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Yoruba Spirituality: Osun’s Sacred Grove in Osogbo

I know Osun is a goddess but because I don’t believe in Yoruba traditional religion, I’ve always just seen her as a symbol of femininity, vitality and fertility. Also, a feature of Beyoncé’s songs 😭 Until this trip to Ile-Ife and Osogbo, I never realized how interwoven Yoruba culture is with its traditional religion. While doing research on Yoruba culture, I always intentionally skipped the traditional religion parts for religious reasons but I think mostly out of fear. On my day trip to Ife, I kept thinking how I could just quickly stop by in Osogbo to the famous Sacred Groves and so I did.






When I saw one of my friends at this grove in Osogbo some time ago, I knew it was a MUST on my list. This grove is so beautiful and even exceeded my expectations by far. I think everyone should see it in person.


When we arrived we drove down a path that was lined with different Yoruba sculptures. When we arrived at the main gate, we got out of the car and went to inquire about a tour. I think it was N500 (about $1) per person.


Osun is the most popular goddess in Yoruba land but before this trip, I’ve never actually heard her story. Here our guide explains the story of Osun and how the people of Osogbo began worshipping her.







After the hearing the story, we walked into the groove. There were quite a few monkeys but what really stood out to me was how calming and serene the environment was. All you could hear were the trees and the river flowing. It is so peaceful. When we got to the gate of the grove, there were three women there. It is customary to drop some money for them before entering and they say well wishes for you. So I did that and headed in. There were more sculptures of course and some wood carving that lined the main building. Opposite the building was the Osun River.







The grove was built in partnership between local artists and an Austrian woman named Susanne Wenger. They restored the grove for the goddess, Osun and to depict the shape of the Osun river and the activities of the orishas (Yoruba gods). Susanne Wegner became popularly known as Adunni before her death in 2009.


At the end of the tour, we went to the bridge behind the main building where you could walk on and see the full beauty of the river. I surprised by the colour of the river. It was yellow-ish, cement like colour. It was very unusual but a very beautiful sight.




Tell me, wouldn't you love to visit this beautiful, serene grove?

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a writer and illustrator from Lagos, Nigeria.

 

In 2015, I started a company called IheartLagos with the aim of showcasing Lagos culture in a unique and fun way.

 

That journey took me down an exciting path, discovering and learning so much about Nigeria.

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