Osun-Osogbo a UNESCO world heritage
In 2005 UNESCO named the sacred Osun groove a world heritage. This groove is located in the south western part of Nigeria. Where the native occupants are Yoruba a group of people that I will be publishing articles on subsequently.
ABOUT OSOGBO Osogbo is an ancient town, about 80km north east of Ibadan , the capital city of Oyo State. It is a prominent cultural, craft and art center, as well as a famous tourist destination in Nigeria.
ABOUT THE OSUN OSOGBO FESTIVAL The Osun cultural festival is a unique annual celebration in honor of the river goddess, popularly called Osun. The festival has acquired an international status witnessed by both domestic and international tourist. River Osun was believe to have provided the water of life which save the inhabitant s of ancient Osogbo town from hunger, pestilence and religious war centuries ago. It is still believe to provide protective guidance till today. The annual celebration is therefore done in reverence and appreciation to the goddess of fertility.
ABOUT THE FOREST. The dense forest of the Osun Sacred Grove, on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo, is one of the last remnants of primary high forest in southern Nigeria. Regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility Osun, one of the pantheon of Yoruba gods, the landscape of the grove and its meandering river is dotted with sanctuaries and shrines, sculptures and art works in honour of Osun and other deities. The sacred grove, which is now seen as a symbol of identity for all Yoruba people, is probably the last in Yoruba culture. It testifies to the once widespread practice of establishing sacred groves outside all settlements.
Some Justifications for Inscription
: The development of the movement of New Sacred Artists and the absorption of Suzanne Wenger, an Austrian artist, into the Yoruba community have proved to be a fertile exchange of ideas that revived the sacred Osun Grove ;
: The Osun Sacred Grove is the largest and perhaps the only remaining example of a once widespread phenomenon that used to characterise every Yoruba settlement. It now represents Yoruba sacred groves and their reflection of Yoruba cosmology.
: The Osun Grove is a tangible expression of Yoruba divinatory and cosmological systems; its annual festival is a living thriving and evolving response to Yoruba beliefs in the bond between people, their ruler and the Osun goddess.