paved with pottery shreds.
Sadly, Queen Luwoo’s reign was said to be filled with fear and as a result, women in Ife lost the opportunity of being crowned king again.
It is widely rumoured that after her reign, the council of Obas vowed never to have another female Ooni because Queen Luwoo was uncontrollable, high handed, arrogant and mean.
She was also accused of being concerned about her beauty and elegance at the expense of the administration of the kingdom.
The current Ooni of Ile-Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, is the 51st Ooni of Ife.

About Demola Abimboye