Posts Tagged ‘YORUBA RELIGION’

OYOTUNJI=A YORUBA VILLAGE

January 21, 2016

Monday, 24 February 2014

Follow the historical timeline of the Oyotunji African Village located near Sheldon, Beaufort County, South Carolina, USA

His Roya Highness Oba (King) Ofuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi I was born Walter Eugene King on October 5, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He graduated from Cass Technical High School.
He was originally baptized into Christianity at Hartford Avenue Baptist Church at age 12.
He began the serious persuit of art and dance at Cass Tech. and at the Detroit Urban League. He began African studies at age 16 to begin his great quest for the gods of Africa.
His Exposure to African religion with the association with the Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe at the age of 20.
He traveled to Haiti the same year.
He founded the order of Damballah Whedo, Ancestor Priest in Harlem the following year.
On Aguat 26, 1959, he became the first African American to become fully initiated into the Orisa-Vodun African priesthood, by African Cubans in Matanzas, Cuba. This marked the beginning of the spread of Yoruba religion and culture among the African Americans.
With a few followers, and after dissolution of the Order of Damballah Whedo, he founded the Sango temple in New York city. He incorporated the African Theological Archministry in 1960.
The Sango Temple was relocated and remnamed the Yoruba Temple the same year
He introduced the Danshiki and began small scale manufacture of African attire in the summer of 1960.
He founded the Yoruba Academy for the academic study of Yoruba history, religion and language in 1961.
He opened the Ujamaa Market in 1961 beginning tword African boutiques which, like the Danshiki, spread throughout African American communities. Photo courtesy of jakukonbit.com
He published pamthlets ; The Yoruba Religion, The Yoruba state and the tribal origins of The African American. He participated in the Black Nationalist rallies of the 1960’s
during that time he formed the African Nationalist Independence Partition Party aimed at establishing “an African state in America by 1972! :Actual photo of RNA Baba Oseijeman in rear.
He designed A flag with red, gold and green bars; the gold emblazoned with a black ancient Egyptian ankh. The Yoruba temple would march thru the streets with flag and drums headed to the 67 Worlds Fair.
In the fall of 1970, he founded the Yoruba Village of Oyotunji in Beaufort County South Carolina, and began the careful reorganization of the Orisa vodu priesthood along the traditional Nigerian lines.
Add captHe was initiated to the Ifa priesthood by Oluwa of Ijeun at Abeokuta, Nigeria, in Agust of 1972.ion
He opened the first official Ogboni Parliament of Oyotunji Chiefs and land owners in 1973, and later that year founded the Igbimolosa ( Priest Council) to organize laws and rules and to adjudicate disputes among Orisa-Vodun priest.
Later in 1973 Oba Oseijeman commenced the construction of the Osagiyan Palace at Oyotunji.
HRM. Oba Oseijeman Adefunmi I has been called The Father of the Cultural Restoration Movement in N.America.
In 1981 Oba Efuntola was sponsored by the Caribbean Visual Arts and Research Center to present a paper at a conference of Orisa-Vodu priests at the Univeristy of Ile-Ife,Nigeria.
Oba ofuntola was presented to His Divine Royal Majesty King Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II the “Ooni” of the ancient city of Ife, who ordered the Ife chiefs to perform coronation rights on him.
Thus Oba Ofuntola Oseijeman Adefunmi became the first of the line of Yoruba Kings consecrated by the Ooni of Ife.
In the summer of 1993 Oba Ofuntola was recognized as the oldest living Babalawo in the USA and became the Araba of Ijo Orunmila Igbo Mimo.
Later in 1993 Oba Ofuntola became the only Official representative of traditional African religion to address the Parliament of World Religions in the 100 yrs of the organization. African delagation pictured in rear right corner.
Oba Adefunmi’s Oyotunji Village has fostered the establishment of Yoruba temples in New York, Connecticut,Philadelphia, Indiana,Florida,Los Angeles, North Carolina ,Texas,Georgia,Milwaukee.
Oba Ofuntola and the Oyotunji village have initiated over 300 priest into the ministries of Orisa-Vodu.
In doing so, he has restored to the African American the ancient sacred priesthood of Orunmila,Esu,Ogun,Oya,Obatala,,Sango and Olokun.
Oyotunji has restored to the African American the anciet right of Gelede ( recognized by UNESCO) and Egungun Ancestor worship.

Photo Credits: http://www.oyotunji.org/

4 comments:

  1. Thank U,this is helpful info. We give thanks.

    Reply

  2. Iba ara torun Oba Ofuntola Oseijeman Adefunmi I…

    Reply

  3. What a man does for himself… Dies with him, what he does for others remains…and is Eternal!

    Reply

  4. What a man does for himself… Dies with him, what he does for others remains…and is Eternal!

    Reply

YORUBA OOOOO!-BLACK POLYGAMY OOOOO!-THE OONI OF IFE ATI HIS 3 WIVES ATI CHILDREN!-FROM NAIJA.COM

August 20, 2015

FROM NAIJA.COM

Ooni of Ife

Ooni of Ife

The influential traditional ruler died in a London hospital after he was rushed to the United Kingdom last week. His sudden demise however has made life in Ile Ife come to a halt. Various markets have been closed down and the entire community is in a reflective mood following the death of the Royal Majesty. He is survived by three wives, children and grand children. See photos of his wives below:

Olori Monisola Sijuwade

Olori Monisola Sijuwade

Olori Ladun Sijuwade

Olori Dolapo Sijuwade

Olori Ladun Sijuwade

Olori Ladun Sijuwade

Olori Monisola Sijuwade is the first wife of the Oni, she is also the Yeyeluwa of Ife. Beautiful Olori Dolapo Sijuwade is one of the educated wife of Ooni. She is the CEO of Dalora Ventures and has been married to the king for about 30 years. She studied Economics and Politics at the Buckingham University.

READ ALSO: 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Late Ooni Of Ife

Here are the photos of the Oba’s children:

Prince Tokunbo Sijuwade

Prince Tokunbo Sijuwade

Prince Gbade Sijuwade

Prince Gbade Sijuwade

Princess Kemi Sijuwade

Princess Kemi Sijuwade

Prince Gbade Sijuwade

Prince Gbade Sijuwade

Prince Adegbite Sijuwade

Prince Adegbite Sijuwade

006

Princess Adedotun Sijuwade

Princess Adedotun Sijuwade

Princess Adedami Sijuwade

Princess Adedami Sijuwade

Princess Adetoun Sijuwade

Princess Adetoun Sijuwade

One of the sons of the King, Adegbite recently had his wedding introduction ceremony with TV presenter, Dolapo Oni. The Ooni, was involved in a long-standing dispute with two other respected traditional rulers – the Awujale of Ijebuland and the Alake of Egbaland. But it was resolved in late 2009.

Naij.com Home Page

Source: kemifilani.comNaij.com news
Tags: Oba okunade sijuade oni of ife Oba okunade sijuwade Ooni of ife

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IGBELE-THE EVIL FOREST OF ITSEKIRILAND-A LOOK AT THEIR TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ON DEATH-FROM THE VANGUARD NEWSPAPER

August 2, 2015

FROM VANGUARD NEWSPAPER

You are here : Home » More… » Just Human » Igbele: Evil forest where Itsekiris dump corpses of witches, wizards

Igbele: Evil forest where Itsekiris dump corpses of witches, wizards

on July 31, 2015   /   in Just Human, News 7:59 pm   /   Comments

By Oghene Omonisa

The Ofuobu family of Ode-Itsekiri Town in the Warri Kingdom of Delta State recently lost their matriarch who died at the ripe age of 82. She lived a fruitful and illustrious life, leaving behind six children, many grand children and great-grand children. A successful trader, all her children are university graduates who equally turned out to be successful in their various professions. Her immediate and distant family members are proud of her because hers was a life worth celebrating. (Ofuobu is not the real name of the family. As a condition for granting this interview, the first son demanded that the family name not be mentioned. And on the request of this reporter, he came up with the fictitious name of Ofuobu, which literally means  keep it secret  in Itsekiri.)

Evil forest

But even before members of the Ofoubu family contemplated plans for her burial rites, one thought quietly occupied their minds: the  ife  (oracle) consultation to determine if she was a witch while alive. It would eternally be devastating, embarrassing and stigmatizing for the family if they go and  bife (find out through oracle consultation) and the outcome was negative; that is, if she was a witch while alive, and so could not be given a proper burial, but her corpse would be dumped at  igbele, the evil forest where the corpses of witches and wizards are abandoned to be devoured by vultures and monkeys.

The Ofuobu family is Itsekiri and  ife  consultation is a ritual in Itsekiri traditions which every corpse undergoes before burial.

Ife, bife, ife bibi

“There is a slight distinction between  ife  and  bife”, says Pa Enoko Peduru, an Itsekiri elder in Warri, who is well grounded in the customs and traditions. He explains that while  ife  is the oracle,  bife  is the Itsekiri word for consulting oracle, or finding out through oracle. The act of consulting oracle is known as ife bibi. And the Itsekiri word for an oracle priest is  obi ife.

Oracle consultation is not peculiar to the Itsekiris, he says. “There are different ethnic groups that also consult oracle, and they have their various names for it. The Urhobos call it  evwa; the Ijaws,  agbraka. To the Binis, it is iha, while the Yorubas call it  ifa.”

“Every ethnic group has its share of witches and wizards”, avers Pa Omajuwa Matsese, a self-avowed traditionalist at Ajamimogha, Warri, who, along with his son, Faith, spoke to this reporter.

Pa Metsese explains that  ife bibi  is not unique to the Itsekiris, because when a person dies in some other ethnic groups, especially in controversial circumstances, family members of the deceased might insist on finding out through oracle the cause of the death.

“It could be found out that the person was killed through witchcraft or other evil means, or he has died from his past evil or wicked deeds”, Pa Metsese says, adding that such oracles are just for the sake of revelation as nothing is done to either the killer of the deceased nor the deceased if he had died from his past evil deeds.

“Itsekiris do not allow that”, he declares. “In our own case, if it is found out that the dead person was a witch, he is not buried on our soil inside town. His corpse is thrown into  igbele, the evil forest, across the river.” But if the oracle reveals that the person has died from the evil deeds of another person,  ife bibi  awaits the culprit. “That is what makes our own oracle casting for the dead unique”, he enthuses.

Faith, the young Metsese, a geologist graduate and businessman chips in that depending on the prowess of the  obi  ife, the  ife  could even reveal some relevant descriptions of the person responsible for a death. It could be that the culprit is a family member of the deceased: a parent, sibling, uncle, or aunty.

“That goes to show you how relevant  ife  bibi  is”, the elder Metsese says. But to avoid family conflict, the  obi  ife  could just say the death was caused from within or from outside.

To  bife  and dump the corpse of a witch at  igbele  is an age-long tradition of the Itsekiris. Though similar customs and traditions in burial rites, marriage ceremonies, inheritance and others with other ethnic groups, especially their Urhobo and Ijaw neighbours, this aspect of  ife bibi  is peculiar to the Itsekiris.

“It’s the unique way of our traditions of punishing the evil ones in our midst”, Pa Peduru says with pride. “If you feel you could commit evil through witchcraft or any other supernatural means and leave the world in peace,  ife  bibi awaits you.” He adds that spiritually, such a person pays for it as his corpse being dumped at  igbele  causes his spirit to be restless, going by the belief, which also brings shame to his family.

But  ife  bibi  is not only done to determine if somebody was a witch while alive, he says.

Like many Itsekiris who spoke on this, it was corroborated by Pa Oleko Ejutemiden, an  obi  ife  at Ode-Itsekiri, also known as Big Warri, an island town across the Warri River, which is regarded as the traditional capital of the Itsekiri nation. The oracle priest adds that through  ife  bibi, everything could be revealed about a death, depending on the enquiry made to the  ife. It responds to enquiries on whether a person died a natural death?  If not, what or who was responsible?

Mr. Alfred Omagbemi, a veteran broadcaster and Itsekiri cultural advocate, however reveals that not only the corpses of evil ones are dumped at igbele. He says there are some deaths that have their peculiar ‘spirits’, causing the corpses not deserving to be buried inside town. “They are when a person commits suicide, drowns or burns.”

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Prince Posy

Prince Posy from Facebook19 hours ago

I beg make una carry una wahala go joor everybody want come advice and talk…… As if Na una better pass, I beg una better pack well and look for some thing better to do or talk about… Wish kind matter be all this one, when we see the main issue noon of us go ever talk Na the one when one cool parson just laugh over Na him everybody go want come claim saint put, just don’t want to insult or be rude to any body here is high time we stop or I will start the fight with who so ever want it ………

Catherine Egbe

Catherine Egbe from Facebook20 hours ago

How can you sincerely call your comment a joke? Who jokes with something like this???? Would you be happy if someone jokes with your family member being a witch on social media??? Or you think the Iboris are not humans like you? This is a very expensive joke that can cause harm to members of that family beyond what you can imagine. You cannot joke with people’s lives like this!!!

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/07/igbele-evil-forest-where-itsekiris-dump-corpses-of-witches-wizards/#sthash.8wjbK988.dpuf

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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

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YORUBA CULTURAL NATIONALISM -MOVEMENT SINGLELY CARRIED ONLY BY THE YORUBAS ON THE ENTIRE AFRICAN CONTINENT TO FIGHT WhITE COLONIALISM ! -FROM THE NIGERIAN TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER

December 30, 2013

FROM THE NIGERIAN TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER

Yoruba cultural nationalism

Written by Diran Apata ⁠ ⁠ Sunday, 22 December 2013
⁠ ⁠ A few days ago, in a leisurely discussion involving many Yoruba men, women and children, I mentioned the movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism of about one-hundred years ago. Most of my hearers had no idea what I was talking about. That is what always happens whenever I happen to mention this movement. It is painful that our people, especially our youths, know nothing about it – painful because the story of the Yoruba Cultural Nationalist Movement, spanning the last years of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th,is one of the most glorious stories in the modern history of the Yoruba Nation. It is a story that we should all know inside and out – a story that our children should be told over and over at home and at school.

The following is the background to it. From about 1885, various European countries came scrambling for territorial empires all over Africa. Peoples after peoples of Africa fell to the European forces. The British, the French, the Germans, the Portuguese, the Belgians, the Dutch, all carved out empires for themselves. Most of Yorubaland became British possession (later to be included in Nigeria), and the rest became French and German possessions (later to be included in what are now Benin and Togo Republics).

But the conquest of Africa was not only military and territorial; it was also massively psychological. Usually, small European armies were taking over African territories, because they were armed with better weapons, or because the African nations were not fully aware about what was happening to them, and because they did not unite to defend their homelands. Naturally, the European colonialists became enormously arrogant. Everywhere, they proclaimed the doctrine that Africans were culturally and intellectually inferior to Europeans, that Africans were incapable of developing any civilisation, and that it was the duty of Europeans to bring civilisation to Africans.

These attitudes gradually infected all aspects of European relationships with Africans all over tropical Africa. The growing disrespect of Africans even spread into the Christian missions. In the mission churches and schools, it was now being said that, to become a Christian, or to be regarded as educated or civilised, one must give up one’s native culture. One must give up such things as one’s indigenous name, clothing, manners, and language, and take on European ones. Even the Yoruba clergy working in the missions began to experience serious disrespect and discrimination from the mission bodies that they served.

For a start, some Yoruba Christian converts in Lagos did respond by trying to become “black Europeans”. They hoped that doing so would earn them acceptance into the “civilised” British community in Lagos. Many of these changed their names to European names. Some others adopted European dress items such as the stove-pipe hat, the feathered bonnet, high-heeled shoes, and gloves, etc. Some young persons who went to study in Britain returned home in only two or three years and claimed that they could no longer understand or speak the Yoruba language.

However, a powerful Yoruba reaction to all these rapidly brewed, and it soon became a great movement – the movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism. As it grew, most of those who had adopted aspects of European culture gave them up and returned to their Yoruba culture. There had been newspapers in Lagos for decades, and these newspapers joined excitedly in the movement. “We are Africans first (or we are Yoruba first) before we are Christians” became popular among Christians in Lagos.

This movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism produced very many effects. In popular culture and fashions, Yoruba Cultural Nationalism promoted a great pride in Yoruba clothes and dresses. The Yoruba way of dressing became very popular indeed. It became more attractive as new styles and modifications were added.

Yoruba men and women serving in the Lagos colonial service responded in their own way. Many of them resigned their jobs and started private businesses, schools and churches of their own.

In the Christian missions, the Yoruba clergy responded by introducing Yoruba culture into church services and church life. For instance, they introduced Yoruba music and songs, which the missions had earlier regarded as pagan. Some of the Yoruba clergy even went further than that. They withdrew from the service of the European mission organizations and started an African Church Movement. This created separate African churches in the various denominations – African Anglican churches, African Methodist churches, and African Baptist churches. The African churches brought Yoruba culture into the Christian church in a big way. They also wrote Yoruba hymns and published hymn books. But another movement soon started which went even further than the African Church Movement to integrate Yoruba culture into Christianity. This was the Aladura Movement. The Aladura Movement developed into a number of main branches – the Christ Apostolic Church, the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, and the Celestial Church of Christ.

Yoruba Cultural Nationalism also promoted a lot of interest in the study of Yoruba culture and history. Many books were written in these years on both subjects. And many literate Yoruba people wrote the traditional stories of their towns – some in English, and many in the Yoruba language. Lessons in Yoruba history and culture were introduced into schools, including the mission schools.

Yoruba Cultural Nationalism created a powerful Yoruba national consciousness. It unified the modern Yoruba elite for service to their nation. That unity was to express itself in many productive ways later – in the various Development Associations of the 1920s and 1930s, in the highly influential Egbe Omo Oduduwa from 1945, and in the first-rate government of the Western Region in the 1950s. It also charted great modern ambitions for the Yoruba nation – ambitions to acquire education, and to achieve modern economic progress, prosperity and power in the world. In these many ways, the movement of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism laid some of the foundations for Yoruba achievements and progress in the modern world.

All in all, Yoruba people did not merely challenge European cultural arrogance; they suppressed it quite successfully in their own country. Nowhere else in Black Africa, among no other Black African nation, did the Europeans experience another powerful cultural challenge like this.

A British colonial official who served for years in Nigeria in the 1950s testified to the later-day effects of Yoruba Cultural Nationalism. He wrote in his memoir that, in his experience, the Yoruba were one African people who never treated the British, or any other Europeans, as superiors or “as gods”. He wrote that the Yoruba are a people with “personal dignity and political finesse”. “In my experience” he added, “the Yoruba regarded themselves as superior to the British – – -. The Yoruba were often highly intelligent and they taunted the British with sending inferior people to Nigeria.” He also added that many other Nigerian peoples could usually not look the white man in the eyes, but that even the lowliest Yoruba servant tended to carry himself with confidence and pride.

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Published in⁠ Diran Apata’s Sunday message

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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.

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YORUBA RELIGION DEFENDED AGAINST THE IGNORANCE OF THE ‘MISEDUCATED ‘EDUCATED YORUBA ELITE!- IFA IS AFRICAN SCIENCE-TRUE BLACK POWER!-FROM THE OSUN DEFENDER, NIGERIA

May 24, 2013

THE GREAT BLACK POWER OF IFA!

THE GREAT BLACK POWER OF IFA!


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THE STUDY OF IFA IN OSUN SCHOOLS; A PATH TO REAL DEVELOPMENT

Opon Ifa and OpeleOne feels compelled to write this piece on the recent announcement by the government of the State of Osun on the introduction of the study of Ifa religion in all its schools. While no time should be wasted in congratulating the government led by the visionary Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on this courageous and needful step, a conscious attempt must also be made to educate those who may be genuinely regarded as ignorant on the socio-legal imperative of permitting a pan Yoruba ethos play a pivotal role in the development of a society. All efforts made at raising the level of development must be anchored on this all-embracing substratum. As for the mischievous and the proselytising hypocrites, commercial religionists with vast business empires which thrive on the very objects of deceptive public excoriation, we must hasten to allay their fears that this novel but necessary introduction will not affect the enterprise of “miraculous healing” and the promise of prosperity in a land already devastated by political locusts.

A multi cultural milieu, such as Nigeria, must recognise and accept the reality of ethno-religious pluralism and the attendant divergence to promote equity, fairness and justice among the ethnic nationalities and groups, the necessary conditions for amity, peaceful co-existence and realistic aspirations towards growth. This is the irreducible minimum below which no group should be subjected. The omniscient posture adopted by the adherents of the so called prominent religions, Christianity and Islam, exposes abysmal ignorance on the essence of other indigenous religions and explains why intolerance adorns an official garb in various shades. This combative attitude is also symptomatic of a post-colonial society still reeling from the debilitating effects of foreign subjugation in all ramifications.

The dubious and ostentatious display of piety by these self-appointed men of God, on one hand, and their obscene materialistic disposition, is more than sufficient to cause a serious study into the misfortune of a society in decline. We leave this interesting topic for another time. For now it suffices to assert that this present move by the government is the most significant since independence. If development is about the people, then it should be taken as given that understanding the ways of life of all who live in the society is a sine qua non to planning. The challenges faced by various categories of people compel introspection and determination which will ultimately lead to progress. Professional politicians, deprived of patronage for two years now in the State of Osun, considered the source of the people of the south western part of the country, will also stop at nothing to confuse the people who have been dispossessed over the years.

If our children are made to study foreign religions and some even get higher degrees, including PhDs, knowing other peoples’ cultures, then it is rather salutary that a government is considering making the study of Ifa religion an option in the school curriculum in the State of Osun, albeit belatedly. Nigeria is a place where elites take pride on being proficient speaking and writing other people’s languages. We crave advancement depending solely on the cultural ethos of other lands. Our claims to decency are often predicated on the fact of our adherence to the precepts of either of these foreign religions. We are nurtured to imbibe the customs and traditions of those who treated our ancestors with utter contempt. We grew to hate what is truly ours. We receive awards aping the ways of life of other lands. What belongs to us is despised and treated with unimaginable derision. Our cultures are subjected to foreign prisms in determining their acceptability.

It is expected that deluded beings, who either believe genuinely in the myth of superiority of these imposed sub-sets, products of the perceptions of other peoples on natural phenomena observable within their societies, will join issues with this truly progressive leader of the people. What we must, however, eschew is silence which suggests connivance at the unwarranted attacks on the dynamic governor who has turned the fortunes of the state around positively with the little resources at his disposal. Nuhu Ribadu, a man not known to suffer fools gladly, just attested to the sterling qualities of this exceptional character. Several other people have been commenting on this ascetic being whose energy belies his physical stature.

Religion was central to the development of ancient Egyptian civilization. The challenges faced by the Egyptians compelled them to look for solutions in the spiritual realm. Disasters, prominent among which was the constant inundation of the Nile were considered as sanctions from the celestial beings. These ancient people used their belief in life after life and the existence of a supernatural being, Ra, whose decisions were unquestionable, to interact with their natural environment. The modern world is the direct beneficiary of the legacies of their fecund minds. Their children were nurtured on the nuggets of beliefs which propelled keen observation of natural phenomena. This attitude gave provenance to the unparalleled scientific discoveries for which the Egyptians are still widely acknowledged.
The originality of the thought process ensured that all nations in the ancient world looked up to it. Greece became the greatest beneficiary of this unique ancient civilization and, by necessary implication, the western world in the modern sense of the expression. What the average hypocritical and ignorant Nigerian will regard as superstitious and sinful formed the basis upon which his faith predicated on this imported religion is established. The judicial system of the ancient Egyptians was an aggregate of their socio-cultural values. These were contained in the curricula of the schools at various levels of learning.

The Chinese also developed their civilization independent of other existing ones relying heavily on their cultural values. China today is an exemplar in advancement because it has never allowed any undue influence on her socio-political system built on oriental values. This country stands out today as a bulwark of inspiration when most western nations are grappling with issues of survival occasioned by debilitating economic circumstances. A Chinese child will never look up to the west for socio-economic redemption. The child believes that his/her language is the best and only learns other foreign languages to derive advantage in a competitive world. He/She does not in any way feel inferior to the western child. The state has no official religion yet the Chinese child is not precluded from studying any subject of interest.

American students now come to Nigeria to study specific aspects of our much despised culture. They speak impeccable Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo, among other Nigerian languages. That is not a challenge to them at all. They are keen researchers on the mysteries of our ancestral past. They come to study Egungun cult, the talking drum and its significance in information dissemination, cultural values as encapsulated in the Odu Ifa corpus, among others. They become initiates of the Ifa religion which ignorant and ill-educated Africans denigrate. The tragedy of the whole scenario is that they are now in a position to educate us on our past. While we struggle to ape the Europeans, Americans and Arabs, we have become alienated from our origin. Nothing from us is good except it is subjected to western approval. So deracinated and uprooted from our origin have they become that fanatical members of some families openly destroy artifacts and other valuable vestiges of the glorious epoch when crass mercantilism had no impact on the psyche of the people.
Traditional rulers are the most pitiable characters of these tragic-comic elements. Some of them employed all manner of under hand methods to subvert the process of selection to become deluded kings in a republic. Once they ascend the so called throne of their fore-fathers they soon discover that their past was sinful. In their hypocritical exhibition of vacuous devotion, they destroy shrines and shun religious rites which justify their anachronistic existence in the first place. They invite commercial pastors to come and preach to their so called subjects to do away with the traditional ways. These religious businessmen in turn flaunt these clowns as trophies won in the battle to civilise the natives. They denigrate the very essence of their sustenance as custodians of the people’s customs and tradition.

They cherish the flowing three-piece traditional attire and the complementary pony tail, veritable emblems of indulgence and vanity. And just as their forbears collaborated with slave traders, commercial precursors of the proselytising hypocrites to raid villages and hamlets for slaves, they too are willing participants in the pillaging of the resources of the state at the local government level. Very few of them deserve attention in the midst of decent people.

Granted that the retrogressive position held on indigenous religions is correct, does it not make sense that our children are trained to know why their ancestral past must be condemned? We have fed generations of Nigerians, nay Africans, on foreign diets before independence through post colonial period to the present time. The ultimate ambition of an average child is to be white in everything. Is it not ironic that at a time when the western world looks towards African for cultural renaissance our people strive unabashedly to cast aside everything which reminds them of their beginnings?

Adherents of African traditional religions have been discriminated against over the years. The Nigerian experience has been heart-corroding. Supposedly educated religionists jettison family names which remind them of “pagan” practices. They adopt scriptural names of other cultures alien to the continent without understanding their significance. Thus we see funny names such as “Olugbemi” in place of “Fagbemi”. Jesus, which is a very common name among the Jews, is affixed to praise names to depict piety. What ignorance!

The new policy on education in the State of Osun will afford our children the opportunity to know that the difference you find in all religions of the world is in the practice. Doctrinal issues have now subsumed the didactic and edifying aspects of religion. In Nigeria economic consideration far out-weighs the sincere quest for spiritual regeneration. The Osun example has exposed the lie peddled by people who exploit religion for selfish purposes. Our children must be allowed to know something about what they are called upon to hate. They should be able to decide if there is any remarkable difference between the promoted religions and the message in the Ifa corpus. Students whose parents are adherents of Ifa religion must also be allowed to study their faith in an ambience devoid of discrimination and intolerance. Virtues such as continence, loyalty, honesty, piety, civic responsibility, devotion to parents and elders, humility, among others, are embedded in Ifa. Any child who has the good fortune of being nurtured on this unadulterated teaching will be useful to himself and the community at large. The hypocritical posture of politicians on this policy must be condemned.

Our children must be allowed to understand, for instance, that Esu, the perfect trickster with a dual personality is not Satan or Lucifer, the arch angel in the Christian pantheon of the gods. When our children hear names such as Esubiyi, Esugbayi or Esuronmbi, the ready connotation in their minds is the devil of the Bible or the Quran. They cannot fathom why anyone who is not insane will bear such names in the society. Beyond names, certain virtues are considered the exclusive preserve of the established religions. Experience has, however, shown that there is a wide gulf between mere avowal and the actual deeds of those who profess piety.

The very first lesson to the Ifa devotees is on contentment as against complacency.

“Ohun enu ri ni enu nje,
adifa fun igbin ti o je erupe la”.”

The mouth is satisfied with whatever comes as food just as the snail relishes in the nutrients of the soil.” There are fables of the adventures of Orunmila or Obatala which are also didactic. The treacherous deeds of the bush rat, Okete and Osanyin, are replete in the Ifa corpus. The consequences of unfaithful deeds are taught with the fables of these mythical characters. Temperance is a virtue of the gods and any mortal lucky enough to be endowed with this special gift will experience peace which is beyond the understanding of man. A man’s character determines how successful he will be on earth. The story of “Iwa” teaches us that one of the greatest gifts bequeathed by the gods to man is the ability to do what is right.

I had the rare privilege of listening to Professor Olu longe who informed most of us who were ignorant of the invaluable contribution of the Ifa religion to the Yoruba accounting system. The basis of the computer is the Odu. The first 8 in 2 places making 16 multiplied by 16 making 256 to infinity is the principle upon which the operation of the computer is based. Whoever insists that our children do not deserve to know this fact is not only ignorant but wicked. I enthusiastically recommend the eminent professor’s lecture, “Irapada Onka Isembaye wa ni ile Yoruba”, to those who may not know that such as the ancient Egyptian religion, the Ifa corpus contains aspects of science, mathematics, accounting, medicine and ethics. It is most unlikely that any child properly nurtured on these pristine values can ever grow to become a burden to the society.

The government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is among the very few that can be regarded as focused. All good people must come together to encourage this exceptional leader who has displayed rare administrative acumen amidst the daunting challenges faced by him since he assumed office as the governor. Other ACN governors should follow the good example of this diminutive man who has taken giant strides in ensuring real development in a state once ravaged by locusts.

Doyin Odebowale, PhD, LLB (Hons), BL.
Lecturer, Department of Classics, University of Ibadan.

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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?

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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

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