Naming is common to all cultures. Yoruba group to which Eruwa belongs is no exception. Customarily, Eruwa like other Yorubas derived its name from historical experiences. One traditional account state that the town derived it name from the way in which hawkers advertised roasted yam to the northern caravans who constantly congregated in the town. The method of hawking is employed was (Eru wa nibi o that is piece of yam are available here).

Another traditional account stated that the town’s name was derived from the reply usually given to the travellers who enquired to know if there were passengers at the stopping station (the role which the town was serving to the caravans). The common reply was (Ero wa nbi o that is, travellers are available here).

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According to Gbólágùnté in 1977, he stated that “Before and during the 19th century, Eruwa serve as an important caravan trade route linking western Yoruba area with the Atlantic coast and northern Nigeria”. According to him, “the traders brought down Èmí (Dye), native woven clothes, Honey, shea-butter, Raw tobbaco and Ìyèré (locust bean seeds) from shaki area while the hausas brought potash (Kán-ún) on donkey.

When they returning from the south, (Lagos and Abeokuta), They returned with hot drinks, refined tobbaco, Salt, Lantern, trinkets, beads and mats”.The defensive nature of Eruwa and the sure supply of food encouraged the caravans to constantly patronise it as their refreshment as well as their resting station.

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The two account share some similarities. First, both of them were given within the same context (that is, linkage with the outside world). Second, both of them manifest the distinct ibarapa dialect and custom . Thus, both of them appear plausible. In other words, it is possible that the name from could have derived from one or the combination of the two accounts, more so, when ‘yam’ and ‘people’ factors in the emergence of Eruwa as the name are related.

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For instance, Yam I.e (Èrú) was meant for travellers (Èrò). In all probability, therefore, the word Eruwa is a corruption of either Eru wa or Ero wa or both. The important thing however is that the name has come to say for a group of Yoruba speaking people residing in that particular geographical zone.


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