Oduduwa ( Oddudua, Oddua, Oduduwa ) is the first king of Ile- Ife and forefather of the Yoruba, who named himself after his deity Oduduwa.

The origin of Oduduwa is a mystery. Mythologically he is the first man. Another Yoruba tradition says that he fled from Mecca. After his death his youngest son Oranmiyan, who was also the first king in Benin, his successor.

In the religion of the Yoruba Obatala he broke off with his creation of the world, after he had created deformities in drunkenness. Accordingly Oduduwa in Ife is revered as a male, in other kingdoms of the Yoruba but as a female deity.


  • W. Bascom: The Yoruba of South Western Nigeria. New York, 1969.
  • JS Ojuade: The Issue of " Oduduwa " in Yoruba Genesis: The Myths and Realities. In: Trans- African Journal of History, 21 (1992 ), 139-158.
  • A. Obayemi: The Yoruba and Edo - speaking Peoples and Their Neighbors Before 1600 AD. In: J. Ajayi & M. Crowder (ed.): History of West Africa, Volume I, Harlow, 1985, 255-322.