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African Arts & Culture

Cultural Heritage Of The Yorubas’ Olojo Festival & The City Of 201 Gods

Story Highlights

  • Olojo Festival: Ritual Rites
  • Change In Olojo Festival
  • Olojo Festival: Influence Of Past And Present Kings Of Ife
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Africa Facts Zone presents Olojo Festival. An African cultural treasure, the Olojo festival honours Elédùmarè, the all-powerful God. “The Power That Be” is also known as “Elédùmarè” and “Olodumare” among yoruba people.

Olojo Festival is a day set aside to honour the owner of the universe (Elédùmarè) in the Olojo festival’s history. Nature’s forces, including rain, sun, and water, will all work together for the good of the day and humanity. There is only one God, yet we all worship him in different ways. “The Olojo Festival is a day when God answers prayer not only for ife indigenes but for everyone and all.” Ooni Ojaja II said this, per the AFP.

Olojo Festival: A Celebration of Cultural Heritage and Rituals

It is on this day that the Ooni (monarch of Ife) emerges from his solitary confinement and prayer sessions with the ancestors to bless his people. His prayers will have more power because he will be pure. In order to prepare the palace for the arrival of the Ooni, his maternal and paternal grandmothers sweep it.

It is thought that the Ancient Are crown (King’s Crown) worn by the Oduduwa acts as a holy identity and inspires the people to honour the Oba’s role as saviour and obtain his sacred blessing before leading a procession of traditional chiefs and priests to perform at Ogun’s Shrine.

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The Royal Promenade

During the olojo festival, the Ooni of Ifè leads the procession to Okè-Mogun, the primary and principal shrine, with the Arè crown and prays for the people on their behalf to the deity.

Ceremony and song are elements of the Olojo festival’s ritual, which includes sacred enchantments and songs. Formalism, religious iconography, and performance are hallmarks of the ritual. It is part of the particular performance that produces a theatrical-like framing around the activities, symbols and events that shape the participants’ experiences and cognitive order.

Okè-Magun, a sacred arena in the Olojo ritual realm, was where believers witnessed the rite of reviving the cosmos and affirming the king’s authority over his people.

The ilàgn (Vigil) was observed in the middle of the night, according to the tale of the Olojo festival. But ilàgn was moved to the late afternoon ten years following Oba Adrm’s term as monarch, according to the Cultural Heritage. The rumour that the festival was for human sacrifices had been circulating for some time, so King Aderemi decided to adjust the ritual timing to dispel it. Because of this, the date of the ilàgn was shifted, although the religious ceremonies themselves continued.

For centuries, kings have served as the country’s political and spiritual leaders.

Ideologies of the Ilé-Ifè monarchy led to a unique belief in the monarchy. For centuries, kings have served as the country’s political and spiritual leaders. His subordinates revere him enough to address him as ‘Aláseigba keji rişà’ (the second companion of god).

In the Ilé-Ifè culture, there is a sense of individualism that can be expressed. King reformers, rulers, conquerors, motivators, commercial moguls, politicians and other historical figures have all put their mark on the throne.

The king’s popularity and ego were celebrated through the usage of drumming. During the reign of Ooni Aderemi, Africans were encouraged to honour their ancestors and traditional deities. He refused to let the so-called world religions’ ideas supplant the revered kingship institution and the rişà heritage.

Also Read: Africa traditional sports that survived Colonialism

Influence Of The Past And Present Kings Of Ife On The Olojo Festival

With his influence on local and national politics, the late Ooni Aderemi was able to merge his spiritual duty with his political role despite community dissatisfaction.

In addition to being a nationalist, a radical, and a fan of culture and religion, he was also a promoter of the Olojo Cultural Heritage. Until his death in 1980, Ooni Aderemi remained a conventional king.

It’s also worth noting that the late Ooni Sijuwadé was a big fan of business and politics. He represented the dawn of a new era, and his rule saw a rise in the town’s religious diversity. National and global interests were tied to the local celebration by Olùbùse II.

This celebration allowed for ethnic cooperation and religious tolerance among different classes, regardless of their beliefs or political affiliations, during his day. As part of the festivities, he led a parade to the gn shrine, which served as a symbol of national togetherness. But even though his involvements with the indigenous celebration in Ilé-Ifè may have disrupted its continuity, he nonetheless fulfilled his social role.

The present Ooni of ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, is a prominent advocate for the preservation of traditional culture and the preservation of the cultural heritage. He was outraged by the stereotype of Traditional African Religion (TRA) followers as idol worshipers. His message is to the African people: face up to the challenge, protect your cultural beliefs, and repackage and export your Cultural Heritage.

He claims that if we don’t appreciate our culture, we’ll be destroying the hard work of our forefathers. Celebration of the festival allows us to recognise and honour all of our deities who have played a significant role in human history. As a celebration of our cultural heritage, the Olojo Festival honours the first day of creation, which is also known as the cradle of the human race,”

Failure to appreciate our history would be a death knell for the sacrifices made by our forefathers. Do not confuse us with idolaters, as we are not.

Conclusion

Because of its folklore and history, Olojo has remained a Cultural Heritage and a popular attraction in Ile-Ife. It refers to the day of the year when Olodumare bestows his blessings (the creator of the Universe). “Owner for the day” can alternatively be rendered as “Olojo.” Yoruba and Nigerians are urged to pray for serenity. Participants range in age from toddlers to seniors. Among the Yorubas, this is regarded as a symbol of their unity.

Ile-Ife is regarded as the birthplace of the Yorubas, the city of survivors, the spiritual centre of the Yorubas, and the land of the ancients by the Yoruba tradition.

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