Posts Tagged ‘Osunita’

Yoruba traditional religion is something that always fascinated me while I was learning about Yoruba culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Reading about it in books is nothing like experiencing it in person. We had the chance to travel to Osogbo last month with Kayode’s drum teacher to attend a festival all about the Yoruba deities, called orishas. The title of this week long festival is Osunita. People from all over Nigeria come to Osogbo to honor Iya Osunita (the Osunita mother). Guests sacrifice to various Yoruba Orishas, including Iyalode, Obatala, Eshu, Osun, and Ogun. Yoruba traditional religion and the practice of Ifa divination is a huge topic and I am not attempting to delve into it right now. Today you hear people calling traditional things “fetish”. If something has characteristics of traditional religion or culture, people fear it and call it “fetish”. With the widespread reach of Christianity and Islam, the number of people worshiping Orishas and practicing Ifa is diminishing but from what I saw that day in Osogbo, there is still a strong population continuing the tradition. I want to show these pictures to help you get a sense for what a modern day festival is like.

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