Ogiyan Festival: The Celebration Of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Ejigbo Ancestors.
Ogiyan is the symbol and cultural identity of the people of Ejigbo, Osun State. Its annual celebration, usually held in September is a major festival that unites the people of the town across religious divides and attracts Ejigbo people in diaspora.
Lets talk about Ogiyan properly.
Orisa Ogiyan, is the traditional festival of the entire Ejigbo community. This deity is dear to Ejigbo as Osun is dear to Osogbo. Both muslims and christians, despite their own belief, participate fully in this annual event. This deity background an even be traced as far away as Bahia in Brazil, in South America where it is called Osaniyan.
On Friday 22nd of September, an early visit to the palace of Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyeyode Oyesosin 11 will put no one in doubt as to the importance of Ogiyan festival to the people of Ejigbo with the presence of members of Ejigbo supreme traditional councils, Ifa Priests, contingent of the drummers running up and down for the preparation of Ifa Vigil (Aisun Ifa), a major spiritual obligation heralding the festival on Saturday.
The Aisun Ifa’s traditionally known, is characterised by eating of the new yam, pounded yam, singing the praises and praying for the traditional ruler in the usual Ifa incantation tones, and this is punctuated by dancing round the palace courtyard from the evening to the early morning when the traditional Ewo skirmish is performed.
As men were seen arranging the palace vicinity, hundreds of women with excitement were pounding yams, the favourite food of Ogiyan at the palace yard, while others were engaging in all forms of beautifications. The whole place was no doubt in the celebration mood as the monarch after dancing round the town was welcoming the visitors inside the palace.
A fascinating scene that attracted much attention that Friday were women numbered about 200 from Ejigbo ruling house in their unison placed firewood on their head, singing and dancing on the streets to the place. The ceremonial firewood fetching to the palace, according to Ifalade Adekunle, an Ogiyan worshiper symbolises solidarity with palace Queens and donation to the successful hosting of the guest. The women are wives from the ruling houses, some of them are muslims and christians but during the festival, they all have cultural responsibilities to the place, you can see their formation with highest level of excitement.
After the women possession, the Ifa priests in their white garment, led by the Araba Awo of Ejigbo, Chief Awotunde Jayeola also stormed the place with their traditional gong, praying for the prosperity of Ejigbo. After greeting the traditional chief in the palace, they proceeded to the temple at the back of the palace for the annual ritual. The ritual according to Araba Awo of Ejigbo, must precede any other activities.
Explaining the relationship between Ifa and Ogiyan to OSUN DEFENDER Newspaper, Chief Jayeola said Ifa guided and predicted for Akinjole the custodian of Ogiyan throughout his life time. The most important thing is that it was Ifa that predicted Ejigbo for Akinjole the founder of Ejigbo; we consult Ifa for our King three times in a year, one is called Isan Isa, when the hunters will hunt for the King and another one is called Agbalu, which will be done in my house in the presence of all the traditional chiefs, and the third is Aisun Ifa, Ifa vigil that we are doing today before we start the main celebration of Ogiyan festival tomorrow