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A peep into the secret Oro festival in Yorubaland

The Oro Festival is a festival celebrated in South-West Nigeria by the Yorubas. It is an event celebrated by towns and settlements of Yoruba origin. It is an annual traditional festival that is of patriarchal nature, as it is only celebrated by male descendants who are paternal natives to the specific locations where the particular event is taking place.

During the festival, females and non-natives stay indoors as oral history has it that Oro must not be seen by women and non-indigenes.

According to Osorun of Tomaro Land, Chief Labra Bashorun: “The ceremonies surrounding the celebration of Oro differs from town to town, and one is often called after the death of a monarch.

The festival lasts several days and throughout its duration, women and other non-participants are expected to stay indoors. Several sources have commented on different aspects of the event.

“Yorubas nowadays may be practising Christians or Muslims, but there are still shrines to the old gods scattered around the countryside, and traditional festivals – like the festival of the Oro cult…are still celebrated and still taken extremely seriously.

Vanguard, Monday 18, February.

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