During the reign of Alafin Onigbogi, probably in the early sixteenth century, the Oyo capital, Oyo-ile, was abandoned to the Nupe from across the Niger. It was reoccupied only after an exile lasting some three-quarters of a century. During their exile the Alafin settled at several places in the marches of Borgu and Yorubaland, and finally founded a new capital at Oyo-Igboho.
This essay, after referring to the oral traditions of the Yoruba on which it is mainly based, describes the withdrawal of the Oyo into Borgu and attempts to identify the various halting places of the Alafin. The traditions about the founding and settling of the new capital at Igboho under Egunoju, and the existing remains of the new capital, are examined, and then the reigns of the four Alafin of Oyo-Igboho. Under Orompoto (who may have been a woman) and Ajiboyede, military successes were scored against the Borgu and Nupe, and under Abipa the Alafin's internal authority was decisively asserted. The period seems to have been one of both military and constitutional reform, and the morale of the Oyo was further improved by the introduction of new forms of religion. Under Abipa the Oyo were able to return to their former capital, and in the succeeding reigns the kingdom began to expand until it became probably the most important of the Guinea States.
Tentative suggestions are made in the essay about the chronology of the period. In particular it is postulated that Oyo-ile was abandoned about 1535, Igboho founded about 1555 Oyo-ile reoccupied about 1610.