Home » Owo agog for the final celebration of Igogo festival

Owo agog for the final celebration of Igogo festival

by Family Center
Igogo festival-dailyfamily.ng

Igogo festival is the celebration of love which some people referred to as traditional Valentin.

Olowo of Owo Oba Davide Victor Folagbade Olateru Olagbegi lll , was seen stepping out from the place to the market place, shielded by his chiefs as he walks regally under a beautiful large umbrella to protect him from the scorching sun.

Oba Folagbade, dressed in his traditional ewu okun beads regalia, with gong (agogo) in his hand.

The monarch, plait his hair and decorated it with a beautiful feather called urere okin.

The monarch, hands and ankles are wrapped with special coral beads specially meant for his status as a king with a golden ring on his finger.

As he danced toward the popular Oja Oba, the palace praise singers, sing at the top of their voices and beating the gong, saluting the monarch in royal way saying Oologho Baba O, Wa a rehin odi (Our king, may you conquer your enemies)

After the singing and dancing, he prays for the progress of the town.


Brief history of Igogo festival

The Igogo festival began about 600 years ago during the reign of the late Olowo Rerengejen. The king married Oronsen, a charming and affluent queen who had a supernatural powers, but hid it from the monarch.

Oronsen enriched Olowo, Rerengejen and she was loved by the monarch. Queen Oronsen insisted on certain taboos.

She said nobody should grind Okra in her presence or pour water into the yard. In addition, anyone arriving from the farm must not lump a load of firewood.

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King Rerengejen cautioned his other wives not to carry out any of these activities. One day, one of the wives got the king drunk and made him to divulge the secret.

After that day, he went out for a hunting and the other wives conspired against Orosen and broke the taboos.

They pured water on the ground, threw firewood and mixed okra in her presence.

Oresen sensed there will be danger , she fled the palace and ran in a thick forest.

When the king returned and was briefed about what had transpired in his absence, he was annoyed. He, however, made frantic effort to bring her back and therefore, instructed the palace guards known as the Iloros, ayoyos to trace her out.

While she was running out of the palace, some palace guards and chiefs ran after her to bring her back, an effort that was futile.

When she felt tired and decided to rest at a place called Ugbo Laja, where she was persuaded to return to the palace.

She refused to go back to the palace with the guards, this frustrated the guards and decided to forcefully capture her but she disappeared into Igbo Oluwa, now a sacred forest, leaving her head ties which called Oja in Owo language and Gele in Yoruba language. Since then Ugbo Laja has became a sacred grove.

Queen Orosen’s terra cotta sculptured image from “Igbo Oluwa” by Ekpo Eyo stands at a distance to inform the Owo people that nothing will bring her back to the palace but that annually they should always sacrifice two hundred items of different articles, such as dried fish, kolanut, Aligator pepper, bitter cola and many more for ritual (Igogo) and in return she promised to protect the Kingdom.

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