The Legend of How A Mystical Clay Plate Led Awori People to Lagos

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– What the name ‘Awori’ Literally Means 
-The Oduduwa connection
As a history student (there is nothing like graduate of history as some people claim), I enjoy reading more about myths, legends and listening to oral tradition of great historical figures and places across the globe.
Aside the entertainment angle, one tends to get more insight as to how and why people from a particular region adapted quickly to evolution over time.
One of such myths has a lot to do with Lagos and its age long tradition of commerce and culture.
I recently came across a historical classic from fellow historian and Guardian Columnist, Abdu Rafiu, supposedly on how the Awori people found themselves in modern-day
Lagos, courtesy of a mystical plate. I have heard the Biblical version of how a star led the Three Wise Men from the East to where the Messiah was born.
This legend looks more like it, but completely different.
“Is it not fascinating to read, for example, how Oduduwa the Yoruba eponymous ancestor gave a burnt clay plate to a prince called Olofin Ogunfunminire and instructed him to place it on a river, presumably Ogun River, and follow it until it sank?
The plate stopped at various places and finally sank at present Idumota. Olofin and his followers were to settle where the plate sank. It first stopped at Olokomeji near present-day Abeokuta and after 17 days it started moving until it again stopped at Oko-Ata.
When it moved it stopped once more at the southern fringes of Abeokuta. A group led by Osho-Aro-Ologbo-Egan decided they would go nowhere any more. But the plate had not given up and the rest of the crowd still led by Olofin followed it until they got to Isheri. They waited there for nearly one year.
The plate gave them the impression that they had reached their destination having remained at Isheri for precisely 289 days and Olofin had asked his followers to begin to construct their settlements. This was how the Aworis got to settle at Isheri and all the places along the way. But then the plate would not still sink at Isheri.
After the 289 days, it suddenly began to flow again until it finally reached Idumota and after swirling round for some time it sank and the Aworis from Ile-Ife derived their name from “Awo ti ri,” meaning the plate has sunk!”
An historical account of Abdu Rafiu, a Guardian Columnist on “History, the human anchor”
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