Greeting The King

The Yoruba tradition for greeting kings is similar across board. On presentation to the King, men prostrate; while the women kneel down and he is addressed as ‘Kabiyesi’ The response usually by his aids is ‘Oba n ki o’ (The King greets you). For those who are conversant with tradition, then go a step further by snapping their fingers rolling to the right and left saying, “moyi ika otun moyi ika osi ”. This means – I roll my right fingers and my left fingers. This is called “The Osusu Owo”. Those who are familiar with his eulogy also go into the praise eulogy. After the greeting his aid instructs the visitor to rise up. The King could also use the irukere (anthers or horse tail) to indicate permission to rise, he doesn’t necessarily have to speak.

THE QUEEN – When meeting the Olori, she is hailed “Olori, Olori, ile la wa o, ile la wa o, ile la wa o Olori! *(not sure about this)” The greeting and name shows recognition giving her respect as a King’s wife. On presentation to the Olori and in a later conversation, the traditional address is “Olori”

PRINCES & PRINCESS – When meeting the Royal Prince, he/she is addressed “Kabiyesi o, omo Oba”.

CHIEFSWhen meeting a Chief, he is called ‘Oloye’

BAALE – He is hailed “Okolu, Baale Okolu”

WHITE CAP Chief, he is hailed “Baba oloye”.


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