Ojubo Osogbo

A shrine in the Osun Groove

Ojubo Osogbo, a component of the Osun Groove, is ancient, older than the town of Osogbo (which is not older than 400 years, according to Chief Olugunna’s research). The statue of Osun where the river bends at Ojubo Osogbo is from the hand of Saka. It is a reverent replacement for the one which fell when its author, Ojewale Amoo, violated one of the goddess’ taboos. Visitors to the premises and river shrine of Ojubo Osogbo as well as to the Osun shrine at the Ataoja’s palace (which is Iya Osun’s residence), are hereby Informed that, traditionally, it is their due to give a decent amount of money to the priests. They have no other income than the fees which they receive as indispensable intermediaries for the supplicant who seeks the goddess’ favours. This is a fact of the culture on whose ground the visitor stands. Visitors give politely and according to their ability. This act can, after all, be understood as compensation for the intrusion of an outsider.

Exiting Ojubo Osogbo through gateways, the visitor may turn to the left along the small road to the “old” suspension bridge, brainchild of one Welsh District Officer in colonial times. On the way to the suspension bridge one can see the entrances to the Igbofa, the new Ifa Grove. To allow ritual force accumulation, it is not open to the public. The ancient Ifa forest altar is still frequented by the oracle priests, despite its desperate situation of progressing destruction. Returning to the main road, the visitor turns left. A short walk or drive will bring him to Ebu Iya Moopo (Ebu – potterfleld). This goddess is the patroness of all women’s occupations including childbirth.

Visitors may go to Busseyin, where on a now rather small ground an impressive building impersonates the goddess in her proximity to Ori, Olodumare’s paramount met a-intellect. This area is nowadays, on account of the townships rapidly Increasing building activities, isolated – excepting a strip of protected riverbank-from the totality of Osun’s Sacred Groves. It is however included in the official survey plan). Osun Busseyin is well frequented by her ritual offspring-for ritual baths and drinking of its water (Agbo). That organic and inorganic dirt (which is Osun’s modern acquisition in that now urban area) does no interfer with her sacredness and healing-propensities (reminiscent of the ritual immersions in the sacred river of Benares) as a token of Osun’s metaphysical interaction with the god Sonponna’s homeopathic healing properties[i].

[i] TEMPO August 17, 1995

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer