At the 2010 Omo Olowu Festival which succeeds the annual Owu Day Festival, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, the Olowu of Owu traced the origin of the Omo Olowu festival (Odun Omo Olowu) to the times of Ajibosin, the son of Obatala and first grandson of Oduduwa.
Owulakoda investigates OBATALA, the great mythical figure who is both a creator deity and father of the Owus, who is also acclaimed as the King of Ifon, and who as the Orisha-nla is also the Lord of all the Orishas, and commands perhaps the largest and widest following worldwide among all the African deities, infiltrating diverse and widespread cultures in Asia and the Americas. Truly a man-god of many attributes and calling, OBATALA is placed under the microscope as the Owulakoda.com team features this monumental intrigue! Follow the Olowu’s speech below and click on these 3 different links (1.White deity, 2.Father of Olowu, and 3.Videos) to discover OBATALA, Baba funfun, Orisha-nla, Igba-keji Odumare!
Omo Olowu Festival (A New Dawn) – Olowu Speaks
Odun Omo Olowu is an age-long Owu Festival established by the very first Olowu whose name was Ajibosin. He was the son of Obatala – a versatile Ifa priest who was also a renown farmer of the cotton crop. When he was not farming, he toured towns and cities visiting palaces divining and counselling great kings including the legendary Odudua whose first daughter, Iyunade, he also married. Iyunade Odudua was the mother of Ajibosin. Ajibosin received his crown (Aare) directly from the “head” of his grandfather, Odudua, and took it to his own father’s town where he was popularly known as “Omo Olowu” –the son of the cotton grower or farmer –and later assumed the title of Olowu.
He was a wise king who recognised the grace God (Olodumare) had showered on him as a descendant of two great men – Odudua and Obatala, Like his father, Olowu Ajibosin practised the arts and vocation of his own father: farming. Upon his first anniversary as king, he rallied his people and children around himself sacrificing the best product of his farm ... a tuber of yam, which he ceremoniously split into six parts offering same to Olodumare in gratitude for His bountiful grace and plentiful provisions of good harvest.
He forbade his family from eating yam which is harvested late because it has ceased from being a tuber and become a root. His household ate new yam in the first three months of the new harvest but thereafter as the rains descend, they planted yam for the coming year.
He achieved great things through this annual festival. Olowu never went to war during the rainy season because he kept himself and his people busy on their farms. He achieved peace and harmony among his people for he established the festival as a period of gathering them together as family. He got every family together for the honouring of their elders and heads of their communities.
The Odun Omo Olowu had been celebrated for centuries as a private festival, and it followed certain pattern: The Imogbos announce to the Olowu the ripeness of the yam for harvesting. The Olowu is the first to taste the yam but the ceremony of eating must be done at a thanksgiving in the presence of Obatala at his shrine. Five days later the Akogun, Olowu’s war chief and military adviser then ate the new yam.
Following this ceremonial events, the whole people of Owu can now eat of the new yam for three months only or until they have consumed the first harvest.
Things have naturally changed over the years, All traditions are dynamic and times and happenings do force people to change. For example, new techniques in agriculture have made it possible to harvest yams twice a year! Climate change has made many old things to change for better or for worse. People all over the world are changing their life-style but the purposes of doing certain things may not change. For us in Owu, the original purpose of celebrating Omo Olowu Festival has not changed ... that purpose is to give thanks to Olodumare for supplying all our needs. Nobody in the world is making their needs of thanking God a secret! We Owus are not an exception.
Omo Olowu Festival is today becoming a public event. We have nothing to hide; and all our praise and thanksgiving is to God Almighty–the Olodumare.
From today I, Oba Olusanya Adegboyega.Dosunmu, the 13th Olowu since our arrival at this our new settlement in Abeokuta; declare this Festival as Owu‘s public celebration of the goodness of the Almighty God– Olodumare by our people everywhere around the globe. The festival will admit all of Owu people in Nigeria and the Diaspora and be celebrated on the second week-end of the month of October. The splitting of the yam will be performed at this special sacred occasion solely by the Olowu, and the Owu people openly as a public celebration of thanksgiving, using the yam tuber freshly harvested as our symbol of God‘s grace and–provision.
May God bless Owu people and all peoples of Nigeria, and citizens of the whole world.
Oba Dr. Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu
Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)
Olowu Kangunere, Akobi Oodua, Amororo II
The Olowu and Paramount Ruler of the Ancient Owu Kingdom