The modern State of Osun was created on 27 August 1991 from part of the old Oyo State. The state’s name is derived from the River Osun, the venerated natural spring that is the manifestation of the Yoruba goddess of the same name. Osun is an inland state in south-western Nigeria. Its capital is Osogbo. It is bounded in the north by Kwara State, in the east partly by Ekiti State and partly by Ondo State, in the south by Ogun State and in the west by Oyo State. The state’s current governor is Adegboyega Oyetola, who was declared winner of the September 2018 governorship elections. He was declared winner of the 27 September 2018 rerun elections after the initial 22 September 2018 gubernatorial election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Osun is home to several of Nigeria’s most famous landmarks, including the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, one of Nigeria’s pre-eminent institutions of higher learning. The university is also located in the ancient town of Ile-Ifẹ, an important early center of political and religious development for Yoruba culture. Other important cities and towns include the ancient kingdom-capitals of Oke-Ila Orangun, Iragbiji, Ikirun, Ila Orangun, Ijebu-Jesa, Ede, Iwo, Ejigbo, Ibokun, Ode-Omu, Ifetedo, Esa-Oke, Ilesa, Okuku, Otan-Ile and Igbajo. Osun State is additionally noted for having the second highest literacy rate in the country, with around 80% literacy rate as of 2012. Ever since the inception of Osun State, there has been many remarkable places npted to be tourist centres in the state.
ERIN IJESHA WATERFALL
Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls (also known as Olumirin waterfalls) is located in Erin-Ijesha. It is a tourist attraction located in Oriade local government area, Osun State, Nigeria. The waterfalls was discovered in 1140 AD by one of the daughters of Oduduwa. However, according to The Nation,”Olumirin waterfall was discovered by hunters in 1140 AD”. Another source has it that the tourist site was discovered by a woman called Akinla, founder of Erin-Ijesha town and a granddaughter of Oduduwa, during the migration of Ife people to Erin- Ijesa.
Erin Ijesha (Olumirin) is a seven step waterfall in a rural location in Osun state Nigeria.
The awe-inspiring fall is an assemblage of seven distinct cascades located on the south western slopes of the lush Effon Ridge, in Erin-Ijesha town, Osun state Nigeria.
The gigantic Ridge constitutes a conspicuous eye-catcher for every traveller along the Ilesa-Akure expressway, as it towers into the distant skyline, forming a spectacular backrest for the sleepy towns of Erin-Oke, Erin-Ijesha and Erinmo.
It’s believed by people of Erin-Ijesa believe that the waterfalls exude from a big pot located at the top of the ridge.
The waterfall is a whole new exciting and awe inspiring experience with nature. Each step of the waterfall has a flowing fountain that marks the mystical nature of the place.
The fall is one of natural wonders of the world. At the outset, you will find nothing unique, but as you climb the uphill plain, which is on seven levels, you will have breathtaking views of nature, boundless amount of nature stored.
At all the levels, the views are spectacular; you will also find the water refreshing. However the seventh level is somewhat difficult to climb, as you will find even the third level equal to trudging the snow-white sharp Mount Everest.
The seventh fall is the most wonderful, as this is the peak of the waterfall. The 7th fall also serves as a settlement for ancient inhabitants for a number of years. The cascading waterfall amidst the soaring mountains, gives a blend of wildlife with tranquillity.
It should be noted that the second cascade is the most gigantic of all, with the waters diving down a 40m-high cliff. The copious plunge is most spectacular in the rainy season when the stream channel is at its flooding levels. Its plunge pool forms a shallow swimming pool for visitors at the site who are lucky and brave enough to get to the second fall.
The fall features seven levels, on top of which the village Abake is located.
The Erin Ijesha Waterfalls is a popular excursion point for schools around the vicinity. The natives regard the waterfall as a sacred site and a means of purifying their souls. Festivals were formerly celebrated and sacrifices performed at the site.
The Ooni of Ife Palace also known as Ile Oodua, it is the ancestral home of the King of Ile Ife in Osun State, Nigeria. Ooni’s Palace is one of the most sacred places in Ile Ife. It is listed as one of the most beautiful Palaces in Nigeria.
The palace is adorned with beautiful artworks, creative architectural design and a perfect finish. All materials used in building the palace were locally sourced and built by the locals. It is a structural and historical landmark in Osun State. This structure is built paying attention to the details.
The Ooni of Ife Palace serves as the official residence of the Royal family and the traditional court in Ile Ife, Osun State.
Ile Oodua has been the ancestral home of different kings of Ile Ife. This site dated as far back as the time of Oduduwa the progenitor of the Yoruba race. The current palace was built in 1937. However, it was renovated in 2015 by the current Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Ogunwusi after he ascended the throne. The Ooni of Ife palace is the definition of true Royalty and the white marble and paintings, gold plated ornaments reflect excellence. As the white house is to the United States, so is this white house to Ile Ife. It has been the official residence of the royal family since its inception. This history of this palace is dated as far back as 500BC.
It is not just a Royal palace it is sacred ground, a pilgrimage, and a tourist attraction. The main building has 2 living rooms, a reception/waiting area, 6 bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, and a traditional hall that can sit up to 200 people.
The palace has its private garage where the King’s official vehicles are parked. Also, it has a place where the palace workers reside. Some of the workers of the palace include the chief security officer, the cooks. Others include the cleaners, the palace personnel, the Royal guards, the palace attendants, the personal assistant to the king, etc. Besides, there are about fifty personnel needed in taking care of and maintaining the palace.
Also, there is a police station situated within the premises, if you wish to report a case or take legal action. Rather than going through the traditional route, you can decide to follow the legal route.
No wonder Ile Ife is termed the birthplace of civilization. They have some practices which are similar to the British tradition.
OSUN OSHOGBO FESTIVAL
The festival of Osun-Osgobo, which takes place every year in Osogbo, Nigeria, celebrates the goddess of fertility, Osun. The festival renews the contract between humans and the divine: Osun offers grace to the community; in return, it vows to honor her Sacred Grove. This ceremony is part of a rich indigenous Yoruba religious tradition that began in West Africa and has become one of the ten largest religions in the world, with upwards of 100 million practitioners.
Every year, the Osun-Osgogbo festival is celebrated in the month of August at the grove. Yearly, the festival attracts thousands of Osun worshippers, spectators and tourists from all walks of life.
For the people of Osogbo Land, August is a month of celebration, traditional cleansing of the city and cultural reunion of the people with their ancestors and founders of the Osogbo Kingdom.
The Osun Osogbo festival is believed to have a history of more than 700 years. Historically, an ancestral occurrence led to the celebration of this festival. Once upon a time, a group of migrating people who were led by a great hunter called Olutimehin settled on the bank of Osun river, to save themselves from famine. At the river side, Osun the goddess appeared from the water in front of Olutimehin and requested him to lead people to a special place (present Osogbo town). The goddess promised to protect all the group and bring them prosperity in return for an annual sacrifice to her. The group accepted the proposition. Today the annual sacrifice to the Osun River Goddess is what is still celebrated as the Osun Osogbo Festival.
The Osun-Osogbo Festival is a two-week-long programme. It starts with the traditional cleansing of the town called ‘Iwopopo’, which is followed in three days by the lighting of the 500-year-old sixteen-point lamp called ‘Ina Olojumerindinlogun’.
Ina Olojumerindinlogun, the sacred lamp lit at the beginning of the annual Osun-Osogbo festival
Then comes the ‘Iboriade’, an assemblage of the crowns of the past ruler, Ataojas of Osogbo, for blessings. This event is led by the sitting Ataoja of Osogbo and the Arugba, Yeye Osun and a committee of priestesses.
Aesthetics, according to general usage, is the perception of beauty. It is the appreciation of the beauty in all parts of life, but as a field of study it is mostly concerned with the arts. The aesthetics of the Osun Osogbo festival includes drumming, dancing, musical performing, wearing of elaborate costumes, speaking of the Yoruba language, recitation of praise poetry and so on.
These elements make the festival what it is, and adding pomp and colour to the proceedings. The festival is of immense benefit to the tourism sector of Nigeria. It enables the community to sell its culture to tourist coming from both within the country and all over the world.
The Osun Osogbo festival also serves as a strong unifying factor in Osogboland, as irrespective of the different social, economic, religious and political convictions of the people, they all come together annually to celebrate the goddess.
The procession is lead by a young damsel, a teenager chosen from the Kings lineage who will offer the sacrifice to the deity. She is called Arugba.
The Staff of Oranmiya or Opa Oranmiyan as the locals often call it is a legendary staff which was installed by Oranmiyan, the son of Oduduwa who is the progenitor of the Yoruba race. The legendary Oranmiyan Staff was installed many centuries ago remain intact and has maintained its size and shape for centuries.
The staff which has now become a popular tourist attraction in Ile has an amazing story behind it.
The Oranmiyan staff is about 18 feet tall, it is one of the most popular tourist attraction in Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. This is due to the history, story and the myth surrounding the Oranmiyan Staff. Oranmiyan played a vital role in connecting Ile Ife to Benin and the Oyo empire. He was a great traveller, a warrior who loves taking territories.
After his so many conquests, he came back to Ile Ife and told the reigning King is he back to take the position of his fathers. He told the incumbent King that he wants to rule. Because he was a powerful warrior, the incumbent King had to leave to another town. He was highly feared because he was a warrior. After so many years of peaceful reign, he decided to go on another journey. Oranmiyan promised if they ever needed him they should make some incantations and he would come back. He was gone for a long time and the people expected him to come back. He never showed up.
Then the enemies heard of his absence. Ile Ife got attacked. The people of Ife decided to cry out to him. Just like he promised, he came from nowhere and was attacking everything on its path. With his sword, he unleashed so much terror that he killed the invading army and some of his people, including his best friend. Seeing what he had done, he got depressed and couldn’t help it. Legend has it that in anger, he hits the sword on the ground and rode his horse away never to be seen again. The place where he hits the sword into the ground became the Oranmiyan staff that we all see today.
Over time the place has become sacred ground and a tourist attraction. All newly crowned King must visit this location to get their staff of office.
Another claimed the staff was made on the location where he was buried by his family. The location of the staff is Oroto street MOPA Ile Ife osun state.
NATIONAL MUSEUM ILE IFE
The National Museum Ile Ife is one of the significant landmarks in Ife. The museum is located beside the Ooni of Ife Palace. It is one of the popular tourist attractions located in Ile Ife. it is owned by the federal government under the National Commission for Museums and monuments. It is an archaeological museum which showcases some of the relics uncovered from Ile Ife. This museum contains relics of the past and the recent. It features some archaeological excavations, regalia, ancient remains and pictures of some of the Nigerian history. The National Museum Ife has several sections to give you an in-depth understanding of the people, the culture and the way of life.
It also features some artworks and creative masterpieces by some local artist. The National Museum helps to connect the past and make us aware of the present and also help us preserve them for the future.
National Museum Ile Ife is probably one of the most underrated museums in Nigeria because it has antics and relics that takes you back hundreds if not thousands of years.
These are some of the items you will find at the museum:
- It has a collection of musical instruments, insignia, animal skin
- Relics and Items You Will Find at the Museum
- Traditional Musical Instruments like talking drum, Gong, Calabash etc
- Traditional ornaments like bracelets, rings, jewellery etc
- Masquerades garments
- Bronze Sculptures
- Ceremonial Insignia and attires.
The National Museum Ile Ife is Located at Opposite the Enuwa Square, P.M.B. 5515, Enuwa Ile-Ife, Osun State. The museum is just beside the Palace of Ooni of the Ooni of Ife.
MOREMI STATUE OF LIBERTY
The Moremi Statue of Liberty located in Ile Ife, Osun State, was built in honour of Queen Moremi Ajasoro. A heroine who saved her people from the snare of oppressors and helped them win the battle against their enemies.
The history of Moremi Ajasoro is one of the most important in the history of the Yoruba people. The Moremi Statue of Liberty serves as a remembrance of her bravery in delivering her people from the Igbo/Ugbo (forest) people. Legend has it that she consulted the gods and promised to offer a great sacrifice to the gods.
The Moremi Statue of Liberty is about forty-two feet tall, it is the tallest statue in Nigeria and the fourth in Africa. The Moremi statue is built on the same spot that Moremi Ajasori lived many centuries ago. It is within proximity from the Ooni of Ife palace.
Moremi statue was constructed by locals which comprise of over 200 youths, while the material was locally sourced from all the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
The Moremi Statue was built, unveiled and commissioned by the Ooni of Ife Ogunwusi on November 2016.
HISTORY OF MOREMI AJASORO
Queen Moremi was married to Oranmiyan, the last son of Oduduwa. Oduduwa is the progenitor of the Yoruba people. Though, Oranmiyan was the youngest son of Oduduwa. He was the chosen heir to the throne. Queen Moremi was the first wife of Oranmiyan. She was born in Offa into a Royal family. She became one of the greatest women in Yoruba history after her brave and heroin act in liberating her people from the Igbo (forest) people. A neighbouring village that has been enslaving, kidnapping and capturing the people of Ile Ife.
She consulted the spirit of Esimirin river where she pledges to give her most precious item if the gods could deliver her people from the Igbo (forest people).
The invasion of these forest people was like an Alien invasion to the residents of Ile Ife who thought they were spirits. They were always dressed in raffia palms and covered with a mask which made the people scared of them.
Moremi consulted the goddess of the river who asked for her most precious possession. She quickly accepted the deal without thinking about it. She was rich and powerful and thought, she would be able to afford anything the goddess would ask of her. Moremi was instructed by the riverine goddess to deliberately let the forest natives capture her. A move intended to spy on the Igbo people. The forest people kidnapped her, that was the beginning of the change. Without wasting time, the King of the Igbo people fell in love with her because of her beauty. She became part of the Igbo people’s colony. She mastered all their skills and learned all their hidden secrets. This discovery made her realise the Igbo forest people were not spirits or aliens as they earlier thought. They were only dressed in raffia palms and masks to shield their identity.
After learning about them, she escaped and revealed all she knew to her husband. This intel led to defeating the forest people. Part of the information provided by Queen Moremi to the army was to invade them with burning torches. This is why her statue has a burning torch.
Immediately the forest people try to attack, they were repelled with burning torches igniting and lighting them up in flames which led them to be defeated and never to return. The Igbo people were defeated and captured.
ODUDUWA SHRINE AND GROVE
Oduduwa was the first Ooni (King of Ile-Ife) which is said to be the origin of the yorubas. The groove and site is a great historical and educational site. A local chief resides at the site and is ever willing to fill visitors with stories about the days of yore.
Whoever Oduduwa was during his time on earth cannot be said precisely. What is known is that history has been compelled to pen him down as a god; and to the Yorubas, that is who he is.
Known as the first Ooni of Ile- Ife, Oduduwa Olofin Adimula held the regnal names Olofin Aye and Olufe.
His name which is phonetically written by Yoruba language-speakers as Odùduwà and sometimes contracted as Ooduwa, Odudua or Oòdua, is generally attributed to the ancestral dynasties of Yorubaland.
And this is because, in accordance with Yoruba belief, Oduduwa is the ancestor of all their crowned kings.
Following his posthumous deification, he was admitted to the Yoruba pantheon as an aspect of a primordial divinity of the same name.
Popularly known as Oduduwa World Groove Temple, the site is located at Ile-Ife. And as earlier mentioned, it is believed to believed to the historical point where oduduwa, landed via a chain to found Ile Ife.
It is also is his final resting place.
And standing as a testimony to that which is believed, is a statue of Oduduwa with the chain and staff and a map of Africa naturally carved out on a stone.
OSUN OSHOGBO SACRED GROVE
The Osun-Osogbo Grove is among the last of the sacred forests which usually adjoined the edges of most Yoruba cities before extensive urbanization. In recognition of its global significance and its cultural value, the Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
The 1950s saw the desecration of the Osun-Osogbo Grove: shrines were neglected, priests abandoned the grove as customary responsibilities and sanctions weakened. Prohibited actions like fishing, hunting and felling of trees in the grove took place until an Austrian, Susanne Wenger, came and stopped the abuse going on in the grove.
With the encouragement of the Ataoja and the support of the local people, “Wenger formed the New Sacred Art movement to challenge land speculators, repel poachers, protect shrines and begin the long process of bringing the sacred place back to life by establishing it, again, as the sacred heart of Osogbo”.
The Osun-Osogbo groove is several centuries old ,one of the ancient groves that has remained, Wenger who later came to be known as Adunni Olorisha also became the custodian of the ancient groove.
It is a very safe location and also an important place to visit when next you are in Osun State.
NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM ILE IFE
This museum is located at the Ile-Ife campus of Obafemi Awolowo University. Its initial collections were the zoological specimens of the Department of Biological Sciences, but it has since diversified into collections of plants, insects and other invertebrates, reptiles, birds, reptiles, rocks, fossils and minerals. Aside from the Institute Fundamental Afrique Noir located in Dakar, Senegal, the museum is the only one of its type in the entire West African region. Renowned for its striking architecture, the museum was officially commissioned on February 25, 2011, after forty years of planning.
OWA OBOKUN STATUE ILESHA
The Owa obukun statue is a statue situated at Ilesha round about in Osun state, Nigeria. It is a statue that talks about the story of a blind King whose son was asked to go and get water of life for his father to regain his sight.
The journey was a tedious one, he spent months to get the water.
On his way back he was told that his father was dead but on getting home he was still alive. He was excited and he used the water of life to clean his eyes, after that his father regain his sight.
The father noticed that nothing was left because his rest children had taken all his belongings except a sword and a crown, which he handed over to his son who later became the Owa of Ilesha land.
The statue today serves as a reference to the world about how the Ilesha king was crowned. In the statue the sword he raised represent defense which he uses to fight every battle in the land and the calabash represent the water he went to fetch for his father. The king was named after the named after the water he went to fetch that is the Owa obokun of ilesha land.
ORI OLOKUN MAYFAIR ROUNDABOUT ILE IFE
Ori Olóòkun is an orisha spirit in the Yoruba religion. Olokun is believed to be the parent of Aje, the orisha of great wealth and of the bottom of the ocean. Olokun is revered as the ruler of all bodies of water and for the authority over other water deities. Ori Olokun is highly praised for their ability to give great wealth, health, and prosperity to their followers.
NIKE ART GALLERY OSHOGBO
Nike Centre for Art and Culture is where training is offered free of charge to all Nigerians in various forms of arts; painting, batik, dance, study of sculpture, theatre, quilting and more. The centre was originally a safe haven for disadvantaged women and young adults, and has trained over 3000 Nigerians who are now earning a decent livings.
The gallery is housed in a two-story house, itself an artistic mix of colonnades, wooden pillars, paintings and sheet metal on the ceiling. If the whole thing is a little dusty and the electricity is switched on for you, the place is worth a visit and hides some nuggets. Uneven paintings adorn every square centimeter, from floor to ceiling, as well as a display of indigo batiks from neighboring dyeing shops, basketwork, wooden stools and terracotta pots. Upstairs, one room is filled with batik, and the other with traditional Nigerian woven fabrics: ask for an explanation of the differences and methods. Don’t miss the lower side rooms, which contain strange and very slender wooden sculptures with like large spread arms turned towards the sky – still mystical – and two real carved elephant tusks.
Open every day from 8am to 6pm. Free admission, tip to the guide if there is one, always possible. The gallery is located at KM 3 Iwo- Ibadan expressway Oshogbo Osun State.
GENESIS ART GALLERY OSHOGBO
Genesis Art Gallery is a major tourist destination in Osogbo. It is the second largest art house in Southwestern Nigeria after Nike Art Gallery.
The Genesis Art Gallery started in 1990 in Ila- Orangun as a Craft Shop and later relocated to Osogbo in 1996 and subsequently commissioned in September 29, 2000, becoming the only Art Gallery on Station Road, Osogbo. The gallery is a hub of Paintings, Wood Carvings, Print Making and Furniture. Today, it is recognized as one of the major tourist destinations in Osun State and Nigeria.
The art gallery is located at 138 station road, opposite Adeniyi bookshop, Osogbo, Osun State. it is a very safe location with a very heart warm welcoming gesture. when next you are visiting Osun state, think of visiting the art gallery.