The History of the Yorubas
From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate
By Samuel Johnson
Edited by Obadiah Johnson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:July 2011
Original Publication Year:1921
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511702617.017
Subjects: African History
OBALOKUN AGANA ERIN
Obalokun succeeded to the throne of his fathers. His mother was the daughter of the Alake, the Primus of the Egba chiefs.
The most memorable event of this reign was the introduction of salt into the Yoruba country. The article hitherto used for it was an insipid rock salt known as Obu. Salt now known as iyo was at first called dùn-mómó .
This King was said to be in friendly relations with the King of France (probably Portugal) with whom he had direct communication. It was said that the King sent 800 messengers with presents to that European sovereign, but that they were never heard of again. Tradition says that the sounds of bells ringing in the skies was plainly heard in the Akesan (King's) market, and it was conjectured that it was the voices of the unfortunates speaking to them from the other world to tell their fate.
What natural phenomenon this may have been due to which was interpreted thus, we do not know, but so it was believed at the time, and similar omens are not unknown to history.
It was said that a white traveller visited Oyo during this reign.
This King placed the first Ajele (political resident) at Ijãna near Ilaro, with the title of Onisãrè. The appointment of an Onisãrè was regularly from Oyo and he must be a Tapà by birth.