Queen of Africa Series: The Stories behind the Gift

Moremi was a queen in the 12th-century Yoruba town of Ile Ife. She was married to Oramiyan, the heir to the king of Ife. They lived a peaceful life except for the occasional attacks by the spirit warriors of a neighbouring town. The warriors often attacked and captured the people of Ife, enslaving its inhabitants and leaving their land desolate.

This occurred repeatedly, and the people became despondent because they did not have the means to defend themselves. They thought their attackers were spirits, not men, so they were helpless against their recurring attacks.

Legend has it that Moremi, the brave and beautiful queen, consulted with the river goddess, who promised to help defeat the warriors if she made a great sacrifice. Moremi agreed and then devised a plan to save her people. 

So, the next time the warriors attacked, Moremi placed herself in the line of defence and was captured and carried away as a slave. Upon her capture, she heard them speak and realized they were not spirits but men dressed in dried palm leaves to make them look scary and spirit-like. She bravely and covertly observed her environments as they travelled and noticed when they came to the end of their journey. 

She was taken to the king’s palace, and the king became infatuated with her due to her good looks. She capitalized on her charm and warmed her way to the king’s heart, so much so that he married her. She became his confidant and friend, and it was here that she learnt the secret of the warriors, their Achilles heel, and how to conquer them. After observing them for an extended period, she returned to Ife to inform the army and the king of the strategies they needed to defeat the warriors. They heeded her words and prepared well for battle; Ife’s war chieftains trained their warriors and devised strategies to beat the so-called spirit warriors; they trained and anticipated the day of the next attack, and soon enough, that day came.

The warriors came, making intimidating noises and war dances as usual, but this time, the Ife warriors stood their ground and fought back. The battle was intense, but in the end, the Ife warriors won and claimed victory. Moremi was reinstalled to her original position as queen, and she is revered as queen mother by all the people of Ife to this day.

Though from a royal lineage, Moremi was a heroine and a brave and strong woman. She represents the atypical African woman who is beautiful, courageous, intelligent, and strong. This exquisite, handcrafted stoned African Woman head gown, available in teal green, wine, and navy blue, is an insignia to the beauty and resilience of African women. These African-themed gifts are available at the African Gift Shop (www.myafricangiftshop.com), the home of handcrafted and unique gift items. 

African Gift Shop is a black-owned business that sells African-themed gifts, unique African gifts, and corporate gifts. For your African-inspired gifts, visit us at www.myafricangiftshop.com and order your unique, bespoke and authentic gifts.

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