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Olosunta and Orole Hills of Ikere

Started by Omowale, Jan 18, 2023, 04:58 PM

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A short article about the history of Ọlọ́sunta and Orole (sorry I do not know the tone mark). Also please don't mind my shameless fetish for tropical hills. Èkìtì is beautiful. I envy @Atipo lol.

This is interesting though:

QuoteIn line with the belief of the people of this town the Olosunta and Orole deities reside in the hills respectively. Both deities are credited with some feats such as provision of children to barren women and protection of Ikere from warfare. They are believe to be responsible for the welfare of the town. Ikere Ekiti is usually described as the only unconquered town in Ekiti during the popular inter-tribal wars.

Another good example of more local orisha deities. I always like to spread awareness of the infinite orisha deities that are praised locally throughout sacred Yorubaland.  @Atipo also said there is a festival as well. Feel free to share your thoughts.
~Manifest destiny from within~


Here is another article I found about the history of these orisha:

I ran it through google to translate it into english. Anyone who speaks Brazilian-Portuguese here can verify if the translation is good:

A city endowed with magnificent hills, including Òrólè and Olósùnta. The city is located between Ado-Ekiti (the capital of Ekiti State) and Akure (the capital of Ondo State). The gateway to Ekiti Land.
According to the belief of the people of this city, the deities Olósunta and Òrólè reside in the hills respectively.
Both deities are credited with deeds such as providing children to barren women and protecting Ikere from war.
They believe they are responsible for the welfare of the city.
Ikere Ekiti is usually described as the only unconquered town in Ekiti during the popular inter-tribal wars.

"Ólrólè baba Òkè": Òrólè, the king of heights The story goes that, long ago, when
Orole ("Oro-Ile" means "history of the earth") was known to be a low rock
outside the harvest, the people of Oyo Kingdom rose up to attack Ikere Kingdom. At that time there were internal wars and Oyo Alaafin rulers wanted to capture and sell the people of Ikere to white men as slaves.
Just before the Oyo soldiers gained entry into the Ikere enclave, they became very tired and hungry and decided to stop and take some rest at a small yam plantation, where Orole was located.
They dug up yam tubers they found on the farm and feasted on them. As they rose to attack the Ikere enclave, the Orole began to rise from the ground (while they were still on it) and before they realized what was happening, they were blown to a height of about 1000 feet. Orole climbed a
gigantic rock wall, so big and steep they couldn't get down.
It was said that they tried to escape the trap by tying their clothes in pieces
to use as ropes, but it amounted to futility.
They decided to commit suicide by jumping off the mountain.

The Rock of Olosunta is a sacred rock worshiped every year for nine days in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The festival attracts tourists from far and near. Next to it is the Ugele hill, which has a large cave that has the capacity to hold over 1,000 people. Centuries ago, the cave provided refuge for people who sought shelter there in time of war.
Every year, a remembrance festival called Jona-Olosunta takes place in the Ikere land to celebrate the Ikere warriors who fell in battle against the Oyo kingdom.
As part of the rites, palm fronds are tied together and lit in what is known as Otifon. Only the Olu-Ikere can make sacrifices to the rock.
Oral history has traced the origin of Olosunta to Ile-Ife, Osun state. The rock is said to have existed before Ojo (Olosunta) entered the city.
Olosunta came in human form from Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of the Yoruba, but later transformed into a spirit. He and Olu-Ikere Oloje came from Ogbon-Ilode, in Obaloran, in Ile-Ife.
He came after Olu-Ikere arrived because they were friends. Olosunta's real name was Ojo. He came after he was disappointed by his people who refused to name him successor to the then chief priest of Ife (Agidimalaja) who died. He believed he would be the installed successor, but ended up being denied.
Ojo became irritated and located his friend, Olukere Oloje, who had arrived in Ikere. Olosunta was a great herbalist who rescued Ikere from his adversaries. He also fought many wars to defend the people.
" But there came a time when people were jealous of him for wielding such enormous power and influence. And so they conspired to kill him. But he learned of the plot while it was being hatched. Hence, he ran away from his home before people could arrive. He ran into the forest to escape, but people ambushed him.

Olosunta was lucky to escape when it turned into a whirlpool that suddenly started to blow. With that, he drove the people away.
The whirlpool was hard. They (aggressors) retreated, but regrouped and returned the next day for a chase. They, however, had difficulty locating him. Desperate, they set fire to the hill in order to suffocate him, thinking he would either flee from the rock or die after inhaling smoke.
They returned to the hill on the third day only to hear his voice saying he would never die. He cursed the people that, they would continue to set the mountain on fire annually. There was widespread chickenpox after the attack, which resulted in many deaths, the problem became unbearable for the people and they decided to consult for solutions.
After the consultations, they went to Olosunta's friend, Olukere Oloje, who was not part of the plot, for intervention. It was revealed that he must be appeased with a very large cow. This is how it became mandatory to host the festival annually.
The hill has spiritual powers to heal and solve problems for those who worship and make promises to it.
However, Rock Olosunta is different from other rocks that tourists flock to for relaxation. People cannot go there on their own, because it has serious consequences. People only gather during the festive period after performing certain rites.
Olosunta's annual celebration lasts for nine days. It is on the night of the eighth day that the sacrifice is performed. People will come on the morning of the ninth day to receive the priests who will return from the hill.
The celebration alternates between July and August each year, depending on the season. A very large cow is usually used as a sacrifice for the Olosunta rock, there is no specific color for the cow, but it must be very large in size. It is offered as a sacrifice. People do not eat from the cow, but there are provisions for food.

Another account says:
" Olósùnta òrun Ìkéré": Olosunta, the heavens of Earth Ikere:
At times in the past, when the people of Ikere worshiped the massive Olosunta Inselberg as a god, another conflict took place again between the kingdoms of Oyo Alaafin and Ikere, in which the soldiers of Ikere fled before the Oyos and their leader crashed into a cave . . Since the capture of a leader during war meant the end of a battle, the warriors of Oyo found the cave but were afraid to enter the hole. They even tried to set fire to the cave using dried palm leaves, but their efforts were in vain. That's how the war ended.

Every year, a remembrance festival called "Jóná Olosunta" takes place in the land of Ikere to commemorate the Ikere warriors who died in battle against the kingdom of Oyo.
As part of the sacrificial rites, palm leaves are tied together and lit – this is known as Otifon. Snails, chicken and goat are also served as sacrifice to Olosunta rock.
Only the "Olúkéré" is allowed to make sacrifices to the rock.
Nigerian Voice newspaper reporter – Amuda Emmanuel describes: Òrólè and Olósùnta refer to the two as The Twin Warriors of the Ikere People.
Note: OLUKERE is the traditional chief priest of Ikere, responsible for the traditional rituals of worship to Olosunta, while OGOGA is the supreme sovereign of the kingdom of Ikére.
In this interview with KAMARUDEEN OGUNDELE , the Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Adejimi-Adu Alagbado tells his story and that of the city:

Ikere is reputed as a settlement with an interesting history, can you share some with us?
Ikere originally consisted of three sections: Uro, Odo Oja and Oke Ikere. The story goes that the first person to settle in Ikere was Aladeselu from the Uselu area in the Kingdom of Benin. At that time, migrants used to consult oracles before settling in a place. Aladeselu consulted the oracle and was informed that he could settle there. He started cleaning the floor. In the divination, Aladeselu was told that the person who would become the king would be arriving and that the people would know when he arrived. Aladeselu started with her own family. People came from other places and settled in Ikere.
There were two powerful herbalists then: Isesegunrise or Olosu, because he always kept lots of hair on his head, and Ijagbofin, of the Alawe family. There was rivalry between the two, but Isesegunrise was more powerful. Whatever he uttered would happen. Because of his power, the other herbalist became jealous and conspired with the others. The hunters who used to consult him abandoned him, but this affected their fortunes.

They felt that Isesegunrise was the cause. They conspired against him. Opportunity to kill him came when he promised to fortify Ikere against external aggression because of intertribal war then. He asked them to dig a hole big enough to swallow a human being for propitiation while he brought out other ingredients. That day he brought other ingredients and asked for the human being. Unknown to him, people had planned to use him instead. They rushed to push him into the hole to bury him alive, but he escaped because of his mystical power. He rushed to the rock of Olosunta and ordered it to open. People went to collect palm leaves and set fire to him to expel him. But water began to come out of the rock. They called his name and he answered. People were afraid, so they ran away. Shortly after, there were famines, epidemics and droughts in the land. They went to the oracle for divination, where they said they had rewarded their benefactor with evil. He instructed them to go and appease him.

They contacted Oloje, who was his protégé, to appease him. This is how Oloje became the head priest. Because he was also planting ukerekere, they named him Olukere. But Ogoga was the first king who came from Benin, previously revealed by divination. Ogoga and Deji from Akure are from the same parents. If you go to Deji Palace today, you will see the Owa of Ogoga there.
As typical of a Yoruba setting, what are the main taboos in Ikere Ekiti?
Ogoga came like a prince hunting elephants. He shot an elephant and traced it to Ikere where he found it. That's why it's taboo to bring dead animals into the exposed city. You must cover it.
Palm trees cannot be brought into the city as a whole. You must remove the fruits or wrap them. It is not allowed to take a bunch of people into the city. Before Ogoga eats new yam, you cannot display new yam in the market. If you cover and eat at your house, no problem. Roasting yams is also not allowed inside the city, but you can do it on the outskirts.
What are some of the festivals celebrated in Ikere and which one is the main one that brings sons and daughters home from the city?

We have Olosunta – the biggest idol in Ikere because of what he has done for the city. During the festival, women come to ask for children. We also have Ogun, Oliki, Oloba, Alamolo, Ogbese, Orisa Ojido, Orisa Agisa, Egungun, Osun; we have 15 of them of which 11 are primes. We also have people festivals from Are, Afao, Agbado, Ilu Omoba, Oyo that they have integrated into Ikere. When they celebrate, they come to the palace to dance for the Ogoga.
~Manifest destiny from within~