Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Osun Osogbo

This weekend the roommates and I traveled to Osun-Osogbo (pronounced something like O-shun O-Shobo). We really didn't know what to escpect or what we would find. Osun state is about an hour or hour and a half away from Ibadan, which is in Oyo state. 

What we found was a beautiful forest, yet strange because of the mythic Yoruba folklore. For centuries the local Yoruba tribes have considered the place a "sacred forest." You can see evidence of the shrines and idols that are placed in different spots throughout the trees. In addition, there are still "priestesses" who will pray over people who come to be healed from infertility. To be honest, I didn't pay much attention to what the tour guide had been staying because I was too busy snapping pictures of the things I was seeing. 

Instead of seeing the place as a remnant of this old folk religion, I was able to thank God for showing me beauty in His creation. I was so thankful for the breath of fresh air and for the enjoyment spent feeding and watching the wild monkeys. And from an artistic standpoint, I also enjoyed some of the sculptures that we saw. 

My favorite part of the day was the monkeys. When we arrived, they were all hidden in the trees, that was until we started calling for them and brought the bananas out.  It was the craziest thing, suddenly the trees started swaying and before you knew it, monkeys were all around us demanding bananas. Some were more shy, and didn't want to get close, but others ran right up and grabbed it straight from our hands. 

I almost expected to hear George of the Jungle coming through the bushes "EeeOoooowEeeeOoow!...watch out for that tree!"

The largest ant pile I've seen.
The fertility goddess.
This poor bird is used in some sacrifices so he can't fly away, but they don't kill him because the it's the goddess of fertility and she brings life, not death.

Water droplet
Oshun River- I wouldn't like to fall in those waters!

Many of the forms reminded me of the sculptures found in Barcelona.

From L-R, Meghan, Gretchan, me, and Sam

"Hey what's going on down there?"

"Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
-psalm 51:10

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