Olokun Festival In Ile-Ife: Things You Need To Know About The Deity Of Wealth And Abundance

Olokun Festival In Ile-Ife: Things You Need To Know About The Deity Of Wealth And Abundance

Kayode Olawuni, Ife

(Photos): Arole Oduduwa, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, performing his spiritual duties at the 2022 edition of the Olokun Festival in Ile-Ife on Monday. Source: Instagram|@ooniadimulaife

Olokun is one of the popular traditional festivals celebrated in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Southwest, Nigeria.

Ife being the cradle and spiritual headquarters of the Yoruba people, one of the most prominent and largest ethnic groups in the African continent is house to numerous deities numbering up to 401 according to the Yoruba pantheon.

These deities are celebrated in colourful festivals thereby making the ancient city a hive of ceremonial activities throughout the year.

Every deity is unique for a particular trait or quality and for which they were deified and celebrated following their ceasing to exist as mortals on the surface of the earth.

Olokun is a deity of abundance and wealth and this is significant to its celebration. It is a deity associated with water and salt which form the basic elements used during the festival.

The Ooni of Ife, Arole Oduduwa, Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, gave a deeper insights about the renowned Olokun deity at the 2022 edition of its celebration.

The Yoruba spiritual head described Olokun as a reputable "age-old tradition", noting that she represents unending seasonality and purity.

The sea goddess as literally translated is, according to Ooni, the head of all the bodies of water whose activities are bound to eternally be in her favour.

Ooni further revealed that the festival is very significant as it marks the celebration of the connection between the living and the ancestors.

He said, "Today, I honour and pay obeisance to Olokun, the deity of wealth and salt alongside millions of Oduduwa descendants as we celebrate the Olokun festival. We must keep up with the magnificent age-old tradition that our forefathers bequeathed to us, safeguarding the historical, social, spiritual, and predominant modern values of the deity of Olokun. Indeed, she is the embodiment of boundless seasoning, purity, and faithfulness.

"As embodied knowledge, Olokun is both a historical source of life and a deity associated with wealth, prosperity, and abundance. She is a symbol of infinity and abundance. All the bodies of water agreed to flow to the goodness of the sea, and Olokun personifies their prominence and remains the headship of them all. 

"We must remember that the supreme owner of the universe is God Almighty who created all and we must continue to honour all the works of his hands. Incontrovertibly, that’s our ultimate creed from the source of mankind, Ile-Ife. 

"The Olokun festival commemorates the bond that exists between us and our forefathers. The celebration serves as a reminder of our forefathers' sacrifices, ancient contributions, and realities that we inherited from them. It therefore endears us to share in their vision, immortalize their history, celebrate our ancestors' accomplishments, and record their previous challenges for the generations ahead.

"As Arole Oduduwa, I use the great fortune of this day to pray for abundance for you in all the essence of life that comes from Olokun. May your silent prayers and sincere aspirations be granted. Happy Olokun festival."

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