The rickety bus ride to Osogbo was the beginning of an exciting experience. By now you should know that you don’t go on this kind of journey alone. Allow me to introduce my personal person, Ladayo Bodunrin who we took on this fun ride together. (but I know some born ready people sha! #Lowkey) After all procrastination and excuses, I was finally on the way to see my hometown in a way I haven’t ever seen it before – that must be the oracles of my host, Chief Oyeniyi Sango at work (lol).
The few times I visited Osogbo since my father relocated to Abuja were ceremoniously short. My instagram feed must have told you how beautiful it was seeing Osun Osogbo in all its glory. Chief Oyeniyi had beckoned me to come around for long months ago, lets just say the time wasn’t right yet. He knows I am a true child of the soil, finding my way to his gallery in Popo area of Osogbo came without sweat. Someone else needs to meet his vibrant gallery attendant; her welcome vibe and knowledge about the NIREP Center for Arts and Culture was just too sound.
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I love it when people want to see places with me. NIREP Centre For Arts and Culture, Popo Osogbo was a beautiful experience. cc:- @ladayobodunrin • • • • • • #SaeedahImam #SaeedahImamPostedIt #GoingPlacesWithSaeedah #SeekingBeyond #Tourist #TouristBlog #Places #PlacesBlog #Destinations #PlacesInOsogbo #OsunOsogbo #GalleriesInOsogbo #ArtsInOsogbo #Arts #Culture #Lifestyle #GalleriesInNigeria #OsogboTour #NIREP #OsogboNigeria
She took us from genesis to revelation of the all the items of arts and culture the gallery is blessed with. We communicated smoothly in Yoruba and she was as explicit as a Professor would be.
She began from the origin of Adire fabric with the use of Cassava paste (Adire eleko); she enlightened us about the difference between the original Adire fabrics from the modern day Campala fabrics. (that was deep) She reiterated that the Adire fabric comes only in the indigo colour but for modernization that can make us have different colours now. The indigo colour of Adire fabric can be derived from Elu (indigo leaves). Importation of dye from Germany and exportation of our Indigo leaves has made the production of Adire fabrics into different colours an easy deal.
Most of us the newbie Yorubas would have only seen the Sango wand in Nollywood movies but we saw it live at the NIREP gallery. Ile Ori was another item in the gallery, the deity of destiny which could be consulted by an Ifa priest or herbalist for the purpose of knowing what is fit for one’s being. We were made familiar with the Opele and Opan Ifa that we used to see in Nollywood movies too.
Atoke, the gallery attendant brought us to clear terms that the Eyo deity of Lagos are not masquerades. That was because the Eyo caps were part of the items you won’t take your eyes off at the gallery. The grand form of masquerade is the Gelede masquerade of Ijebu land; whoever sees the display of the Gelede masquerade is believed to have seen it all. Hence the saying that “Oju to bat i ri Gelede ti ri opin iran.”
Bata drums amongst other types of drums like Omele, Omele Meta, Omele Abo and Iya Ilu were items to bring back to mind how beautiful our culture is.
Have you ever heard a saying in Yoruba that “o gbona bii ajere” (he is hot like ajere)? This is an expression for how powerful a person is bestowed with charms. For your information, ‘Ajere’ is a hand crafted covered bowl in which charms are kept. The more powerful the charms in it, the hotter it gets. It became fascinating to learn that these items are in their most ordinary form without any spiritual invocation in them. They can be purchased for the purpose of decoration or more as your interest picks.
Colourful wall paintings by Chief Oyeniyi were up for grabs too. He came in to take over from his well-informed gallery attendant to take us on a tour to see more places. Guess what? He gave me an Adire fabric worth of #25,000. Yipppie!
The ancient building of NIREP Centre for Arts and Culture in Popo area of Osogbo was built in 1942 and still standing unshaken.
We made for the Osun Osogbo groove where we saw abundance of arts and heard more history about my beloved home town. Arugba according to Chief Oyeniyi Sango was said to be the embodiment of the goddess of Osun herself. There is no Osun festival without the Arugba.
We were welcomed into Osun Osogbo groove by hearty monkeys because of the bananas in our hands.
The Osun Osogbo groove was a thick uninhabitable forest before the three hunters, Laro, Timeyin and Ogidan traced water source till they found the Osun River. The Osun goddess called these three ‘Oso inu igbo’ (wizards of the forest) for disrupting her peaceful abode in the forest. That was where the name OSOGBO was clipped together to come into being.
The concept of the suspended bridge over the Osun Osogbo River was the refined effort of the three hunters who fell a timber over the river to enable them cross over. The suspended bridge is more than a century old.
There is no mention of the Osun Osogbo groove without the late Susanne Wenger, the legendary artist who created all the works of arts therein. The view of her house was a sight to behold and that was where we called it wrap!
Hope you enjoyed my tour at my hometown? Where is your hometown? Comment below, it might be my next stop.
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