Posts Tagged ‘ORISHA’

Watch “ESU Is Not The Devil: Mistranslation Has Africans Demonizing Their Own Spirituality” on YouTube

November 12, 2018

https://youtu.be/iYx9YWxfOjk

YORUBA VILLAGE IN amerikkka!-SOUTH CAROLINA-OYOTUNJI VILLAGE WHERE YORUBA RELIGION IN PRACTICED!–FROM VICE.COM

August 2, 2015

from vice.com

WE MUST HAVE A BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY BASED ON THE BLACK SKINNED BLACKEST WOMAN

Sunday, August 02, 2015

OYOTUNJI 000000!–A YORUBA VILLAGE IN SOUTH CAROLINA!-FROM VICE.COM

from vice.com

An Oral History of the West African Village That Has Been in South Carolina for Four Decades

July 30, 2015

By Christopher Kilbourn

The king on his throne. All photos of an ancestor worship ceremony at Oyotunji by the author

At the tail end of the 1960s, elements within the Civil Rights Movement were having a debate about how the African-American community at large should confront the hostile and ignorant society in which it resided. Some advocated peaceful assimilation; others raised the idea of a violent, apocalyptic insurrection. And a few suggested moving to rural South Carolina, establishing a polygamous religious commune, and creating an outpost of West African culture through regular acts of ancestor worship, animal sacrifice, and other rituals.
On VICE News: Road-Tripping to South Carolina With the ‘New’ KKK This outpost is the Oyotunji African Village, founded by a man known as His Royal Highness Oba Oseijeman Adefunmi I, who in the late 60s was inspired to leave New York, purchase land in the Deep South, and establish a community born from the idea that black empowerment needed to focus on culture, not just economic independence.
More than four decades later, Oyotunji persists, providing a pleasant setting for converts to the Yoruba religion to live out their spiritual lives. According to a 1995 Essence article, the village had about 120 inhabitants during its mid-70s peak. Today there are around 25, and leadership has passed on to one of its founder’s 22 children, Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II.
Tourists are welcome to stop by the village, which sits about 50 miles outside of Charleston, near Sheldon, South Carolina. Its atmosphere of inclusiveness and cultural education stands in stark contrast to the recent church shooting and the intense fallout that resulted nearby. By all accounts, Oyotunji is not just a place to live, but a way of life: Its inhabitants construct temples to the pantheon of spirits called Orishas and pray to them every day. Curious about the life and perspectives of these traditionalist back-to-the-landers, I traveled to Sheldon, South Carolina, to learn a bit about Yoruba culture and gain some insight into Southern life in 2015. This is what they said:

Continued below.

Akintobe: I heard about it in Germany. I saw a little article in the military newspaper about a voodoo village in Beaufort [County], South Carolina, and it showed the king sitting on a throne that perhaps he made himself. I cut that picture out and placed it above my bed, and that’s where it stayed until I left, 30 months later. I don’t know why I did it. I was compelled by a spiritual force that I couldn’t resist. And I came here in December of ’74.

Ofalaya: I met the Oba in 2003 in Key West, Florida, when he was a prince. He came to Key West to declare one of the beaches there an African burial ground. And I met him there. And I did some volunteering at the African museum in Key West that he helped start. My sister’s a Shango priest, so I wasn’t unfamiliar with the culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II : I was born in Oyotunji in 1976, right here on the property during a storm. And the house blew over. I remember my dad telling me the story. And he came over there to rush and see if my mother was OK, and he said she came crawling out holding me from under some boards.

Olpeju

Olapeju: It’s not so much a religion as it is a culture or a lifestyle. We’re here to honor our ancestors. That means I honor yours. That means you honor mine. It’s a different dynamic than just going to church on Sunday and praying.

Akintobe: This is not part-time. Full-time. Twenty-five hours, daily. Sleeping, wake up, it’s part of you. Go to bed saying certain things, wake up saying certain things. God, God. To the Orishas, to the ancestors, daily. All day long. Praising. Giving thanks.

Ofalaya: After you go through your initiation, you spend three weeks with your Iyalosa. She would be your godparent who helps you go through the transition of becoming initiated, becoming a priest or a priestess. You have your physical parent or your biological parent, and then you have your spiritual parents. One of the Orisha will be your father and one of them will be your mother.

I have done things that I never thought I would ever do. Like chopping wood, and not using a cell phone.

You get up at 5 AM and spend your time with yourself, really. Because after that, until the time you go to bed, your time belongs to everyone, and whatever needs to be done in the nation. The farming is a big thing that we work together on. Someone weeds, someone waters, someone plants.

o2Olapeju: I have a job outside, so I also have to take into account my work schedule. But I assist with the raking.

Olayatan: Tours come. They invite us out for lectures and presentations. We do cultural events. We have priests who do consultations for people. They read them and give them counseling.

Akintobe: I’m a priest. I’ve been initiated into the secret mysteries of Obatala, who is my father. That was 1978. And then I went to the high priest of Ifa in West Africa in 1992. And I went back again in 2000 to finish it up. So I’m Babaaláwo, “father of secrets.”

HOW OYOTUNJI WAS FOUNDED

kingOba: My dad, he was born in ’28. He was about 41, 42 [when Oyotunji was built.] He had two temples in New York, and he was the first African American to tell black people that, Look, not only are you African, you have a culture and a religion, and here it is.

He said he was nothing until he ran into African culture. He was bumping in the dark.

Akintobe: He was a man who loved art; he was a commercial artist. And he was a dancer with the Katherine Dunham dance troupe. That’s when he toured Egypt and Cuba, and that’s when he really got into African culture. His mother and father came up under Marcus Garvey, so he came up early.5

Oba: He married a European woman, a Dutch woman in Greenwich Village. It was with [her] that he became radicalized as this African traditionalist. And he said it was because he noticed she had a culture: They had holidays and pageantry and all these sorts of things, and my dad was very interested in it.

And he asked her one time, and she said, “You don’t have a culture. You don’t have a religion. Because you have not been taught it.” And she opened him up. And she introduced him to a black nationalist, Harvey. And Harvey started taking him from Greenwich Village to Harlem, and that’s when it all started. He got fired up at those rallies and speeches. Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King.

He said, “We’ve got to get out of the city. We’ve got to do like they’re doing in Africa. If we’re nationalists, we’ve got to have a land, at least.” And so he started to design it. They chipped in and bought this property here for about $500. They began to build temples and institutions first. This is back in the 60s.an-oral-history-of-the-west-african-village-that-has-been-in-south-carolina-for-four-dec0

Akintobe: We didn’t have any electricity, we didn’t have any indoor plumbing. [This was] back in the 70s to ’85. We were so into studying, the initiations, learning as much as we could get our hands on, and trying to absorb and prepare ourselves as custodians of the culture. This place was like a university.

Olayatan: Kerosene lamps, outhouses. Wood stoves for cooking and heating. I loved the energy then. And I love the energy now, but it’s—that’s the way it was then.o3Olapeju

Oba: The early people who came here were not builders. They were PhDs and doctors and stuff. So they were building [houses] out of cover sheets and pallets. Not that you can’t build out of pallets, but you’ve got to do it right. And so the houses leaked, and they got blown over by storms.

Watch: ‘Triple Hate,’ our documentary on the KKK

Olayatan: Technology came in. We got electricity. We got running water. But somewhere between Nixon and Reagan, somewhere in there was a kind of turnaround. The economy started getting tougher. Folks were struggling for money. Then the oracle says, OK, things are going to get really tough. And we didn’t know what it meant at that time, but [he was predicting] the onslaught of drugs and crime in the city.

So he says, “OK, the priests have to go out and form other communities like this.” So [since the 80s,] they have [established] shrines and temples in various parts of the country and priests that administer to the community. To try and let them know you can reconnect with your ancestors and your ancestors’ culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II

THE NEW KINGo5

Oba: [In 2005], I was traveling across Seven Mile Bridge [in Florida] one day and I got a call from one of the elders. He said, “I’ve got to tell you something. Where are you?” I said, “I’m over the water, the best time. Going over a long bridge.” He said, “Oh, perfect.” And then he told me: “Your father passed away this morning.”

I couldn’t even hear what he was saying before my mind was racing. And I came back to Oyotunji, and I went through three months of traditional preparation for coronation. It was the second time that we had done it on North American soil. For three months, we had to wear black and be secluded in the room. And we had to serve all of the chiefs.

They would ask the spirits, How are we doing? Each day, they would check in with the divinities, with the oracle, to find out exactly what’s needed. How’s my spirit? How’s my character? And so I had to feed them and cook for them every time. Basically, they had to demean my character all the way down from whatever I had picked up in my life.

I remember the day after coronation, people were saying, “That didn’t even look like you out there!” It had really changed me.

And so I remember what I always said to myself was, I want to be able to build Oyotunji. I want to be able to build it standard, nice.

So we’ve remodeled this temple here. We did the Oshun temple down the road. We built the bathroom, the shower house, the media center. All of these buildings here, we remodeled them. Redid the palace. We redo the road twice a year. We’ve been able to just continue to just build and build and build. The only thing we didn’t redo is my house.

RACE IN THE SOUTHo6

Akintobe: That young man [Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter] just turned 21. To have such hate. And why? Not once did he say that he was discriminated against. Nothing of that sort. [It was] something that he just felt. That he could do it, get away with it.

Can the stroke of a pen change the heart of our enemy? That’s the question I always ask. Passing a law? Taking down the Confederate flag? How do you change the heart of our enemy?

Oba: America never went into repair mode. It’s always been, put a new tablecloth on the dirty table because we’ve got guests. And over time, you’re going to smell it coming through the cloth.

After the Civil War was won, the Klan would still carry the Confederate flag. So our ancestors got used to seeing the Confederate flag not as a symbol of culture and heritage. Fuck no. They rode in and burned your house down. That was your visual. If they came in and grew gardens to help poor black people, it’d be a different thing. But they didn’t. It was always segregation.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. –Olayatan

WHY CULTURE MATTERS

Olayatan: It’s important for us as Africans in America to know who we are, so we can know what we have brought to the world, and what we can bring to the world in the future.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. Because that culture talks about history, contribution, and all of those things that we as a species stick our chests out about. What my people have done. What my ancestors have done. And basically, Africans in America have been told, You ain’t done nothing. You ain’t nothing, you ain’t done nothing, you’re not gonna do nothing. Because you never did anything. And so many of our people have bought into that. And that’s a tragedy and it’s a sickness.

Oba: Europeans have to know this culture, especially in America. You’re talking about healing. Taking the flag down and all these superficial things are not healing. Understanding each other’s culture is healing.

Akintobe: Oyotunji is the solution. Something was missing, but I found it here. When you know thyself, nobody can say anything to you. Once you know thyself, if you know your historical past, your ancestral past, what your people were, what they did before captivity… You walk with your shoulders and your head high. You’ve got nothing to be ashamed about and everything to be proud of. Everything.

Christopher Kilbourn is a freelancer in New Orleans. Follow him on Twitter.

Topics: Oyotunji, South Carolina, Yoruba, Oba Oseijeman Adefunmi, Sheldon, ancestor worship, religion, black separatists, Charleston shooting

COMING TO OYOTUNJI

Olayatan: I came for a two-week visit on August 6, 1978. So I guess that’s coming up on 37 years.

Olapeju, wife of the king: It’s been about a year [since I moved here]. My aunt was married to the first kabiyesi (“king”—literally, “the one who no one opposes”), so my family’s been familiar with the culture for a while. I started coming down with her a couple years back, and I fell in love with the culture, my daughter fell in love with the culture. So we decided last year to go ahead and make the plunge. I don’t know if I’ll be here forever, but I definitely am enjoying the time that I’m here right now.

Akintobe: I heard about it in Germany. I saw a little article in the military newspaper about a voodoo village in Beaufort [County], South Carolina, and it showed the king sitting on a throne that perhaps he made himself. I cut that picture out and placed it above my bed, and that’s where it stayed until I left, 30 months later. I don’t know why I did it. I was compelled by a spiritual force that I couldn’t resist. And I came here in December of ’74.

Ofalaya: I met the Oba in 2003 in Key West, Florida, when he was a prince. He came to Key West to declare one of the beaches there an African burial ground. And I met him there. And I did some volunteering at the African museum in Key West that he helped start. My sister’s a Shango priest, so I wasn’t unfamiliar with the culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II : I was born in Oyotunji in 1976, right here on the property during a storm. And the house blew over. I remember my dad telling me the story. And he came over there to rush and see if my mother was OK, and he said she came crawling out holding me from under some boards.

Olapejuo3

Olapeju: It’s not so much a religion as it is a culture or a lifestyle. We’re here to honor our ancestors. That means I honor yours. That means you honor mine. It’s a different dynamic than just going to church on Sunday and praying.

Akintobe: This is not part-time. Full-time. Twenty-five hours, daily. Sleeping, wake up, it’s part of you. Go to bed saying certain things, wake up saying certain things. God, God. To the Orishas, to the ancestors, daily. All day long. Praising. Giving thanks.

Ofalaya: After you go through your initiation, you spend three weeks with your Iyalosa. She would be your godparent who helps you go through the transition of becoming initiated, becoming a priest or a priestess. You have your physical parent or your biological parent, and then you have your spiritual parents. One of the Orisha will be your father and one of them will be your mother.

I have done things that I never thought I would ever do. Like chopping wood, and not using a cell phone.

You get up at 5 AM and spend your time with yourself, really. Because after that, until the time you go to bed, your time belongs to everyone, and whatever needs to be done in the nation. The farming is a big thing that we work together on. Someone weeds, someone waters, someone plants.

Olapeju: I have a job outside, so I also have to take into account my work schedule. But I assist with the raking.

Olayatan: Tours come. They invite us out for lectures and presentations. We do cultural events. We have priests who do consultations for people. They read them and give them counseling.

Akintobe: I’m a priest. I’ve been initiated into the secret mysteries of Obatala, who is my father. That was 1978. And then I went to the high priest of Ifa in West Africa in 1992. And I went back again in 2000 to finish it up. So I’m Babaaláwo, “father of secrets.”

HOW OYOTUNJI WAS FOUNDED

Oba: My dad, he was born in ’28. He was about 41, 42 [when Oyotunji was built.] He had two temples in New York, and he was the first African American to tell black people that, Look, not only are you African, you have a culture and a religion, and here it is.

He said he was nothing until he ran into African culture. He was bumping in the dark.

Akintobe: He was a man who loved art; he was a commercial artist. And he was a dancer with the Katherine Dunham dance troupe. That’s when he toured Egypt and Cuba, and that’s when he really got into African culture. His mother and father came up under Marcus Garvey, so he came up early.

Oba: He married a European woman, a Dutch woman in Greenwich Village. It was with [her] that he became radicalized as this African traditionalist. And he said it was because he noticed she had a culture: They had holidays and pageantry and all these sorts of things, and my dad was very interested in it.

And he asked her one time, and she said, “You don’t have a culture. You don’t have a religion. Because you have not been taught it.” And she opened him up. And she introduced him to a black nationalist, Harvey. And Harvey started taking him from Greenwich Village to Harlem, and that’s when it all started. He got fired up at those rallies and speeches. Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King.

He said, “We’ve got to get out of the city. We’ve got to do like they’re doing in Africa. If we’re nationalists, we’ve got to have a land, at least.” And so he started to design it. They chipped in and bought this property here for about $500. They began to build temples and institutions first. This is back in the 60s.

Akintobe: We didn’t have any electricity, we didn’t have any indoor plumbing. [This was] back in the 70s to ’85. We were so into studying, the initiations, learning as much as we could get our hands on, and trying to absorb and prepare ourselves as custodians of the culture. This place was like a university.

Olayatan: Kerosene lamps, outhouses. Wood stoves for cooking and heating. I loved the energy then. And I love the energy now, but it’s—that’s the way it was then.

Oba: The early people who came here were not builders. They were PhDs and doctors and stuff. So they were building [houses] out of cover sheets and pallets. Not that you can’t build out of pallets, but you’ve got to do it right. And so the houses leaked, and they got blown over by storms.

 

Olayatan: Technology came in. We got electricity. We got running water. But somewhere between Nixon and Reagan, somewhere in there was a kind of turnaround. The economy started getting tougher. Folks were struggling for money. Then the oracle says, OK, things are going to get really tough. And we didn’t know what it meant at that time, but [he was predicting] the onslaught of drugs and crime in the city.

So he says, “OK, the priests have to go out and form other communities like this.” So [since the 80s,] they have [established] shrines and temples in various parts of the country and priests that administer to the community. To try and let them know you can reconnect with your ancestors and your ancestors’ culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II

THE NEW KING

Oba: [In 2005], I was traveling across Seven Mile Bridge [in Florida] one day and I got a call from one of the elders. He said, “I’ve got to tell you something. Where are you?” I said, “I’m over the water, the best time. Going over a long bridge.” He said, “Oh, perfect.” And then he told me: “Your father passed away this morning.”

I couldn’t even hear what he was saying before my mind was racing. And I came back to Oyotunji, and I went through three months of traditional preparation for coronation. It was the second time that we had done it on North American soil. For three months, we had to wear black and be secluded in the room. And we had to serve all of the chiefs.

They would ask the spirits, How are we doing? Each day, they would check in with the divinities, with the oracle, to find out exactly what’s needed. How’s my spirit? How’s my character? And so I had to feed them and cook for them every time. Basically, they had to demean my character all the way down from whatever I had picked up in my life.

I remember the day after coronation, people were saying, “That didn’t even look like you out there!” It had really changed me.

And so I remember what I always said to myself was, I want to be able to build Oyotunji. I want to be able to build it standard, nice.

So we’ve remodeled this temple here. We did the Oshun temple down the road. We built the bathroom, the shower house, the media center. All of these buildings here, we remodeled them. Redid the palace. We redo the road twice a year. We’ve been able to just continue to just build and build and build. The only thing we didn’t redo is my house.

RACE IN THE SOUTH

Akintobe: That young man [Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter] just turned 21. To have such hate. And why? Not once did he say that he was discriminated against. Nothing of that sort. [It was] something that he just felt. That he could do it, get away with it.

Can the stroke of a pen change the heart of our enemy? That’s the question I always ask. Passing a law? Taking down the Confederate flag? How do you change the heart of our enemy?

Oba: America never went into repair mode. It’s always been, put a new tablecloth on the dirty table because we’ve got guests. And over time, you’re going to smell it coming through the cloth.

After the Civil War was won, the Klan would still carry the Confederate flag. So our ancestors got used to seeing the Confederate flag not as a symbol of culture and heritage. Fuck no. They rode in and burned your house down. That was your visual. If they came in and grew gardens to help poor black people, it’d be a different thing. But they didn’t. It was always segregation.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. –Olayatan

WHY CULTURE MATTERS

Olayatan: It’s important for us as Africans in America to know who we are, so we can know what we have brought to the world, and what we can bring to the world in the future.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. Because that culture talks about history, contribution, and all of those things that we as a species stick our chests out about. What my people have done. What my ancestors have done. And basically, Africans in America have been told, You ain’t done nothing. You ain’t nothing, you ain’t done nothing, you’re not gonna do nothing. Because you never did anything. And so many of our people have bought into that. And that’s a tragedy and it’s a sickness.

Oba: Europeans have to know this culture, especially in America. You’re talking about healing. Taking the flag down and all these superficial things are not healing. Understanding each other’s culture is healing.

Akintobe: Oyotunji is the solution. Something was missing, but I found it here. When you know thyself, nobody can say anything to you. Once you know thyself, if you know your historical past, your ancestral past, what your people were, what they did before captivity… You walk with your shoulders and your head high. You’ve got nothing to be ashamed about and everything to be proud of. Everything.

Christopher Kilbourn is a freelancer in New Orleans. Follow him on Twitter.
Topics: Oyotunji, South Carolina, Yoruba, Oba Oseijemoyotunji

YORUBA RELIGION EXPLAINED IS NOT “IDOL” WORSHIP FOR THE ORISHA ARE MESSENGERS FROM GOD LIKE JESU ATI MOHAMMED!-THIS SISTER EXPLAINS!-FROM THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

October 31, 2013

FROM PUNCHNG.COM

ImageImage,

The Christians against Aregbesola

October 17, 2013 by Abimbola Adelakun (aa_adelakun@utexas.edu)

With a-not-so-subtle-viewpoint, the Christian Association of Nigeria dredges up the familiar issues of morality, religion, secularism and victimhood in Osun State. CAN’s nuanced outburst on Monday, contained in its lengthy press release, indicates a shadow war between it, a Christian lobby group, and the governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, who is a Muslim.

Considering how much religious liberalism exists in South-West Nigeria, the case of CAN and Aregbesola raises questions of why Osun State and why at this time?

Recently, the Lagos State Government was reported to have sealed off the Lord’s Chosen Church over charges of environmental abuse. Governor Babatunde Fashola’s action did not denigrate into the belittling prattle of Muslim-governor-versus-Christian-worshippers hyperbolic navel-gazing. Compare this to CAN’s charges of Islamisation agenda, sponsoring and glorification of idolatry and, re-classification of public schools in Osun State by Aregbesola.

Fashola, of course, cannot be easily tagged with Islamisation bias like Aregbesola; both men are evidently different. In their self-presentation, Aregbesola’s appearance preempts your perception of his religious beliefs; Fashola’s subtle. Second is the admixture of geography and culture: Lagos is cosmopolitan; Osun is provincial.

Third, Aregbesola tries too hard to pander to every existing religious belief in Osun State. While doing this, he knows he must leave room to reassure his Muslim constituency he is still theirs. This kind of politics is confusing as it is unimpressive, and that is why his religious demons remain un-exorcised.

Religion in Nigeria, by the way, is about politics and politics is about contesting spaces. When sects push for space for their religion to thrive, it is not necessarily about social equality. The aim is their cut of socio-political relevance and the capital they can build with it. Their negotiating tool is, of course, the mammoth crowd that subscribes to these religions. The politics of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor as both the President’s spiritual adviser and Public Address System is a demonstration of this crafty mix.

CAN’s contestation with Aregbesola is buoyed by his madcap educational policies; from indications, they desire to tan his hide.

My preliminary assessment of the re-classification remedy masquerading as a revamp of the education sector is that it is meretricious, and does not demonstrate genuine commitment to resolving the problems of education.

Aregbesola’s inspired carving up of schools and teachers is not exactly new. He should ask ex-Governor Rashidi Ladoja who promoted similar wasteful restructuring of schools in Oyo State when he stimulated policies that divided schools into as many as five and all of them had to cohabit in the same compound!

Why do governors go for artificial restructuring while they neglect the real issues of funding, curriculum content development, continuous teacher retraining among others?

However, CAN and its sense of victimhood confuses me. They complain Aregbesola has the dual mandate of Islamising Osun State and glorifying idolatry. How is that possible when the two are diametrically opposed? Is Islam not as intolerant of idols as much as Christianity? Unless of course their argument is that Aregbesola is using idolatry to deflect attention from his “Islamisation agenda” and, he is promoting “idolatry” so as to claim an equal opportunity secularism, I do not see the logic in their argument.

Speaking of idolatry, what does CAN mean by classifying traditional religions as idolatrous?

I am at a loss over how to characterise the bigotry that reeks from CAN’s release. They claim they are “gravely concerned” about Aregbesola’s love for idolatry and cultism, but why the paternalism? Are members of CAN so detached from cultural realities that they see the worship of Ogun or Yemoja as idolatrous and cultic? Have they actually studied African Traditional Religion and its philosophies objectively? Or, they are merely parroting what their colonial forbearers handed down to them?

If CAN desires to see ‘idolatry’, they should look within its varied sects: crass materialism and the pastor figure are the idols on the altar people feverishly worship these days in most ecclesiastical gatherings. They further ask, “Why Ifa in this century?” and I respond, “Why Christianity in the 21st century?”

They even refer to traditional religions as “ancient idols” as if the existence of Abraham, Isaac and Jesus Christ is not as old –and possibly predates — the Yoruba pantheon of gods. CAN’s shocking lack of tact and pernicious attitude towards others’ faith gives a hollow ring to its redemptive press release.

CAN’s position makes the need for studying comparative religion right from primary school a must –not only in Osun State but also in all states of the federation. It will disabuse ignorant minds that the worship of Ogun is neither idolatrous nor cultic. Its prejudice against traditional religions shows its members lack any higher moral ground than the governor whom they accuse of upsetting social order with his religious overzealousness.

If Aregbesola were a Christian, and he was fiddling with Islamic institutions, would CAN have stood up to him? Would it agitate for equality if it were not a beneficiary?

That said, for Aregbesola, I will restate a position I have made on this page on the issue of Hijab in public schools: It should not be allowed because it is not only religious, it is political. Introducing politics to school uniforms defeats the whole purpose the concept of uniform was introduced in the first place. Uniforms are a social, class, and religious leveller and should be rigidly enforced to maintain the discipline of standardisation.

As to the question of mixing up children in other schools with the ones in mission schools, well, I understand CAN’s angst but then, any child should be able to attend any school as long as it is publicly owned. Both Muslims and Christians pay taxes in the state, so why discriminate?

Finally, I return to the third reason for CAN’s restiveness: Aregbesola’s religious pandering upsets. If he is not putting the Bible and Quran on Opon-Imo, he is advocating Isese Day for traditional worshippers. At the same time, he is busy throwing his religion in your face with billboards that announce his private devotions. And if his religious affront has not annoyed you enough, he seeks to introduce Ifa into the school curriculum. He does all these without any coherence or stating where he stands in the whole affair. This madness without methodology is confusing, like watching a footballer who insists on playing all positions.

LET’S GET BACK TO AFRICAN SCIENCE-BLACK POWER-IFA IS PART OF THIS GREAT POWER!-OUR GREAT GOMINA RAUF AREGBESOLA OF THE STATE OF OSUN,NIGERIA IS INTRODUCING IFA IN A BIG WAY!-FROM THE SUN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

May 24, 2013

Osun students to study Ifa – Aregbesola
Our Reporter January 3, 2013 28 Comments »
Osun students to study Ifa – Aregbesola

…Says computer tablet has application for Ifa studies

From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Osogbo

The Osun State Government has announced a comprehensive plan for the state’s secondary school students to study Ifa as one of their subjects.

The state Governor, Ogbeni Raufu Aregbesola, said the schools’ computer tablet had application for Ifa studies.

Aregbesola made the relevation yesterday during the special prayers session to usher in the New Year, organized with clerics from all religions praying for the peace and growth of the state.

Clerics who offered special prayers for the state included the President General, League of Imams and Alfas in the South-West, Alhaji Mustapha Ajisafe; the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye; and frontline Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, among others.

The special prayer affected official functions in the state secretariat and other government offices, as top civil servants across all parastatal agencies graced the occasion held in the premises of the Bola Ige House, state secretariat, Abere, Osogbo.

Bishop of Osogbo Diocese of the Methodist Church, Bishop John Bamigboye, advised the government to compensate those whose property were demolished as a result of the ongoing road dualization in the state.

Bamigboye enjoined the government to return Christian and Islamic Religious Studies to all primary and secondary schools in the state.

Governor Aregbesola, in his remarks at the ceremony, declared that 2013 would be a year of total freedom for the state, stressing that the year would be for the people of the state a year of total turn-around and liberty.

According to the governor, the government’s major desire for the state in 2013 is to ensure the fulfillment of the desires of the state’s founding fathers, stressing: “Osun State will be freed in 2013 from hunger, mystery, poverty and under-development.”

He said his government has paid over N600 million as compensation to owners of demolished structures, even as he assured that those who were yet to receive their compensation would get theirs soon.

Aregbesola also disclosed that his government had returned religious studies to all public primary and secondary schools in the state, adding that the free computer tablet tagged ‘opon Imon’, which the government would present to secondary school students had an application for Ifa studies.

He also prayed for peace and development of the state in 2013 and urged all the people to support his government and the country with prayers, saying: “Nigeria needs prayers for an end to come to the security problem confronting the northern part of the country.”

Aregbesola added that his desire for the year was to make the state the envy of other states in the country, saying he had come to the state to do the works of God.

OUR GREAT PEOPLES' GOMINA!

OUR GREAT PEOPLES’ GOMINA!


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YORUBA RONU ! -THIS white girl is FIGHTING TO SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE/CULTURE-WHAT ARE YOU OMO YORUBA DOING TO SAVE IT? -she also IS SMART ENOUGH to KNOW That ORISA ARE NOT gods but Messengers from GOD JUST LIKE Jesu ati Muhammad!

April 28, 2013

FROM thenationonline.com
Nigeria is a better place than its image outside

Posted by: GBENGA ADERANTI

on April 27, 2013

in Saturday Magazine

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Dr. Paula Gomes is the only white face in the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111. Fast-pacing, quick-talking Gomes first visited Oyo 20 years ago; and ever since, she has been going and coming to the ancient town. Recently, the Alaafin of Oyo noticed her interest in the culture of Yoruba people and the monarch honoured her by making her his Cultural Ambassador. In this interview with GBENGA ADERANTI, this Portuguese shares her experience in Oyo in the last 20 years and why she has embarked on a crusade to preserve Yoruba culture. Excerpts:

 

What do you really do for Alaafin?

I’m the Culture Ambassador for Alaafin.

How did you meet Alaafin?

My first contact with Alaafin actually was the beginning of last year, but I have been in Oyo already for a while, coming and going.

What were you doing in Oyo before now?

I came to Oyo because of the culture. I used to come to Nigeria while I was a student of History about 20 years ago. I know Yoruba land though I cannot say very well but quite well; 20 years ago was the first time I came to Oyo and I thought there was no more culture in Oyo. When you talk about culture, culture is in everything, food, literature, the way you dress. All this time while I was a student, I always shuttled between Osogbo and Oyo. With time and mixing together with people, I saw that a lot of cultures came from the ancient town of Oyo Ile. That is why I actually came to Oyo to make more research on it.

Does that mean you are leaving Oyo after the completion of your research?

No, I’m not going to leave, I’m just telling you that while I was a student, I used to come to do research and after that I came to Oyo not on my private interest to know more but because Oyo had nothing to offer more about their own culture. If you go back to the history, you will know that Oyo Empire dominated all the kingdoms in Yorubaland and you as well know that it was when Alaafin Sango was a very strong king ruling, actually during the 7th or 8th century, that the influence of Oyo Empire in Yorubaland was massive. And much of the culture in our day not only in Yorubaland but also in the Diaspora, everything was connected to Sango. That was why I came here to know more about him and like I said, I have been around for four years. There is a lot here to be preserved because that is the history of a ethnic group that has survived outside and is really appreciated.

In Europe nowadays, we are looking for the ancient culture that has something to give to the humanity because what we are expecting from life is to live long and to live long with quality, you can have a good car, you can have lots of money but if your body is not in the equilibrium, if you die young, what is the essence of life? Life is long life with quality and quality means first of all, your body has to be strong, has to be healthy and the philosophy and the knowledge of the Yoruba is like the philosophy and culture from India and China.

Acupuncture from India is based on lots of ancient culture, they are very similar to Yoruba culture. What we are looking for is that deep knowledge of Yoruba which they have about the nature, that you can find the equilibrium between the body and the spirit, because Yoruba believe that there is one God who is called Olodumare. Then this Creator has created, and when He created the earth, He sent the energies to the earth which are divided into four elements and these are known all over the world: water, you cannot live without water; air, you cannot live without air, that is oxygen; fire and earth.

These are the four elements that the Yoruba people believe and if you go to other ancient cultures, all of them are the same. They are all talking the same language. So the Yoruba people like to personify those energies like other ancient cultures and they believe that if the body, which is the aye; the material life which is also aye and the spiritual life, which is orisa. Orisa is not God; orisa is what you cannot see, it is invisible. You have the visible world which is aye and the invisible world which is orisa, people used to think that orisa is another God, it is not. It is not the correct translation because when you say orisa sango, orisa osun, all the 401 orisa are the invisible power of the nature. They are everywhere in the world. You cannot live without water, you cannot live without air, so people should be very careful when they translate.

We don’t say Olodumare Sango, Olodumare Osun . When you have the equilibrium of the invisible world, aye and not visible world, orisa, you have what you need to live, you have ase, you have power; it is very simple. These people have philosophy, these people have a very strong knowledge which is given through Ifa. It is an oral history coming from very ancient times like all the other ancient cultures, and these need to be preserved. That is why I’m here, to try in my own capacity to show the Yoruba people that they are very valuable.

How vast are you in Yoruba language?

Mo ti gbo die die, sugbon Yoruba ko rorun (I understand smattering Yoruba, but it is not easy).

How old are you now?

Normally you should not ask a lady how old she is.

You should be…..

(Cuts in) I will not tell you.

What about your family?

I have my family, like I said, I go and come back but I have been here for two years without going home.

I’m talking about your husband and children?

Well, I will not like to go to my private life; you know that is very private. I will just like to talk generally; I will not like to say anything about my private life.

Some people spell your name Gomez why is yours Gomes?

My name is a Portuguese name, it ends with an ‘s’ it is Portuguese but if it is ‘z’, it is Spanish.

Have you read anything about Suzanne Wenger?

Yes, I know her very well. Like I said, I’ve been coming for 20 years, I used to be in Osogbo, so I knew Suzan Wenger very well. Actually I can say that she was and she is an inspiration for me because she really tried for Osogbo and Osun State, especially Osogbo. Today, what is there, people should be very grateful because if not for her who fought for it, it would have gone long time ago. She really preserved what people who said were the bush, the history of Osun Osogbo. Every people has its own history. People are crazy to travel abroad to go and see our culture, let me tell you, you have to appreciate your culture as well because we preserve our culture, so you have to preserve your culture as well. That is what I’m trying to do. I know Suzanne very well.

Don’t you sometimes feel you are going Suzanne Wenger’s line?

Look, I’m not Suzanne, I don’t want to follow Suzanne’s line, I want to follow my inside. I want to follow what my inside says. Suzanne did what her inside said; me, I’m doing what my inside tells me. So I can never be Suzanne because each individual is unique and special, so I don’t want to imitate Suzanne and I don’t want to be Suzanne. Do you understand me? Suzanne is Suzanne. She was a great person that I have in my heart; I only follow what my inside tells me, so I can never be Suzanne because if I try to be Suzanne, I’m not myself. I’m just doing what I feel is correct to do. I’m not an artist, Suzanne was an artist so I can never try to be an artist but I have passion for this culture because I believe it can give a lot to humanity; the way India people and Chinese people are, they are already giving to the humanity.

I believe that Yoruba people can give as well but for that to happen, Yoruba must be proud of themselves and they are not, they are losing their own identity, the Indian people are not like that, they preserve their culture and they are proud of it. Chinese people, they are proud of their culture. They teach their own children to continue and today, if you go to Europe, if you’re a VIP, instead of you to go to hospital, you go for alternative medicine. Because we got to a point that we realised that all the chemical medicine you take will cure one part and destroy the other part.

Actually what you want in life is to live long, it is through the natural thing that your body can stay longer, do you understand? People want to go to Europe, people want to go to America, what kind of life do we live? A lot of people are dying too young through heart attack; the life we live is to go to work and come back home. You know we are an old continent but now we are turning the thing around. We want to go back to what we don’t have anymore; we want to eat bio-ecological, we are tired of plastic food because of cancer.

If you put a Yoruba child who has nothing inside one compound and you put a white child, which one is stronger? Why do you think Europeans live longer? It is because we have access to medicine for free because the society is organised, but if we don’t have access to medicine and the hospital to maintain us alive, we cannot live the way you people live because you are too close to nature.

I know you are not in the Niger Delta area, but foreigners are constantly being warned to be wary of Nigeria, do you sometimes get scared that you could be kidnapped too?

Look, let me talk about myself, I do go to Delta State, I’m not afraid to go. I think that the image which is given to the outside world about Nigeria is different from actually what is happening in Nigeria. I’m not saying that it is not dangerous but Nigerian people are very nice. I think the government should rebrand. For example, when you think about Brazil, you think about football and carnival, but there are people who are still eating from the garbage. There are people when you go outside they will steal your things.

But when you talk about Brazil, people think about football and carnival, people don’t talk about those who eat in the garbage or people robbing people. I’m in Oyo, nobody robs me, I travel, I don’t have any trouble with anybody. But when you talk about Nigeria, you think about 419; they tell you it is a bad place, why don’t you rebrand it? Nigeria has many things to offer the people outside. People love your culture, people really appreciate your culture but they are afraid because of the image that have been created. If government rebrands the country, I believe that bit by bit, people will start coming because of culture. So there is need to rebrand.

People go to America; me I don’t have anything to do in America. I studied in America, I went back to Europe because if you go to America, you have to be careful, if you are not careful, somebody may follow his gang and they will shoot you. You train your children to shoot because they can just come and kill you. Do you understand? Everything has to have an equilibrium, Nigeria needs to be rebranded because it has a lot to give to people. I cannot talk about Hausa and Ibo, I can only talk about Yoruba, that is what I know. Yoruba people are beautiful, the culture is beautiful, people are friendly and they should not lose their identity because if they lose their identity, they will never find it. They can never be white, I cannot be black. I have to accept who I’m and people should be free and be proud of what they have.

The introduction of foreign religion has eroded the belief system of the Yoruba people, what do you think will happen in the nearest future?

I don’t like to talk about religion because for me it is a private thing, religion is like politics, you are a Christian or Muslim, you are ACN or PDP or whatever. Religion is something that is private, but you know if you go back to the history, it was always a problem with religion, religion tries always to dominate and control and when you talk about Africa, especially West Africa, it has suffered a lot, through the slavery, families were destroyed, alot of blood in the name of money was shed. Religion for me, I respect everybody, I don’t look at people from their religion, I respect people because everybody is special and everybody is a creation of God. So, that is why I don’t want to go deep into religion.

Religion is a personal belief it is not only going to be today, it is yesterday and going to be tomorrow and the process that is going on now in Nigeria was in Europe before. Life is a mystery and because it is a mystery, people try to control people through religion. Me, I don’t believe in anything, I believe in what I feel because I’m a creation of God but I respect everybody and every belief, if you tell me now that this is what you believe, this chair, I will respect you.

You were talking about your support for nature and local herbs (agbo), Yoruba herbs are from nature, do you drink agbo?

Yes of course, it is not only Yoruba, we Europeans we use herbs, we have different herbs, different teas. Why do you eat efo (vegetables), why do you eat all these vegetables? Why? Because you need vitamins and minerals, so the herbs are here to help us but the new sicknesses that are in the world, they are killing people. They are sicknesses that you can cure or maintain but you destroy other parts of your body. This is not a belief, this is science, that is natural science not a belief, a belief is something you cannot prove, but 1+1=2, that is science. Yoruba herbs are science; they are natural science, not a belief. If you are feeling something, you take the herbs, like a natural tea, if you feel better, your body has eliminated what is not good.

It is not only the Yoruba people that use herbs, if you go to my country, we have alternative medicine which we are preserving, we use alternative medicine. We are no more going to doctors and Yoruba have big knowledge in this science and they are putting it as a belief because culture is part of everything, what you eat is part of your culture.

At times I wonder why people like you will leave your comfort zone for a place like this where you have to struggle to get things done. What was on your mind when you were coming here?

It depends on what you call comfort. What is comfort for you?

Light, good roads etc.

In life, we cannot have everything, if you have light 24 hours, if you have good roads, we have everything, we stay in AC office, and you leave for AC cars. Lots of people are getting sick because AC is provoking problems in the lungs. A lot of people in Europe are now putting the AC off and now open their windows. I do say we’ve given the experience to them and we want to go back to olden days. In the office we have the AC, we have the car, we don’t have to walk too much. We take the car, we go to the supermarket. We have everything we need from the supermarket, we go home, we have the TV, we get the quality of life. We human beings are meant to live up to 120 years, but at times we don’t live more than 50 and 60 because we need comfort of life, we have no exercise and we eat junk food. Lots of children are born already with diabetes and cancer because they want comfort of life.

In life, there are positive and negative sides. The individual is responsible for his own life . So we have to look the other way. Most people in our own generation in Europe, we want freedom, they want to live long. We are tired of all this imposing life style, we want freedom, we want relief, we want long life. Most people in Europe are isolated, they live alone, is it not better to live in community? We should live together. Are we meant to live alone inside houses?

A lot of people in Europe have problem with depression, they have neurotic problem because of the life they live. They are not living the life creature gave us. We are living a plastic life, we are staying alone isolating ourselves, in front of television 24 hours. No exercise, is that a good life? Can our bodies live long? It is not possible. Good life is fresh air, to breathe, to exercise. Good life depends on the concept of each individual. I love privacy, but I want to live long.

The last time I saw you, you were not wearing Yoruba attire, today, you are not still wearing Yoruba attire, why?

You know I have to be what I’m, I can never be a Yoruba. I don’t mind, sometimes I dress in batik an indigo or adire. I’m not Yoruba, the same way you are not from my culture. I have to be who I’m and I have to dress the way I feel comfortable. That is why I’m not putting on Yoruba dressing. You people are putting on Yoruba dress because it is beautiful in you, when you put on Yoruba dress, you look elegant. I used to say that and I’m not the only person, that you people have natural beauty; even if you don’t have anything when you dress, even if you go to the market, even if you go to clean something, the way your people dress, you look elegant and it looks magical. So I have to dress the way I feel comfortable with.

Do you sometimes feel home sick?

To tell you the truth, no, I don’t feel home sick. Nobody sent me here, I’m here because I want. I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel strong and I feel I’m doing what I like. I’m not the kind of person that wants to stay in the office; I don’t want to live that kind of life people call comfort, I don’t .

Do you know anything about Ifa (Oracle)?

I know what I can feel, what I can see; I can never know it well as the native people. Number one, language; for you to really know it very well, you have to start from small because it is a knowledge which is given orally, it is not a written knowledge. And there is something that is very powerful, people from generation to generation transfer this knowledge orally. See how powerful, look, we have to write them. We have to go back to religion which I don’t want to talk about, Christians and Muslims carry the Bible and Koran respectively, and do you see Yoruba carrying anything? Their brain is powerful, you know the level of capacity assimilation you are exercising with your brain but we if we don’t write it down, we forget. The question is why are you destroying all these?

How have you been coping with the food?

I don’t have any problem. I eat everything. But I don’t like snake or this kind of frog, I don’t know what they call it, I don’t like it and I don’t like bush meat but I like okete (bush rat) if it is well cooked but all the remaining, I eat everything, eba, amala, fufu, semo. I don’t like so much, but I eat eko (corn paste), moimoi , ekuru (beans paste), ewa (beans).

What do you really do for Alaafin?

I’m trying to preserve the Yoruba culture and trying to reeducate the people that they are very important, they are very valuable, that they have a lot of value and they should preserve the culture. I’m trying to promote what is ancient, what is history because without history, how can you tell your children that you are Yoruba? People without history don’t have direction. I’m trying to promote what is in existence because if Yoruba don’t want it, the international people will appreciate it. There is no problem because tomorrow, we are ready to teach your children Yoruba and we are ready to teach your children about your own culture.

How did you meet Alaafin?

As I said, I had been in Oyo already and I asked Bashorun (one of the Oyo high chiefs) to bring me to Alaafin because I wanted to meet him. For me, everybody is important, I’m not saying this king is important, this king is not important but relating to history, he (Alaafin) is the strongest king in Yorubaland. I wanted to see him and tell him that he has to preserve his culture and if he fails to preserve his culture, tomorrow, nothing will be there to show to the world. So these were the reasons I wanted to see him.

How much of support have you gotten on your crusade so far?

What kind of support?

Financial support

Nobody is helping me financially. I’m doing it by myself and now I have a foundation people can support because there is need to preserve the temple, preserve the palace. These monuments, these are culture heritage, there is need for preservation. Why do you want to go to England to see the queen and the palace? For what? Because it is history. So that is why people want to come to Nigeria and see the history of Alaafin, the history of Yoruba. This palace is the biggest and oldest palace in Yoruba land, it is falling apart. I’m trying to raise fund to repair this palace in its old originality so that Oyo children tomorrow will come and ‘say that my grandfather, my ancestors were living like this’ because I can take you to my country and tell you that my ancestors are like this.

Quite funny, why is it that it is foreigners or Yoruba people abroad that are interested in this project like this?

Go back to the history, we white people have colonised and have destroyed your culture. We brought our culture, we forced people to change inside and outside. You have lost your identity, you want to be what we are. That is why now people from outside come to support what still exists for you to appreciate.

If you go to the slavery time, look, all the slaves that went to America, if they did not practise Christianity, they would be killed. What is happening again? I believe what is happening today is that everything that our people destroyed, let’s rebuild it again, we should not be ashamed. The Europeans go to Kenya to see African culture, Africa is beautiful, African people are beautiful, why not Nigeria?

ORISHA!- YORUBA MESSENGERS FROM OLODUMARE! – FROM ORISHANET.ORG

March 8, 2013

YEMONJA

YEMONJA

ORUNMILA

ORUNMILA

OGUN

OGUN

OSUN

OSUN

OCHOSI

OCHOSI

OBATALA

OBATALA

ESU

ESU

SANGO

SANGO

OYA

OYA


from orishanet.org
The Orishas
The orishas are the emissaries of Olodumare or God almighty. They rule over the forces of nature and the endeavors of humanity. They recognise themselves and are recognised through their different numbers and colors which are their marks, and each has their own favorite foods and other things which they like to receive as offerings and gifts. In this way we make our offerings in the manner they are accustomed to, in the way they have always received them, so that they will recognise our offerings and come to our aid.

The orishas are often best understood by observing the forces of nature they rule over. For instance, you can learn much about Oshún and her children by watching the rivers and streams she rules over and observing that though she always heads toward her sister Yemayá (the Sea) she does so on her own circuitous route. Also observe how the babbling brook and the flash flood reflect her changeable moods. As you observe the orishas at work in the world and in your own lives you will gain a better understanding of them and their ways. Yes, they are complex, but no more so than any other living being such as you or I. We are also blessed from time to time in the religion with the opportunity to meet the orishas face to face during a wemilere (drumming ceremony) where one or more of their priests will be mounted (see trance possession).

Elegguá

Elegguá is the owner of the roads and doors in this world. He is the repository of ashé. The colors red and black or white and black are his and codify his contradictory nature. In particular, Elegguá stands at the crossroads of the human and the divine, as he is child-like messenger between the two worlds. In this role, it is not surprising that he has a very close relationship with the orisha of divination, Orunmila. Nothing can be done in either world without his permission. Elegguá is always propitiated and called first before any other orisha as he opens the door between the worlds and opens our roads in life. He recognises himself and is recognised by the numbers 3 and 21.

Prayer for Eleggua: Echu obá loná tosí gbogbo ona iré o aché

Ogún
Ogún is the god of iron, war and labor. He is the owner of all technology and because this technology shares in his nature, it is almost always used first for war. As Elegguá opens the roads, it is Ogún that clears the roads with his machete. He is recognised in the numbers 7 and the colors green and black.

Prayer for Ogun: Ogún oko dara obaniché aguanile ichegún iré

Oshosi
Oshosi is the third member of the group known as the Guerreros or Warriors, and is received along with Elegguá, Ogún and Osun in order to protect the Guerreros initiate and to open and clear their roads. Oshosi is the hunter and the scout of the orishas and assumes the role of enforcer of justice for Obatalá with whom he has a very close relationship. His colors are blue and yellow.

Prayer for Ochossi: Ochosi Ode mata obá akofá ayé o unsó iré o wa mi Ochosi omode aché

Obatalá
Obatalá is the kindly father of all the orishas and all humanity. He is also the owner of all heads and the mind. Though it was Olorun who created the universe, it is Obatalá who is the creator of the world and humanity. Obatalá is the source of all that is pure, wise peaceful and compassionate. He has a warrior side though through which he enforces justice in the world. His color is white which is often accented with red, purple and other colors to represent his/her different paths. White is most appropriate for Obatalá as it contains all the colors of the rainbow yet is above them. Obatalá is also the only orisha that has both male and female paths.

Prayer for Obatala: Obatalá obá layé ela iwo alara aché

Oyá
Oyá is the ruler of the winds, the whirlwind and the gates of the cemetery. Her number is nine which recalls her title of Yansá or “Mother of Nine” in which she rules over the egun or dead. She is also known for the colors of maroon, flowery patterns and nine different colors. She is a fierce warrior who rides to war with Shangó (sharing lightning and fire with him) and was once the wife of Ogún.

Oshún
Oshún rules over the sweet waters of the world, the brooks, streams and rivers, embodying love, fertility. She also is the one we most often approach to aid us in money matters. She is the youngest of the female orishas but retains the title of Iyalode or great queen. She heals with her sweet waters and with honey which she also owns. She is the femme fatale of the orishas and once saved the world by luring Ogún out of the forests using her feminine wiles. And,in her path or manifestation of Ibú Ikolé she saved the world from draught by flying up to heaven (turning into a vulture in the process). Ikolé means Messenger of the House (of Olodumare). For this reason all who are to be initiated as priests, no matter what orisha rules their head, must go to the river and give account of what they are about to do. She recognises herself in the colors yellow and gold and her number is five. Peacocks and vultures are hers and we use them often to represent her.

Yemayá
Yemayá lives and rules over the seas and lakes. She also rules over maternity in our lives as she is the Mother of All. Her name, a shortened version of Yeyé Omo Eja means “Mother Whose Children are the Fish” to reflect the fact that her children are uncountable. All life started in the sea, the amneotic fluid inside the mother’s womb is a form of sea where the embryo must transform and evolve through the form of a fish before becoming a human baby. In this way Yemayá displays herself as truly the mother of all. She partakes of Olokun’s abundance as the source of all riches which she freely gives to her little sister Oshún. She dresses herself in seven skirts of blue and white and like the seas and profound lakes she is deep and unknowable. In her path of Okutti she is the queen of witches carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her number is seven for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often represented by the fish who are her children.

Prayer for Yemaya: Iyá eyá ayaba okun omá iré gbogbo awani Iyá

Shangó:
Perhaps the most ‘popular’ of the orishas, Shangó rules over lightning, thunder, fire, the drums and dance. He is a warrior orisha with quick wits, quick temper and is the epitomy of virility. Shangó took the form of the fourth Alafin (supreme king) of Oyó on Earth for a time. He is married to Obba but has relations with Oyá and Oshún. He is an extremely hot blooded and strong-willed orisha that loves all the pleasures of the world: dance, drumming, women, song and eating. He is ocanani with Elegguá, meaning they are of one heart. When sees the quickness with which lightning makes short work of a tree or a fire rage through an area, one has witnessed the temper of Shangó in action. Though he traded the Table of Ifá to Orunmila in exchange for the gift of dance, his children have an innate ability for divination. To acknowledge the greatness of this king, all in the religion raise up on the toes of our feet (or rise out our chairs if we are sitting) at the mention of his name. His colors are red and white and he recognises himself in the numbers four and six. He is most often represented by a double headed axe.

Prayer for Shango: Shangó obá adé oko, obá ina, Alafin Oyó aché o

Orunmila
Orunmila is the orisha of wisdom, knowledge and divination. He was the only orisha allowed to witness the creation of the universe by Olorun and bears witness to our destinies in the making as well. This is the source of his title of Eleri Ipin or “Witness to Destiny in its Creation”. His priests, the babalawos or “Fathers of the Secrets” must devote themselves entirely to the practice of divination and the accompanying arts. Through the Table of Ifá his priests unfold the secrets of the universe and the secrets of the unfolding of our lives. His colors are green and yellow which reflect Orunmila’s relationship with Osayín (the secrets of the plant world) and with Oshún, who is his apetebí with whom he has an extremely close relationship.

Prayer for Orunmila: Orunmila Ibikeyi Oludumare ela isode aché

IFAYEMI ELEBURIBON-A GREAT BABALAWO -BECOMES THE ‘ARABA AWO’ OF OSOGBOLAND!

October 19, 2010

FROM yeyeolade.blogspot.com
originally from ngrguardiannews.com

er 19, 2010
IFAYEMI ELEBURIBON-GREAT BABALAWO BECOMES THE ARABA OF ALL BABALAWOS IN OSUN STATE!-E KU ORI RE O!
FROM ngrguardiannews.com

The Making Of Ifa ArchBishop, Elebuibon
Saturday, 16 October 2010 00:00 By Ajibola Amzat Saturday Magazine – Saturday Magazine

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RECENTLY, the renowned traditionalist, High Priest Ifayemi Osundagbonu Elebuibon ascended to the highest rank of Ifa prieshood in Osogbo, Osun State. His coronation as the 11th Araba Awo of Osogboland at the palace of the Ataoja of Osogbo, which drew visitors from Nigeria and overseas was celebrated with pomp and pageantry. AJIBOLA AMZAT was at the event.
It was a huge crowd for such event. But like people on pilgrimage to holy ground, the natives and guests turned out in large number, thronging towards the palace of Ataoja of Osogbo to witness the coronation of High Priest Ifayemi Elebuibon as the 11th Araba Awo of Osogboland.
It is the highest office in the hierarchy of Ifa priesthood, the equivalent of archbishop in Catholic order. Therefore, no one wanted to miss the historic event, it appeared.
At the palace, men, women, old and young, were dressed in variety of Aso Ebi. Some were sitting, many standing all waiting, eager to see the Araba-elect emerge from the sanctuary where he had been sheltered for a while. Yet, he is the same man they have been seen for decades. His popular TV programme, ‘Ifa Olookun Asorodayo’ has made him a household name. He is probably the most famous son of the soil that lives among them. Yet, they are eager to see him again.
But the Ataoja, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji, Larooye II was not in a hurry.
While the short wait lasted, the king’s praise singer’s voice rent the air. His rendition was as sonorous as it was informative. Oba Oyetunji whose recent coronation as the new Ataoja is of Larooye lineage. His ancestor, one of the patriarchs of the ancient town was the first king to reign. He and his bosom friend Timehin, the hunter had once led a live elephant into town, tamed. Their subsequent encounter with water deity mother, Osun, brought great fortunes to Osogbo, the town now proudly known as a settlement of indigo dye, and a refuge for victims of war. The is why natives of Osogbo celebrate Osun festival every year. The king’s praise-singer knows this history and more. He knows about the deeds and times of various royalties.
And at occasions like this, he is allowed to display his knowledge.
Finally, when it pleased Ataoja to stop him, he waived his horsetail, and the man went quiet instantly.
It was the time for Abese, the palace messengers to bring the candidate for coronation.
High priest Elebuibon, dressed in flowing silk materials, the colour of cow milk, was ushered in. Eesa, another titled chief introduced the Araba-elect to the king and the people:
“Kabiyesi and dear people of Osogbo, here is the man the community has chosen as the new Araba of Osogboland. Yes or No?” And the people chorused ‘yes!. Such applause! It reverberated throughout the area.
The king then took Akoko leaves, tucked it inside the dog-ears cap of the new chief; handed him a brass machete on the right hand and a horse tail on the left hand. Then after invoking blessings on him, he declared him the head of all priests in Oshogboland. And the people applause accompanied with several gunshots thundered through the town. The rites completed, Chief Elebuibon stood, staring ahead perhaps at the challenges that await him, for the title of Araba is the most revered, most influential position in Ifa priesthood.
As Araba, he explained, the spiritual welfare of the town is now his primary responsibility. “Araba Awo is not only the head of all priests, but also the head of all herbalists, diviners and all kinds of traditional spiritual consultants in the land. He is the representative of Orunmila (the patron saint of the Ifa School) father of mystery and keeper of secrets.
It is the duty of the Araba to reveal messages of Olodumare to the community through the king and prescribes solutions to problems. In fact, no king can administer his domain in Yorubaland successfully without his priest in residence. Usually, the priest is both the spiritual adviser to the king and the friend of the royalty. “When the town is in chaos, Ifa priests must be consulted to prescribe propitiation to end the calamity and cause the progress to return.”
An Ifa chapter (Odu) Iretengbe gives the account of an Ifa priest, Olongbojigolo who was a popular diviner in the ancient town of Apa. A small town, it was yet prosperous. And because of its prosperity, the rulers of Oyo Kingdom usually targeted it for raids. The king of Alapa sought the spiritual help of his friend, Olongbojigolo who used his spiritual power to defend the town. But the principalities of Oyo Kingdom were not only experienced military men, they were also schooled in stratagem. When they discovered that Olongbojigolo, the great diviner was the force behind the town of Apa, they sent one of Alafin’s daughters, Princess Isokunronke to lure the priest out of town. Isokunronke, a lady of irresistible beauty was the cynosure of all eyes anywhere she went. Many young men of Oyo were ready to worship at her feet or go to battle for her.
To get her quarry, Isokunronke disguised as a kolanut seller and headed for Ologbojigolo’s house in Apa. Expectedly, the priest fell in love and agreed to follow the princess to live in Oyo as her term for marriage.
When Olongbojigolo was out of the way, the Oyo army invaded Apa, killed the king and sacked the town.
This tragic incident in history made kings in Yorubaland keep close relationship with their priest. As the principal administrators of the town, the two normally swear an oath of trust and friendship in the interest of the community. The secret oath between the king and his chief priest is said to be stronger than oath taking among Ogboni cult. It was forbidden for the priest to reveal any confidential matter of the town to the public, or worse still, to the enemy of the town. Wiwo lenu awo o wo, the lips of the priest must be sealed. This is how important a priest is in the administration of traditional Yoruba community.
But giving a priest the title of Araba Awo puts a stamp of authority on such a priest. “It is the equivalent of archbishop in the Catholic order. Even before a king is selected, the Ifa priest must be consulted for advice.” Elebuibon said.
In Yoruba worldview, the living, the dead, the unborn and the spiritual beings – all cohabit in a community. And interactivity must be smooth for harmony and peace to reign. It is the duty of the Araba also to ensure cordial relations among all members of the community.
In the past, according to Chief Elebuibon, the Oluawo was regarded as the head of all priests in Osogbo, until Ikujenyo Ikujenlowo, a sojourner in Ibadan town came back to Osogbo with the title of Araba.
Ikujenyo, a native of Osogbo used his knowledge and skill to help the Ibadan people during Kutuje and Atadi wars. And he was made Araba. It was after him that others like Bashorun Ogunmola of Ibadan and Ibikunle were also made Araba.
When he came back to Osogbo with his title, he became the head of all priests in the land. Henceforth, Araba became the highest title for priesthood in Osogbo.
After him was Araba Awonoyi Adeyemi Kehinde of Amubiorogun Compound who was the maternal grand father of Yemi Elebuibon. He was the longest serving Araba.
Other Araba after him were Araba Oyelade of Arewekoro Compound, Araba Falade of Aleshiloye Compound, Araba Oyafemi of Adelakun Compound, Araba Ifaniyi of Aleegun Compound, Araba Ifatoki of Otuyo Compound, Araba Oyagoke Adisa of Eleye Compound, Araba Fabunmi Afolabi of Aboyede Fetuata Compound, Araba Ifagbemi Akani Omotosho of Onipon Compound. Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon is of Oluode Aturuku Compound.
Chief ifayemi explained that Araba is not a hereditary title (Ajewo), rather it is rotational (Oye ori-Odo) . This means that anyone who meets all the requirements for the office could be so honoured. But it is no mean task for any hopeful to rise through the ranks. The hierarchy includes Awise, Ojugbona, Alara, Olojowu, Erinmi, Lagbongbon, Aseda, Akoda and Araba.
According to Baba Awo, as Elebuibon is fondly called by his spiritual children, many of whom came from America and Europe to celebrate with him, the knowledge of Ifa, the character and the contribution of an individual in the town are the criteria that qualify a person for the title of Araba.
In all these, Chief Elebuibon is distinguished. First, he is of the lineage recognised as authorities on Yoruba tradition. He is a direct descendant of Olutimehin, one of the co-founders of the ancient town. From age four, he had been learning at the feet of “the masters”, including his father and his father’s friends who were also priests. While Chief Elebuibon did not attend formal school, he went through correspondence courses, which put him in a better stead among his contemporaries.
Today, Chief Elebuibon is a poet, performing artiste, playwright, herbalist and practicing Ifa priest. He has published several books and scholarly papers on various aspects of Yoruba traditional religion and culture.
His traditional morality drama, Ifa Olokun Asorodayo culled from Odu Ifa ran on Nigeria National Televison Network for years.
Chief Elebuibon is an international scholar in-residence at San Francisco State University, California USA where he lectures on African Traditional religion and philosophy.
He has been on lecture tour in United States at Wajumba Cultural Institution and national Black theatre in Harlem.
In 1973, he traveled with Duro Ladipo to Paris to perform at festival mudial du theatre; went with him to Brazil for the performance of Obakoso.
He is the founder of Ancient Philosophy International in Osogbo, a centre dedicated to teaching African Traditional Religion and performing arts. He has also been honoured with a doctorate degree of the Brandice University, USA. He was appointed the Vice Chairman of Board of Traditional Medicine, Osun State, and he is presently the President of International Congress of Orisa Tradition and culture, Nigeria Chapter.
Elebuibon is of the view that the post modern African states have lost the essence of their being when they threw away their traditions for western civilization. He said the place of Ifa in African society is as significant today as it was in the past. “The president, the governor and even the local council chairmen could achieve better administration if they consult Ifa Oracle from time to time before taking decisions.”
The high priest likened many of the political leaders to blind men leading a community of the blind.
“Many of them are spiritually blind, and a society ruled by the blind cannot progress.” He therefore advised leaders to retrace their steps to the path toed by their forebears.
Chief Ifayemi has never left that path. This is the reason he is regarded as one the most distinguished traditionalists that ever came out of Africa. No wonder, he was made the Araba. It was indeed an exultant Elebuibon that rode back home on a black horse from the Ataoja’s palace with his kith and kin and well wishers in his wake. It was a day when the rumble of drums mixed with the boom of guns on a crowded road where many thousands of feet met in ecstatic dance. It was a day an Ifa Archbishop was installed in the town popularly known as the centre of arts and culture in Nigeria.


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