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OSOUSI FESTIVAL, AGO IWOYE

Osousi festival is celebrated amongst the people of Ikija and Ago-iwoye in Ogun state, Western Nigeria. It is believed that the festival first began thousands of years ago in Ejigbo Ile ife in osun state, and as the pioneers of the festival migrated to the present day Ogun state, they continued holding the festival yearly.

The Osuosi festival centers around a powerful warlord, called Oso, whom during his lifetime, was known to be an avenger for the oppressed, he fought and won several wars both for his community and for people of other communities, he was very famous and loved by all.

On the conquest of a particular kingdom, whose warriors were known to be very powerful as well, Oso became even more popular amongst kingdoms and was nicknamed Osogbusi (abbreviated as            Osousi) which means Oso conquered or Oso the conqueror. After his death, the people deified him, carved out a wooden image of his replica, and started worshiping him as a deity and held the Osousi festival yearly in celebration of his good deeds.

The festival is a fourteen (14) daylong event, consisting of many different activities of rites, rituals, which include killing of goats, fowls, incantations, divination, visits to the stream(In honor of one of his many wives- Oluweri, who was also deified as the goddess of the river), soothsaying, praise singing, evocations etc.

These activities then culminate into celebrations where certain kinds of foods like Ikokoreolori (local yam pasta cooked with sheer butter), Boiled maize and coconut, Akara (Bean cake) are served, and finally, the two dances that emanated from and are particular to the Osousi festival are performed.

They are the Ijootun and Yengbe dance.

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