Writings of the general word's body

Friday, August 27, 2010

Osun Osogbo Festival, today

Erelu Lola Ayonrinde saying prayers by the river

Like sirens by the water: Osun devotees

Robin Campbell (right) of the Adunni Olorisa Trust.

It's the day of perhaps the most famous and the most successful cultural festival in Nigeria, and let's not forget that for believers of the Osun river deity, it's a religious occasion. Osun State, Osogbo especially, is teeming with hundreds of foreign guests who have come in for two major conferences in this corner of the country, and no doubt some will be heading river way to witness the spectacle of Osun Osogbo for themselves, swelling even more the crowds in the ancient town. It will be hectic, but it will be worth it and Wordsbody will be there.

These pictures can only give a hint, as they were not taken at last year's festival but months before, at a rite of passage for Susanne Wenger in April 2009.

It's the first Osun Osogbo ever to hold without a king on the Osogbo throne. Oba Matanmi joined the ancestors earlier this month. The king is the custodian of the festival and has sacred rites to perform in order to maintain the town's ties to the Osun goddess. It will be interesting to see how it's played out this year, as Osogbo second-in-command, Chief Gabriel Oparanti, fills in the king's role. No doubt continuity is assured, just as it was last year after the passing of Wenger, the most famous person ever associated with the festival.

I was at last August's grand finale. Seeing the Arugba (Osun votary maid) enter the grove was quite something. And what an awesome sight seeing Oba Matanmi in the 'crown with 16 eyes', the Adeosun. Little did one know it would be the last....

Osun Osogbo Festival

Osun Grove World Heritage Site

Isale Osun, Osogbo.

Photos: Molara Wood


iyanda kamoru ahmed ph.d said...

I love Osun osogbo
attributes of osun osogbo
iya ( the divine mother)
Abiyamo ( The giver of good chilren)
Gbami oooooooooooooooooooooo
(save me)
By iyanda kamoru ahmed ph.d

iyanda kamoru ahmed ph.d said...

I love what prof wole soyinka did for yoruba in diaspora concerning the issue of (agbo) divine water taken to Brazil. Wishing him long life and prosperity amen Thank you thank you and thank you