An appraisal of Akesan: the oldest market in Oyo town
Category: History | Proverbs & Tales
The market institution has been an integral part of the Yoruba community and custom since time immemorial; even before the advent of money, when trading was done through barter and goods were sold on the path to the farm or in front of houses because there were no spaces set aside for marketing activities aside pathways and other sites that are thoroughfare for the people in the settlements.
Since this period, markets bacame mainstay of the Yoruba community as majority were farmers who could not eat their produce alone and had to exchange some for other commodities and services. And with the introduction of money into the economy and creation of permanent sites for marketing activities, the markets became more integral to every community.
The markets were not only the economic sustenance tools but they became the centre for information dissemination, town meetings, religious and political gatherings as well as social engagements. And consequently, specific days were set aside for market functions, making the periodic market the first to evolve within the Yoruba society; though the exact period it started cannot be easily traced in history.
In Oyo town, Akeesan market, also called Oja Oba (King’s market) is very close to the
Alaafin’s Palace. It is opened on a daily basis unlike the other marketplaces, such as Ajegunle market, irepodun market and Sabo market which are all opened for a five-day interval. It is also reported to be the oldest market in the town. Akesan market embraces the visitor in an atmosphere which is traditionally energised and authentic yet reminiscent of today’s society
A short appraisal
Title: Àkèsán, our own cradle.
Àkèsán orò, ibi ojúmó ti’a tí ń mówá
Tààrà là ń gbà d’ Ààfin
Èbùrú là ń gbà dé Sóóró
Gbàdàmósí jájo d’ójà
Àkèsán l’èmi náà ń rè
Kòsíjó máàrún, kòsójí méta
Ojoojúmó l’àkèsán ń hó yànmùyànmù
Ibi eléfè tí ń s’èfè
Ni olówò tí ń se tirè
Ìbùgbé àwon òjògbón