town, Osun state, southwestern Nigeria. It lies in the Yoruba Hills and at the intersection of roads from Ile-Ife, Oshogbo, and Akure. The town is one of the oldest settlements in Yorubaland-according to tradition, it was founded by an owa ("king") who was one of the 16 sons of the deity Oduduwa. Ilesha was an important military centre in the campaigns against Ibadan, 60 miles (97 km) west-southwest, in the 19th-century Yoruba civil wars, and the town has a memorial to Ogedengbe, an Ileshan warrior-leader who died in 1910.
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