The Yoruba Festival of Oshun and the celebration of fertility in Nigeria.


Oshun Festival held in Nigeria in late August (starts on the last Friday of the month), when the rainy season ends. It is the feast in which childless women worship the goddess of fertility, is the most important of the Yoruba, one of the main ethnic groups in Nigeria, is holding a religion that is as old as the Africa. During the festival crowds praying hard with the belief that in those days the goddess granted favors, annual traditional festivities and prayers to the orisha Oshun are performed on the banks of the river that bears his name where leave flowers and other offerings the goddess, women ask for health, prosperity and more children.

Osun is a state in southwestern Nigeria, created on August 27, 1991, its capital town of Osogbo is the name that stems from the union of Oshun and Ogbo. The main ethnic sub-groups in the Osun state are tribes Ife, Ijesha, Oyo, and Igbomina. The city is known for its sacred grove, a Yoruba shrine sculpture in recent years is rapidly becoming an attractive tourist center. Another refuge from the Yoruba culture in Nigeria is  Ile-Ife, the ancient name of the town which houses the Museum Ife Ife, with several bronze and terracotta sculptures of the thirteenth century.

The cult of Oshun has spread from Africa to many parts of South America and the Caribbean. In the territories of origin, is known as “Iyami Aje”, the Mother Goddess who holds the secret and the treasure of life. There are also references to her as “Iyalorde” or “Oshun Iyalorde”, which can be interpreted as being the live spirit of the blood that flows through the body to sustain life. In Nigeria call it ” Enmare”, the person who was placed in the path of goodness, in Iyesá ground is “Osun Dodowa” and in  Ife is “Awoyemi” or “Omoyumi Naki.”

In Cuba it is called Ochúm, but in some cults is identified as “Yeye Kari” or “Yeye Moro” small but proud, happy and flirtatious. In Haiti, is known as Ezili Freda.

During the festival in Osogbo, offering to Oshun is a meal made with shrimp, spinach, onion, pepper, eggs, lettuce, endive, yellow rice, tamales, olive oil, corn meal, honey, sweets of all kinds , crowbars gofio with honey, white wine and fruits of river. In his name were sacrificed goat wethers, Angola hens, pigeons and turtles jicoteas.

The legend relates that Oshun is the orisha of fresh water, is the goddess of the river that crosses the city of Osogbo which has the largest number of believers. Its name comes from the Yoruba Osun and his devotees say that unless the world turned into Ibu Kole (a kind of vulture), interceding with Olofi (the creator) to desist from destroying humanity, the rain stopped and avoided the great flood. It is well known for his role in the development of the fetus (with Orichanlá and Ozain) and their formation in the womb, she chairs the embryo. It is considered the goddess of fertility, motherhood granting women without children and also heals the sick through its medicinal waters.

For the faithful, the goddess is characterized by its good looks, dancing harmonious, its seriousness and firmness of speech, anger and pride only when disturbed or because one of his devotees has fallen into disobedience by ignoring it or passing over their mandates. It has the power to hear and see everything. Its receptacle is a bowl of yellow ware or colors yellow predominating. Oshun has 5 Ota living within the bowl with river water. Its main attributes are a sun, a hand of snails, mirrors, combs, earrings, 5 adams (handles), fish, sandalwood fans, Ibu Kole feathers of peacock feathers, crowns, hearts, snails, shells, tubs, corals, iruka tail light colored horse, bells, scarves, crescent, two oars, a star, etc. Their more traditional elekes are made by inserting yellow and golden beads or 5 golden beads, amber and 5 yellow beads.

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