The Origin of Sapele, See All You Need To Know

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The word Sapele came from the word “Urhiapele”. It originated from 2 Okpe-Urhobo words meaning “Urhie” and Apele.

Urhie means Sea, or big River.

Apele was the name of a Deity.

Apele was among the gods that some Okpe ancestors served when they were in “Adane-Okpe”(Ancient Orerokpe) before it was destroyed around 1780.

The gods of the Okpes in Ancient Orerokpe were Edion, Ibuerimi, Otore, Ekpokpase, Izuokpe, Aton, and Apele.

Edion was the Chief Deity worshipped by the entire Adane. It’s Chief Priest was Esezi himself who was also the Orodje or king.

Aton was the deity of the Orhoro House, the other 3 quarters do not serve Aton. It’s Chief Priest was Ide, While Ide reports to Owhere the most senior Okakuro of the Orhoro ruling house.

Apele was the deity of the Orhue house. The other 3 quarters do not worship Apele as it belonged only the Orhue family and quarter. It’s Chief Priest was Onoje who was answerable to Odorume, Senior Okakuro of the Orhue house.

At the destruction of Adane Okpe around 1780, Inoje went to Sapele and set up the shrine of Apele near the big River….The River became known as Urhie- Apele or Urhiapele. It was corrupted to Sapele by the Europeans.

Source: Testimony of Chief Ayomanor last clan head of the Okpe People and Chief Omarin Otota to Udogun Okpe before Judge Jackson in the Sapele Land case of 1942……Séé Móré

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