Wednesday 15 March 2023

Tortoise Osanyin Favorite Sacrificial Food (Irete Owonrin)

“When the Palm kernel oil maker is not at home, crows live in his workshop” was the one who cast Ifa for Tortoise, the Miser, when he was trading at Toku. They said he should make a sacrifice so that his secret would not be revealed. Two pigeons, seven pence two oninis and a cock was the sacrifice so that his secret would not be disclosed. Tortoise offered the two pigeons and the seven pence two oninis, but he did not offer the cock with the rest of the sacrifice. 

Long, long ago there was a famine on earth and in heaven. Tortoise sought a way to get something to eat, and he tried to find a clever trick. He got ready and went to the edge of the market where there was a hollow palm tree, and he hid inside it. When market day arrived and people came to market, Tortoise began to sing:

“The Palm tree dances, the one that has Palm leaves; Dance, I dance. The Palm tree staggers about, oh; Dance, I dance. The Palm tree flits about the market; Dance, I dance. The Palm tree twists and turns through the market; Dance, I dance.” When Tortoise began to sing in this way, and the people in the market heard him and saw the Palm tree walking about the market, the whole market broke up. Then Tortoise came out from the hollow of the Palm tree and began to gather the traders’ goods and things to eat. Tortoise was doing this every market day and gathering all the food that came to his hand each market day.

When the people saw what was happening, they told the king, and the king sent the God of Iron (Ogun) to the market to bring him whatever was doing this kind of a thing. But when the God of Iron heard the song and saw the Palm tree walking, he ran into the forest. Thus, the king sent all the Four Hundred Deities, and they went there but were not able to capture the thing that was breaking up the market. Then Eshu said that he would capture it. When he went, he tied 200 small medicine calabashes on his body, but when he reached the market and the market people assembled, and he heard the song and saw the Palm tree walking, he ran into the forest with the others. The Calabashes of medicine that he had tied on his body fell off, except for two, and these two began to say: “Pekelepe, gbagidari “What is this? gbagidari”

When Eshu could not capture the thing, the king sent the God of Medicine (Osanyin) to go and bring it to him. When the God of Medicine went, he took a burning iron with him, and he sat down next to the fire of those who sold bean fritters, and he put the burning iron into the fire. After a little while he began to hear the song and to see the Palm tree walking. When the market people scattered, the God of Medicine remained seated and did not leave the market; he did not run away with the market people. When Tortoise saw that the market had scattered, he came out and began to gather up the goods, but when he came to the place where bean fritters were sold, he wanted to eat bean fritters (Akara). And as he reached out his hand to take a bean fritter, the God of Medicine pulled the burning iron out of the fire and pressed it against Tortoise’s body. 

Tortoise cried out, promising that both Tortoise and Snail would become slaves of the God of Medicine. The God of Medicine said he would take only Tortoise as his slave and that he would not take Snail. From that day on, we have been using Tortoise to sacrifice to the God of Medicine until this very day.

No One “Awo” Knows It All (Oturupon Meji)

Tortoise (Ijapa) thought he was the wisest person on earth. Then he decided to pack all the Knowledge into one big Gourd (Calabash) and hang it on top of a Palm tree. So, whenever he wants, he can take from it and sell to people. After gathering all the Knowledge inside a Gourd, he puts the Gourd on his chest and tried climbing the Palm tree but could not climb. Snail (Igbin) was passing by; he saw Tortoise struggling to climb and sweating.

Tortoise explained he is trying to carry the Gourd to the top of the Palm tree. Snail told him to tie the Gourd at his back and not his chest, Tortoise did as snail directed, and he climb successfully. Tortoise was surprised that despite all the Knowledge he had there is still more Knowledge out there. Feeling disappointed, he smashed the Gourd of Knowledge on the ground.

Knowledge is not for one person; no Man is an island of Knowledge. Let have it at the back of our mind that Knowledge is for all, and no one should behave as if he knows it all, no one knows it all.

Food Meant For The Tortoise Will Never Be Hanged On A Tree = Behold the Turtle, he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

Ela Iboru! Ela Iboye!! Ela Ibosise!!

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