A Comparative Analysis of Olojo Festival under the Late Adesoji Aderemi and the Late Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II.

Author:Blessing, Akinyemi Yetunde


Special days are set aside by the community to remind the people of the existence of the sacred figures, the importance of examining their backgrounds, and the people's traditions and beliefs, calling attention to the importance of the rites in establishing public order. Awolalu and Dopamu opined that:

Most festivals are associated with specific divinities, spirits or ancestors and they are therefore religious in outlook. Among the Yoruba, for example, each divinity has an annual festival associated with him or her and this is called "Odun" (festival). "Odun" also means year, and when used in relation to festivals it means "annual festival". This means that major festivals among the Yoruba come up once every year. (1) Festivals that are celebrated in Ile-Ife, a town described by J. K. Olupona as the city of 201 gods, (2) include Edi festival, Qbatala festival, Qbameri festival, Qsara festival, Qranmiyan festival, and Qlojo. Qlojo festival is the most prominent of all the festivals. It demands the participation of a reigning king, the major chiefs in the town and the "Isoro" (priests of deities in Ile-Ife).

The interest in this study begins with the absence of the Ooni in leading the procession to Oke-Mogun, the principal and main shrine during the Qlojo festival, from 2009-2013 as one of his spiritual duties. The royal walk involves the Ooni of Ife who leads procession to Oke-Mdgun shrine with Are crown and offers prayer on behalf of the people to the deity. Yet, in the absence of the king doing the most important sacred duty Qlojo festival continues to create a good relationship among the people. Indeed, it re-enacts the mutuality of the people with the past hero "Ogun", the pathfinder of the society.

There are sacred enchantments and song that often prelude the commencement of Olojo festival as part of the ritual of the celebration, as women from Eredumi compound enter into Ile oduduwa to herald the arrival of Olojo festival, which is the pourri festival of all deities in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, such as "Gbajure! Gbajure! Gbajure [an interlude that indicates the arrival of the festival]!"

The ritual is characterized by formalism, sacred symbols and performance. (3) Songs and praise are part of the special performance that creates a theatrical-like frame around the activities, symbols and events that shape the participant's experiences and cognitive order. (4) As Barbara Myerhoff puts it, "not only seeing is believing, but doing is believing." (5) It is very clear that the diction of songs and the praise connote a deeper meaning in the mind of the adherent. It also conforms the people to a long-lasting mood.

We shall identify the most popular songs among the Ife people during Qlojo festival for analysis. The songs give a detailed background and some specific characters of the town. Here are some songs that have cultural and religious meanings to the devotees and social and cultural meanings to the non-devotees. When the devotees hear the songs, they put them in a long lasting and conforming mood from the social to the spiritual.

Popular Songs during the Festival

  1. Ile-Ife ni ori 'run aye Ile-Ife, the cradle of the earth Ilu Oodua baba Yoruba The town of Oduduwa, father of the Yoruba Edumare to da wa si'fe The God of that created us to Ile-Ife Ko mase ba 'Fe je mo wa l'ori Will not spoil Ile-Ife for us K'Oluwa ko maa ran wa se. Help us oh God Ife Ooye, E ji giri Ife people, wake up E ji giri, k'e gbe Ife ga Wake up for the betterment of Ife Olori aye ni'fe Ooye Ile-Ife, the cradle of the earth K'a mura lati te s'iwaju We should be ready to move forward Oranfe On'ile ina Oramfe, whose house was built with fire Oodua a weriri jagun Oduduwa who fought endlessly Okanlen'irun irunmole The two hundred and one gods E gbe 'Fe le'ke 'isoro gbogbo Make Ife above all problems 2. Ile-Ife b 'ojumo ti mo wa Ile-Ife where the sun set Ilu asa on ilu esin The town of culture and his religion Gbogbo Yoruba e kare 'fe All Yoruba, let's go to Ife Ka lo w 'ohun adayeba t 'o jo'ju To behold the precious ancient artifact Ile Oodua Ife lo wa House of Oduduwa is located in Ife Opa Oran'yan; Ile-Ife ni The staff of Oramiyan is in Ife Boji Moremi Ile-Ife ni The grave of Moremi is in Ile-Ife Ara, e kare 'fe Oodaye. People, let's go to Ile-Ife, the ancient kingdom This anthem creates the fundamental truth about identity. It is the traditional Ife anthem. It serves as an exposure to the historical event of the city. It exposes the truth about Ife being the cradle of the Yoruba race. Other related songs include awareness songs sung at the beginning of the festival and during the ritual procession.

Oju mo ti mo It is early morning Omo Akogun The son of Akogun Ijo Ogun I'a p' Qranmiyan We call Qranmiyan in time of war Omo Olomi meta Akogun The son of three waters of Akogun Chorus: kere kere bebe ojumo Gradually! Gradually! it is early morning ti mo (6) Another song, an awareness song, which announces the movement of the Qoni to Oke-Mogun with the Are crown, run thus:

Ode to o! It is time to go Ode to o! It is time to go Gbajure Gbajure Gbajure! Gbajure! Onle nla Owner of the big empire A s' Qloja Ile-Ife We celebrate Qlojo of Ife Oba nla bori oba Powerful king who conquers other king O to joba lo loba A worthy King O j' onile He resembles the owner of the house O fi ojo fun Olojo He dedicates the day to the owner Bi mi o ba puro If I won't lie Oga ni n'le Ketu He is recognised as a warrior in Ketu land Omo Eleredumi Ile-Ife. (7) The son of Eredumi of Ife-Ile Gbajure Gbajure Qranmiyan, akin ni ile, aki lako Oramiyan the brave man at home and in the village Okunrin kakaki t'otoju ogun dele Strong man who...

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