Iye Ekiti which came to be around 603AD originated from Iyekere, like other Yoruba towns, in Ile-ife, the cradle of all Yorubas. Iyekere is between Modakeke and Ile-ife in the present day, Osun State. Since this time that Iye was formed from the name of the parent town, Iyekere, the name has never been changed.
The founders of the town known as Iye Ekiti today were three major actors: Abiri Ipesi (an herbalist), Ofiro Asoso (a hunter) and Olumose (an herbalist/hunter). A few others who were with them on this escapade were Asalu, Elemure, Elepe, Olora and Aremo.
While Abiri Ipesi settled at Oke –Agbo along Ewu Road, Ofiro Asoso who happens to his brother and a hunter could not overcome his hunting passions, and so left his brother, Abiri Ipesi, and came to where is now known as Ilegemo at Oke Iye.
Meanwhile, another man known as Olumose was already on ground at the place now known as Isapa. These three people facilitated the coming together of the other hamlets.
In total, about twenty-two hamlets came together to form the town. Most these hamlets which moved from the original locations still retain the original traditional locations for farming activities today. For example, Iremo came from Igbo Ilokun, Ise from Akunrin, Igbede from Igbo Ogun, Ilisemo from Oke Agbo, Ilafe have something in common with Imore in Otun Ekiti and so on.
Abiri Ipesi, Ofir Asoso and Olumose by virtue of their positions, became the heads of their quarters which are today known as Ilefun, Oke-iye and Isapa. Iye would have been larger than it is today, but the rampaging war of that era affected some of these hamlets that came together. For instance, the path left untagged to honour the Imose people being Royal family, for the King’s children for easy passage along Omi-igbo in Isapa was exploited by the enemies to attack Iye. This explains while Isapa is today sparsely populated. The people carried away by the Fulani’s war then were taken towards northern Nigeria, thus, they were settled till today at Isapa Opin in Kwara State. Other hamlets have their fair shares of the wars; Ihun, known for the protection of the territorial integrity of Iye during the wars, Ayooke and Ifere too were affected by the Ibadan/Ekiti war.
Mentioned must be made of the fact that the founders of Iye were fair people. This reflected in their just and equitable distribution of all positions. This account for the reason that there is no house or family group in Iye today without a principal position of chieftaincy title. Their fairness to one another is also seen in the fact that all strategic places, Oja Ojogbo, Apejoye, Ile Epa, etc, were jointly decided without rancours.
ORGANIZATION AND CHIEFTAINCY As earlier said, the town, Iye, is divided into three quarters: Oke-iye, Ilefun and Isapa. The following is the composition of each of these quarters in terms of houses or family groups within them as at today: Ilefun 7 houses/ compounds Ojumorin compound Ilisemo Compound Ilora Compound Odo-idara “ Ile Ebu “ Ile Tuntun “ Ile Asalu “
Each of these three quarters has their quarterly heads as follows: QUARTER TITLE OF THE QUARTER’S HEAD Oke-iye Olowa Ilefun Onilefun Isapa Obanla
In the traditional Iye settings, these three quarterly heads do not go into the King’s palace. Their major preoccupation was the effective administration of their respective quarters. However, they are often represented in the king’s palace by their chiefs who represent the interests of their quarters as follows: Obanla/Isapa represented by Olukotun and Sajuku Onilefun/Ilefun represented by Eisaba and Onigemo Olowa/Oke-iye represented by Lukosi and Eisaya These stand-in chiefs are called the IWARAFAS. Other members of this iwarafagroup are Agba-akin from Isapa, Eisinkin from Oke-iye and Ajaganna from Ilefun.