Well, see this. This is the royal stool of the king of Osogbo, left vacant by the monarch's death on August 4. The king normally has a role to play in the festival, and has to wear the crown in this picture, the Adeosun, once a year during the Osun river deity festival only. Oba Matanmi's passing so close to the festival made this the first edition ever without an Osogbo king on the throne. Word was that second in command in the ancient city would play the role of the king, still one wanted to see quite what would happen today in the Osun Grove.
I think a most dignified solution was found, and here it is. On the ceremonial stool in the Osun Grove, next to the state governor Oyinlola and other dignitaries, was the Oba's stool, draped in white, the Adeosun and the king's staff of office and the irukere - on the seat throughout the ceremony. I have often spoken to people about the sheer spectacle of seeing the late Matanmi transform into the Adeosun (a crown with 16 eyes embossed on it) last year. He had come to the grove with a regular crown but when it was time to go and pay homage at the riverside, his courtiers shielded him all the way round with their flowing agbada. Next thing you know, he was in this Adeosun. When he returned from the river, the agbadas shielded him again, and he was back in the regular crown. I thought nothing could beat seeing Matanmi in this crown, but that was before I saw this earlier today. Beautiful way to symbolise the permanence of the throne. The king is dead, long live the king and all of that.
This picture is by Tommy Adegbite courtesy Osun Tourism. My own images of Osun Festival, later.
Can art mend some of the injustices of history? - From the Princeton University "Forward Thinkers" series, 2021
6 days ago