Wednesday 7 May 2014



In Yoruba tradition, there is a deity that is always appeased almost on daily basis and that deity is called Ori (the Head). It is believed that the head is the bringer of both good luck and bad luck. And whatever someone will become in life, it is the head that would sanction it to be accomplished. Once upon a time, some people visited Orunmila at his shrine. Their mission was to know whether God existed or not. And they wanted Orunmila to show them where God was.
 Orunmila divined and told them that the birds cannot fly without their heads, that the fishes sleep and wake up in the seas with their heads, that the animals sleep and wake up in the jungle with their heads, that the man that sleeps at night and hears the cock crow in the morning before waking up is said to be woken up by God. Orunmila said that the head of man is his God. Man cannot exist without his head likewise some other species of God. Our heads must be appeased at all times to pave ways for us in all our undertakings. The corpus of Ifa responsible for appeasing the head is ODI MEJI. Before appeasing the head, an Ifa priest is consulted to know the appropriate step and things to use. Most of the time catfish or guinea fowl is killed for the appeasement with other things like water, kolanut and schnapps.
And everything is always conducted by the Ifa priest. The night that the head is appeased is always special for whom it is done as all the problems will be a thing of the past



Ogun is the deity referred to as the god of iron. After the world was created by Olodumare (the Almighty God), some part of the world was filled with water while some other part was bushy. Olodumare started looking for a deity that would be sent to clear the bush for other deities that He was sending to the
world. Ogun (the god of iron) agreed to clear the bush with his brass cutlass. Thereafter, deities like Orunmila (the Oracle) and Esu (the god of war) were sent to join Ogun (the god of iron) in the world. The three deities met each other at the cross roads and from there they formed a tripod. Ogun is a powerful deity that clears the ways for those who do not neglect to do his bidding. He is a deity known as the path clearer and he rules the motorists, the bricklayers, the butchers and carpenters. People doing any work relating to iron are advised to appease Ogun because the iron is his symbol. The devotees of Ogun are mainly hunters because Ogun himself used to be a good hunter while alive.
He was very good in using his gun to kill animals while hunting. Ogun enjoyed drinking palm wine during his lifetime which is one the items of things used to appease him today. Other things used to appease Ogun are roasted yam, roasted corn, dog, a cockrel and schnapps. Some Ogun devotees are good chanters and they are like the hunters who are very good in using oral tradition to appease and praise Ogun.


Ogun onijan ole, ejemu to nj'Oluwanran,
Ogun O.... A.... aori, aose,
Akala funfun eyin osa,
Ogun abelepon fa riyeriye,
Elepon nke, Ogun nfa a,
Oko mi o ma ma lepon o o o!
Ijarayin ori o! Ogun ye e e e!!
Ijaranyin ori o! Ogun ye e e!!
Ogun a gbe wa o!!

Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2014



Bata drums are known as providing music for deities like Sango (the god of thunder and lightning) and Eegun (the Masqueradessince!e Bata music is very unique and rhythmic. The drums comprising of Omele meta, Eejin, Omele ako, Omele abo and Isaaju. 

All these drums have their different functions in the Bata ensemble. Omele meta is the pivot of the music as it provides basic and constant rhythm on which other drums rest. Next in the line of Bata ensemble is the Eejin drum which is the base drum that goes with the Omele meta. These two drums establish their different and unique rhythms very well before the remaining drums join them. 

The next is Omele Ako which is another rhythm drum that joins in the accompaniment. All these three drums get to relate with one another rhythmically very well before the master of the Bata drum called the Isaaju meaning the leader join in the melodious interaction. At this juncture, the player of the leading Bata drum will start rendering proverbs in between the rhythms of the sound. 

The sound of the lead Bata drum is so noticeable as it dominates and stands out. The player drums with all his energy to put his message across. The Bata music is very ferocious and full of messages of wisdom and proverbs. The dancers of the music too must be agile and strong because it is not the music for the Lilly livered. 

Testimony of this is when the Masquerade festival or the Sango festival is held and Bata drummers are present to grace the occasion. All the Sango devotees will engage themselves in the ferocious dance of Bata music. Likewise the Eegungun devotees too, it is the ferociousness of Bata music that is their way. 

Sango (the god of thunder and lightning) and Eegungun (the Masquerade) as deities enjoy music from the Bata drums from the time immemorial and it has been their music ever since Unfortunately in the world today, Bata drums are used as musical instrument in some other religious musical groups without giving credits to these two deities. 

In conclusion, my point is that our culture and tradition speak volume of who we are as a people. We should be able to identify with them at all times. 

© Olalekan Oduntan 2014



I recently paid a visit to the palace of Baale of Shomolu One, Chief Prince Saliu Akanni Jimoh Olundegun and got him talking on some interesting things about Yoruba tradition and culture. During our discussion, I discovered that the man is not only brilliant but he also holds the Yoruba tradition and culture in high esteem. The Baale explained that it is not a small role that appeasement plays in cleansing our land.

Particularly during this year on going masquerade's festival, a lot of money has been spent to appease the land against diseases and sicknesses. He said whenever they want to hold festivals like Oro, Igunnuko, Jigbo, Ifa, Ogun, Egungun e.t.c. people are asked to make their monetary contributions towards the task and the response is always very good. And this is the way the above mentioned festivals are funded any time the Oracle divines that they should appease any of them. The Baale said his chiefs will then form themselves into a planning committee headed by his right handed chief in order to make things go on smoothly during the entire festive period .Aside from making provision for eating and drinking, the issue of security is not taking lightly too. 

For any appeasement to go on successfully without hitches does not only require money but lot of cooperation and assistance from his chiefs. Prince Saliu Akanni Jimoh Olundegun is the tenth Baale of Shomolu one. He was enthroned after his predecessor Chief Ishola Akinpelu Irunmu Ekun passed on. Chief Akinpelu was the nineth Baale while the father of the current Baale on the throne was the eighth Baale. Chief Saliu Jimoh Akanni 
Olundegun said that his reign has been enjoying a lot peace both from his subject and lieutenants. Although once in a while, there may be misunderstandings either from his subject or his chiefs, but God Almighty is always giving him wisdom and knowledge to resolve them. He said that it was high time that the government took the bull by the horn to support our culture and tradition because this are the only gifts we have to show people in the western world and with them we would laurels for our great nation. 

Government should be assisting the traditional religion practitioners with money to appease Egungun, Oro Cult, Ifa, Igunnuko e.t.c. to cleanse our land for us. With this, we would have a nation free of negativity and backwardness. The Baale is indeed surrounded with good people and adored by all his chiefs. He is married with children and grandchildren. 

Thursday 1 May 2014


ln the Yoruba traditional religion, the deities are highly respected by humans and they are offered sacrifices to proffer solutions to their numerous problems at any particular point in time. Before giving sacrifice to any deity, Ifa is consulted to divine and find out the appropriate things to do. The troubled victim is the one to make the move for the divination. Osa meji is the corpus of Ifa that appears during divination. Meaning the witches are aggrieved and needed to be appeased by the victim. It is the belief of the Yoruba people that when anyone is being disturbed by the witches, nothing will work out well for the person. Such person will be troubled with sleeplessness and restlessness of some sort. Such a person could even be getting leaner and leaner every day. The next step is to appease the witches with what they demand through the oracle.
Witches are appeased at night by the Ifa priest on behalf of the victim or sometimes the victim's presence is required during the appeasement. Sacrifices are offered and carried at night. Some people will ask the question, who are the witches? Witches are the emissary of Olodumare (The Almighty God) and they are being used by Olodumare to appreciate and acknowledge His authority and existence over human beings. Witches are the police of the world and whoever they arrest must beg to be released. And the release of such a person is appeasement through Ifa priest. 

Olodumare dominates the heaven while the witches dominate the mother earth. One important thing that must be noted at this juncture is that the witches are very powerful and their network is universal. It is believed that if a person is being dealt by witches in Nigeria and such a person runs to Benin Republic for safety, the punishment of the person continues right there. But as soon as the witches are appeased with the offerings which they must have accepted over the night, their victims are hereby pardoned and set free. 

All will now be well for the victims who will praise the Ifa (the oracle). But Ifa priest in turn will praise the Olodumare (the Almighty God ). In conclusion, there are good and bad witches in the world. And this is the story for another day! 

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