Monday, March 4, 2024

The criteria for the selection of Are Ona Kakanfo

The criteria for the selection of Are Ona Kakanfo 

To be the Are Ona Kakanfo, you must be a great warrior and very courageous.

 The creation of the title stopped the invasion of Yorubaland by external aggressors. 

The Are Ona Kakanfo was so powerful and invincible that he would fight several wars at the same time.

 He never lost any battle. Due to his power, the Alaafin would not allow him to live in the same town with him.

 The Aare Ona Kakanfo normally lives in a commercial city.

The selection involves several rituals and there have been speculations that the last two Kakanfos did not complete the ritual circles. 

Samuel Johnson in his book treatise on the Kakanfo stated that the Kakanfos are always shaved, but the hair on the inoculated part is allowed to grow long, and when plaited, forms a tuft or sort of pigtail, adding that Kakanfos are generally ‘very stubborn and obstinate.

They have been more or less troublesome, due to the effect of the ingredients they were inoculated with. In war they carry no weapon but a weapon known as the King’s invincible staff.’ 

It is generally understood that they are to give way to no one not even to the King, their master.

 Hence, Kakanfos are never created in the capital but in any other town in the Kingdom.

Kakanfo is akin to a field marshal and is conferred upon the greatest soldier and tactician of the day.

 ‘By virtue of his office he is to go to war once in 3 years to whatever place the King named, and dead or alive, to return home a victor, or be brought home a corpse within three months. 

Kakanfo usually has certain ensigns: The Ojijiko, and a cap made of the red feathers of the parrots tail, with a projection behind reaching as far down as the waist, an apron of leopards skin, and a leopard skin to sit on always the Asiso or pigtail and the Staff invincible.

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