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The legendary life of Aro – The Yoruba Hunter Who Disappeared Into The Ground With His Leopard

The story of the man whose name was Aro who was a skillful hunter, a warrior and a ruler in Yoruba land can be traced to Oyo when there was report that foreigners were disturbing the Yorubas purposely to trade them as slaves.

Aro whose statute appears in the photo above was a warrior who moved out together with his Leopard and migrated to settle in Igbo Aje where he and his warriors were able to attack the enemies who were mostly slave traders in sight.Statue of Aro.

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This warrior was able to restore peace to his people after fighting the slave traders from neighboring Dahomey which is now known as Benin Republic.

Aro later found Ilu-aro which means the town of Aro, a town named after his name which is later called Ilaro for easy pronunciation and he settled down there.

The history laid in Ilaro by this warrior is still at present. Apart from returning peace to his people, when he became old, he entered into the ground with his leopard In order to prove the potency of his power. He also told his people to call on him anytime there is problem like war by pulling the chain attached to the leopard and himself.

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The place where Aro entered into the ground with his leopard (known as amotekun in Yoruba) is now called the Orona Shrine. It has been renovated for tourist and historical purpose. It is also a place where the coronation of every new king of the town takes place.

For the purpose of remembering the warrior, there is a annual festival called Orona festival being observed in Ilaro every year.

The legendary life of Aro was indeed a remarkable one that still exists in history.

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